Since the pandemic has shifted the world we live in, essential workers continue to provide exceptional and necessary services within Canada. Because of this, asylum claimants can now find a pathway for permanent residence in Canada. Suppose you are a pandemic worker who is seeking to work and live in Canada permanently. In that case, the following information will determine whether or not you are a qualified candidate for permanent residency.
Normal residency requirements and PR cards
For standard residency requirements and permanent resident card renewal, the process is two-fold. Here are the obligations for typical residency requirements and PR cards:
You must have lived in Canada for a minimum of two years (730 days) out of the past five years if you have had permanent residence for five + years. Or, you must have proof that you meet the two years/730-day requirement of physical presence in Canada. This date must be five years from when you became a permanent resident if you have been one for less than five years.
Qualifying criteria for PR for pandemic workers claiming asylum
If you are looking for permanent resident card renewal in Canada, you need to pass specific qualifying criteria. Here are the requirements for PR for pandemic workers claiming asylum:
- Claimed asylum before the date of March 13, 2020.
- Obtained a work permit after declaring asylum
- Had experience working in the healthcare industry or any institutions
- Worked for a minimum of 120 hours between the dates of March 13, 2020, and August 14, 2020.
- Has experience with any of the following positions: orderly, assistant orderly, nurse or aide, patient service associate, or home support worker.
- Work experience of at least six months (applicants have until August 31, 2021, for this qualifier)
- Be approved for admission to Canada (specifically in criminality, health, and security).
These new methods of obtaining permanent residency status take into account employment that was performed during specific dates. In other words, the prospective candidate should have experience working in the healthcare industry for a minimum of 120 hours between March 13, 2020, to August 14, 2020. This time-limit has been set because it reduces the likelihood of refugees starting work in fields as a loophole just so that it will increase their chance for permanent residency. In essence, they must have been working in this field for more than six months.
A pre-existing refugee claim
To discourage individuals from filing refugee claims within Canada, the pathway to permanent residency ensures that the claimant has filed before March 13, 2020. Also, these claimants must need to have been issued with a work permit. This process is generally performed at the beginning of the refugee process to respect Canada’s other immigration laws.
Furthermore, the program does not necessarily provide accommodations to workers who cared for individuals in a private setting. The person must be hired by an institution or company to be eligible.
Other excluded positions are healthcare workers with fewer healthcare skills, specifically security, food services, or maintenance.
Designated roles under this program
Here is a detailed list of designated roles under this program. These roles will be eligible for pandemic workers seeking permanent residence:
The positions must be in the following areas:
- Nursing coordinators and supervisors
- Registered nurses
- Registered psychiatric nurses
- Licensed practical nurses
- Nurse aids
- Patient service associates
- Certain home support workers
Excluded roles under this program
Even if you work in a healthcare environment, you may not necessarily qualify as an asylum seeker for this program. As previously mentioned, those individuals working in security, food services, and maintenance will not. Be eligible even if they are essential workers in other ways. Before applying to this program, be sure to carefully read the requirements to ensure that you are a qualified candidate.
Even with the stress of a pandemic, the Government of Canada has implemented strategies to help immigrants during these times. They have been prioritized when seeking their status since the government now has these measures in place. If you are looking to obtain permanent residence in Canada as a pandemic worker, be sure to carefully examine each previously mentioned detail to determine whether this program is right for you.