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Quebec offers immigration pathway to “Guardian Angels”

Kareem El-Assal

Alexandra Miekus

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Quebec is thanking its “guardian angels” by providing them with a pathway to permanent residence. 

The province’s immigration minister Nadine Girault has just announced that a new immigration program will be available to asylum seekers who have provided health care assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Special Program for Asylum Seekers During COVID-19 is available to eligible individuals currently awaiting a decision on their refugee status as well as those who have had their refugee claim refused. 

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be eligible: 

  • They must have been employed in an eligible health-related job and provided direct patient care between March 13, 2020, and August 14, 2020, for at least 120 hours;
  • They must have acquired the equivalent of a least six months of full-time or 750 hours of part-time or full-time work experience in Quebec before or during the period of application of the immigration program in a public or private health institution or a company that specializes in-home care; and 
  • They must have met all the listed conditions at the latest by August 31, 2021.

Here is a list of admissible occupations: 

  • Nursing coordinators and nursing supervisors (NOC code 3011)
  • Registered nurses (NOC code 3012)
  • Licensed practical nurses (NOC code 3233)
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC code 3413)
  • Home support workers (NOC code 4412 related to direct personal care)

Workplaces considered eligible under this new program include those in the public sector, such as hospitals, CLSCs, rehabilitation centres, CHSLDs, as well as those in the private sector, including private homes for the elderly or private home care providers.

Since the start of the pandemic, asylum seekers in Quebec have been on the front lines to fight COVID-19 in residential and long-term care homes in Quebec, as well as other health care facilities. They have helped to alleviate worker shortages in health care occupations. 

As a result, Quebec Premier François Legault asked Quebec’s immigration ministry to work with the federal government to provide “guardian angels” with a pathway to immigration. 

“The program we are presenting to you is the result of constructive collaboration between the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada” said Minister Girault.

“We can now take concrete action to recognize the participation and contribution of those who have sought asylum in the collective effort to care for the sick and the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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