Last Updated on April 8, 2021
Quebec started accepting applications for its collective sponsorship program for refugees abroad this week and will continue to accept them through its Arrima online platform for the next four weeks.
In this first intake period under the program this year, only groups of two to five Quebec citizens or permanent residents can sponsor these refugees.
In a decision published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on Nov. 1 last year, organizations were prevented from sponsoring refugees under the program for one year. The decision referred only to “serious concerns” which had to be examined.
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Quebec’s immigration minister did not expand on that to the news media.
Refugee advocacy groups lambasted the government for that decision.
Action Réfugiés Montréal executive director Paul Clarke reportedly told the French-language daily newspaper La Presse the province was tarring all refugee organizations with the same brush and described Quebec’s decision as unfortunate.
“They are using a hammer when they should be using a scalpel (to do a job which requires surgical precision),” he said in French.
Quebec Immigration To Hold Draw If More Than 750 Applications Received
The program, dubbed the Programme des personnes réfugiées à l’étranger (Parrainage collectif), will see the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI)hold a draw if the number of applications received by the cut-off date of May 5 is greater than 750.
Under the program, each sponsorship group can send a maximum of two applications but a Quebec citizen or permanent resident cannot be part of more than one sponsorship group.
The sponsors pledge themselves to provide for the basic needs of the candidate and his or her family for 12 months.
Those responsibilities include providing for:
- costs of getting settled in Quebec, including housing, furnishings, travel, food and clothing;
- expenses for health care, health services and drugs not covered or reimbursed by a public insurance plan, and;
- costs related to helping the candidate enter the job market or look for a job that are not covered by a government program.
The sponsor must also offer the candidate and his or her family help with integration, including:
- assistance in finding a job;
- help with school registration;
- support in accessing public services, and;
- support for participation in community life.
To qualify, the candidate must be a convention refugee or a member of the Country of Asylum Class.