Darracott Osawe

A New Pathway for Refugee Claimants to Become Permanent Residents in Canada

In recent years, Canada has witnessed an influx of refugee claimants seeking protection from persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, and political opinion. The journey to being accepted as a “convention refugee” or a “person in need of protection” and eventually becoming a permanent resident in Canada is one fraught with thorns and thistles. Due to the sheer volumes of application for refugee protection, the system has become overwhelmed, leading to many refugee claimants living in limbo for several years while awaiting a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on their claims. The long wait can be agonizing and frustrating. Also, a negative decision on a refugee claim can be devastating and traumatic.

But fortune seems to have put a smile on the faces of hundreds of refugee claimants who worked in the Canadian healthcare sector during the Covid-19 Pandemic. In December 2020, the Canadian government announced a pathway for refugee claimants who risked their lives by working in some designated fields in the healthcare sector during the challenging period to becoming permanent residents. Subject to some criteria, refugee claimants who worked in the healthcare sector for a minimum of 120 hours between March 13 and August 14, 2020, are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada. More heartwarming is that all refugee claimants awaiting a decision or those whose applications failed are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the pathway. Also captured under the program are refugee claimants who, having exhausted all the legal processes afforded by the Canadian laws, have applied to be considered for permanent residency in Canada under the so-called “Humanitarian and Compassionate” grounds.

Full details of the program can be obtained by through the Government of Canada's website

To avoid mistakes that would lead to disqualification, it is advisable for eligible refugee claimants under this program to retain the services of immigration lawyers, consultants, and experts in completing their applications. Our team at Bagal Immigration wish eligible refugee claimants the best of luck as they explore this unique pathway to becoming permanent residents in Canada.