LAO to help healthcare workers apply for permanent residence

Published: January 18, 2021

Refugee claimants who work as frontline healthcare workers may now be able to get help from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to apply for permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) started a new program called “Healthcare Workers Permanent Residence Pathway” in December 2020 to offer permanent residence to refugee claimants who have worked in specified frontline healthcare occupations during the COVID‑19 pandemic. The program is open to claimants waiting for their refugee hearing or who have received a negative refugee decision.

If someone qualifies for the IRCC program and meets LAO’s financial eligibility, LAO will pay a lawyer who accepts legal aid work to help them with their application.

Beginning January 18, 2021, clients can make applications for this legal aid certificate by calling 1‑800‑668‑8258 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For anyone who has had their refugee claim denied and who do not meet the new healthcare workers program requirements, they may be able to apply for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. Please contact LAO for more information.