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Pathway to Permanent Residency for Refugee Claimants working on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

On August 14, 2020 the Canadian government announced a new program that will allow refugee claimants and refused refugees who work in the health-care sector during the Covid-19 pandemic to apply for Permanent Residency. This program applies to people who have been working in health-care institutions providing direct care to patients during the pandemic.

If your application for the program is granted, you and your family members would be granted Permanent Resident status. Read below to learn if you qualify and what steps you should be taking from now if you do.

Do I qualify?

In order to qualify for this program, you must meet all of the following requirements:

- Filed a refugee claim before March 13, 2020;

- Were issued a work permit when you applied for refugee status;

- Working in health-care sector or institution that provides health services to patients;

- Have worked for at least 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020 in certain occupations (i.e. orderlies, nurses, nurses’ aides, patient service associates, assistant orderlies and home support workers);

- Have 6 months of experience in one of the above occupations by August 31, 2021 (The 6-months of experience must be completed before you are granted PR status); and

- Be otherwise admissible to Canada

Further details have not yet been released. If you think you qualify for this program, we recommend that you keep proper and full records of your employment. You would need proof of your occupation (to make sure it falls under one of the qualifying occupations) and proof of number of hours worked.

Here are some examples of documents that would help:

- Pay-stubs;

- Income tax filings and related employment slips;

- Letter from your organization indicating that you are a frontline worker, with sufficient job details;

- Description of your job details;

- Any hourly time sheets;

- Anything else you receive from your employer that indicates hours and responsibilities.

When can I apply?

The government has not yet released the application forms. Our office will post an update to our Facebook page once the program is open. If you have any questions you may contact our office by email at or call 416-203-2899 ext. 30.

What if I have already made a claim for refugee status and it has been refused?

If your asylum claim has already been refused, you may still apply for PR status under this program. Please contact our office at the number below for more details.

What if I have another claim in place?

If you already have another application for status in place, such as a Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds application (H & C), you may still apply for this program.

If you believe you may qualify and would like to find out more information about the program or have any questions, please contact our office. Emails can be sent to or call 416-203-2899 ext. 30.

To receive updates about this program and other immigration/refugee matters, follow us on Facebook.

The Government of Canada announcement can be found here.


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