IRCC announces opening date of special measures for refugee claimants working in health care during the pandemic

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Recognizing the considerable contribution and sacrifice health-care workers have made in Canada throughout the pandemic, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today that on December 14, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications for permanent residence from refugee claimants who work in Canada’s health-care sector and provide direct care to patients.

On August 14, 2020, Minister Mendicino announced the Government’s intention to implement this special measure. Two temporary public policies have since been developed—one for refugees living in Canada outside Quebec, and the other for refugee claimants residing in Quebec. Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has sole responsibility for the selection of economic immigrants and resettled refugees destined to the province.

Further to the criteria to qualify announced in August, and in recognition that there may be refugee claimants who contracted COVID-19 and subsequently passed away, spouses and common-law partners of these individuals who are in Canada and arrived before August 14, 2020, may also be granted permanent residence under this public policy.

In addition, applicants’ internship experience (both paid and unpaid) will be considered, as long as it is an essential part of a post-secondary study program or vocational training program in one of the designated occupations. An internship performed as part of a professional order requirement in one of the designated occupations will also be considered.

To apply, applicants residing across Canada (outside Quebec) must submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC. The department will assess eligibility and ensure that admissibility requirements are met. Applicants may then be granted permanent residence.

Applicants residing in Quebec must first submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC. Once IRCC has determined they meet the requirements, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec will validate whether the applicants meet the requirements under the Special program for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 period and will issue a Quebec Selection Certificate. IRCC will grant permanent residence to applicants once all eligibility requirements are met.

Applications will be accepted from December 14, 2020, until August 31, 2021. In-Canada family members of the principal applicant can be included on the application. All applicants will be required to meet existing admissibility requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health.

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