Refugee claimants are being recognized for the hard work and danger they faced working in seniors’ residences and hospital during the pandemic. (iStock)

Refugee health care workers can soon apply for permanent residence

The Canadian government announced it 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 December 14, 2020.

The government came under pressure to admit such workers in recognition of the contribution they have made during the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been protests that refugee claimants who worked in other essential services are not included in this special measure to grant asylum seekers permanent residence. Some were in the food distribution or agriculture sectors.

Many residences for seniors in Canada have had outbreaks of COVID-19 infections. (CBC)

Some spouses, partners of deceased may apply

Many refugee claimants work in seniors’ residences where there have been number outbreaks of infection among residents and staff. Many work in hospitals, too. Some have died.

Because of that, spouses and common-law partners of those who succumbed to the virus may be granted permanent residence if they arrived in Canada before August 14, 2020. 

As well, applicants’ internship experience will be considered, on condition that it is an essential part of a post-secondary study program or vocational training program in one of the occupations designated by the government. 

Quebec province has separate immigration, refugee system

Those who wish to apply must submit their application to the Canadian government department called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The department will determine whether they meet the criteria. If they do, and they live in the province of Quebec, their application will be turned over to that government. Quebec is the only province in Canada that manages its own immigration matters.

“Today, we recognize the dedication of the many asylum seekers who have raised their hand to serve as we live through a unique and unprecedented situation,” said Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Canadians are appreciative of asylum seekers and the work they are doing during the pandemic. Thanks to this special measure, we are recognizing their significant contribution by providing them with a more secure future in Canada.”

Categories: Immigration & Refugees, Society
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