- We are working with IRCC to determine how IRB can best support the objectives of this program at an operational level.
If pressed on whether accepting to “hold the claims/appeals” would impact the IRB’s independence:
- The adjudication process of the IRB is completely independent. IRB does collaborate with partners to support Government objectives.
This shared responsibility is operationalized throughout various governance mechanisms, including a Memorandum of Understanding between IRCC, CBSA and the IRB.
- On August 14, 2020, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced a temporary measure (i.e. “the public policy”) aimed at providing a pathway to permanent residency for asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the pandemic (Link).
- To qualify, individuals must meet all of the following criteria:
- have claimed asylum before March 13, 2020, and continued to reside in Canada when their application for PR was made;
- were issued a work permit after they made a claim for asylum;
- have worked in the health-care sector, providing direct patient care in hospitals, public or private long-term care homes, home care through an organization or agency, assisted living facilities, or residential health care services to seniors and persons with disabilities in private homes;
- have worked in a designated occupation (i.e. nurse, nurses’ aides, patient service associates and certain home support workers) for a minimum of 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020;
- demonstrate six months or 750 hours of experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent residence (applicants will have until August 31, 2021, to acquire this experience);
- meet existing admissibility requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health; and
- For Quebec applicants, they will have to provide a “Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)”, if wishing to reside in that province.
- While the public policy is of national scope, to date, only Quebec has confirmed its intention to move forward. Discussions are ongoing with the province to finalize details, including possible exceptions to work experiences such as illness, maternity leave and specifications under designated National Occupation Classifications.
- We are working with IRCC to determine how to support this program. A request to de-prioritize pending claims and appeals will be officially made under the MOU.
- At the request of IRCC, the IRB could ‘de-prioritize’ – or in other words hold
- the scheduling of pending refugee claims and appeals of individuals who apply for permanent residence under this public policy.
- IRCC would provide IRB with information about persons who have applied to the public policy and who have a pending refugee claim or refugee appeal at the IRB.
- These individuals would not go through the adjudication process while awaiting a decision on permanent residency under the public policy.
- If an individual is refused under the public policy, IRB would resume processing their files. If they are approved, they would be asked to withdraw their claims in order to be granted permanent residence
- The intake of applications was originally set to begin on November 30. Given that discussions are still ongoing with Quebec and that Ministerial approval of the policy has yet to be confirmed, a new tentative date of early December has been identified.