For many individuals who move to Canada, the ultimate goal is to obtain permanent residence status. However, the process of obtaining permanent residence is not always straightforward, and it can take time to navigate the various pathways available.
In 2020, the Canadian government launched a temporary pathway for foreign nationals in Canada with experience in certain healthcare occupations. This pathway was introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed to provide a way for healthcare workers to apply for permanent residence as a way to recognize their significant contribution to Canada. Unfortunately, this pathway ended on August 31, 2021, and many refugees were unable to meet the strict time guidelines for applying and gaining the requisite experience.
This was a devastating blow to those who should have qualified and who worked during the second and third waves that were even more dangerous.
It was also a blow to those in occupations such as cleaners in hospitals and security guards in hospitals whose occupations were not included in the pathway.
However, during the federal election campaign in September 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to release a new pathway for healthcare workers. This was thought to be good news for foreign nationals who have been working in Canada’s healthcare system during the pandemic and were unable to qualify under the restricted provisions of the former healthcare workers Pathway.
However, the Federal Government has failed to deliver on its promise leaving thousands of failed refugee claimants with valuable skills stranded. Though the new pathway has not been announced, there is hope for many of you that are still seeking a pathway to permanent residence as a failed refugee claimant.
One of these Pathways is the humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application. This pathway is available to individuals who are in Canada and are not eligible for other immigration programs. To apply under this pathway, an individual must demonstrate that they would experience undue hardship if they were forced to leave Canada.
The H&C application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and takes into account the personal circumstances of the applicant, such as their ties to Canada, their family situation, the best interests of their children (if they have children), and their past experiences of persecution. The Federal Court of Canada has even acknowledged that the Officer must consider the applicant’s ability to meet the requirements of the pathway though not falling in the strict time parameters.
This pathway can be a great option for individuals who have been living in Canada for some time and have established roots, but do not qualify for other pathways to permanent residence. With the availability of the H&C application, there is a viable option available for many foreign nationals in Canada who are looking to make Canada their permanent home. Some lawyers in our office have a better than 80% success rate on these applications which make them an excellent alternative to the healthcare pathway.