Special Program for Asylum Seekers during the COVID-19 Period
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Special Program for Asylum Seekers during the COVID-19 Period

In order to recognize the contribution of asylum seekers who provided direct care to the population during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Québec government has introduced the Special program for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 period (SPASCP), effective December 14, 2020.


The period to submit SPASCP applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) ended on August 31, 2021. If IRCC has confirmed your eligibility, then you can submit your application to the Ministère after that date.

You must have acquired the necessary work experience by August 31, 2021 at the latest, but you can subsequently send proof of this work experience to the Ministère.

Your 3-step process

To submit an application for permanent selection under the SPASCP, you must first have completed the steps to obtain permanent residency with the federal government under the Temporary Public Policy Concerning the Granting of Permanent Residency to Certain Foreigners Selected by Québec who are Working in the Healthcare Sector during the COVID-19 Pandemic before August 31, 2021.

If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirms your eligibility, you will receive a letter entitled: Pathway to permanent residency for asylum seekers working in the healthcare sector - Letter regarding your intention to reside in Québec during the COVID-19 period.

Once you have received the letter from the IRCC, you must:

  1. Download the form Application for permanent selection — Special program for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 period, using the link provided in the IRCC letter. Provide all the information required on the form and sign it.

  2. Assemble all the documents required, namely the ones that prove that you meet the selection conditions*. You can consult the list of documents that you must provide in the “General information” section of the permanent selection application form.

    You must not send your application for permanent selection to the Ministère before having accumulated the 750 hours of work required (omission of stipulated exceptions). These work hours must have been accumulated no later than August 31, 2021. Proof of your work experience can be sent to the Ministère at a later date.

  3. Send your application by mail to this address:
    Direction de l’enregistrement et de l’évaluation comparative
    Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
    285, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 4e étage
    Montréal (Québec)  H2Y 1T8

Following the processing of your application for selection, you will be informed of the Minister’s decision. If the decision is positive, you and the family members included in the application will receive the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) (Québec selection certificate). The Minister’s decision will also be sent to the IRCC for them to complete the processing of your application for permanent residence.

Do you need help to submit your application under the SPASCP?

As of December 15, you can get help carrying out the steps involved in the SPASCP process, free of charge, by making an appointment with one of the Ministère’s three partner organizations below. 

Follow the guidelines in the context of COVID-19: remember to wear a mask before going to your appointment, and make sure to follow the guidelines of the organizations you visit.


2030, boulevard Pie IX, bureau 309
Montréal (Québec) H1V 2C8
Telephone: 514-255-3900
Email: info@alpaong.com

Centre social d’aide aux immigrants

6201, rue Laurendeau
Montréal (Québec) H4E 3X8
Telephone: 514-932-2953
Email: csai@centrecsai.org

Maison d’Haïti

3245, avenue Émile-Journault
Montréal (Québec) H1Z 0B1
Telephone: 514-326-3022
Email: mhaiti@mhaiti.org

Questions and answers

Who is eligible for the program?

To be selected for the program, you must first obtain authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to submit an application for permanent residency in Canada, under its temporary public interest policy (TPIP). In accordance with this policy, you must meet the following three eligibility conditions:

  1. You are an asylum seeker awaiting a decision.


    You are a failed refugee claimant who applied for asylum in Canada before March 13, 2020.

  2. You obtained authorization to work in Canada under a work permit or an exemption from a work permit under section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.  

  3. You intend to settle in Québec.

If you are in one of the following situations, you may also obtain authorization to submit an application:

  1. You were the spouse or de facto spouse of a person who met conditions 1 and 2 above, but who contracted COVID-19 and died before applying for or obtaining permanent residency under the TPIP.

  2. You were residing in Canada before August 14, 2020, and plan to settle in Québec.

To be selected by Québec, you must have held an eligible job in Canada for at least 750 hours (accumulated full time or part time) no later than August 31, 2021, including at least 120 actual hours of work between March 13 and August 14, 2020.

Actual hours of work mean that you must have actually worked the number of hours you indicated on your application. Therefore, parental or medical leave must not be included in the calculation of the actual hours of work. The only possible exception is having to leave the workplace because you contracted COVID-19 or were part of a prevention measure.

Internships in the healthcare sector as part of a study program leading to an eligible job or to meet the requirements of a professional order related to an eligible job can be included in the hours required by the program.

If you are a widow or widower of an asylum claimant who held an eligible job in Canada between March 13 and August 14, 2020, and who died due to COVID-19, you could still be selected by Québec under the program.

What are the eligible jobs under this program?

The jobs held must correspond to one of the following professions, under the National Occupational Classification (NOC), in the healthcare sector:

  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors (NOC code 3011)
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC code 3012)
  • Allied primary health practitioners (NOC code 3124)
  • Licensed practical nurses (NOC code 3233)
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC code 3413)
  • Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations (NOC code 4412), only if they primarily involve one or several of the following duties:
    • Providing care for individuals during a period of incapacitation, convalescence or family disruption
    • Administering bedside and personal care to clients such as aid in ambulation, bathing, personal hygiene, dressing and undressing 
    • Providing routine healthcare, such as changing non-sterile dressings, assisting in the administering of medications and collecting specimens under the general direction of a home care agency or nurse

When should I submit a selection application under this program?

The deadline to apply for permanent residence with IRCC has been set for August 31, 2021.

If the IRCC considers your application eligible as part of the temporary public interest policy, you will receive a letter with information enabling you to submit an application for permanent selection in Québec under this program. If you meet the selection conditions, you can obtain a Québec selection certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec – CSQ) that will allow you to obtain permanent residency from the federal government.

If you submitted your application to IRCC by August 31, 2021, it will be processed by IRCC and the Ministère after that date.

Can the family of the applicant be included in the application?

Yes, the program is for principal claimants and their families living in Canada.

If you have family members abroad and would like to bring them to Québec, you can submit a sponsorship application under the family reunification program, once you have obtained your permanent residency, provided that the conditions are met.

Is there a maximum number of applications for this program?

No. There is no ceiling for this program.

What medical coverage do we receive once the application is submitted?

Asylum seekers benefit from the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) while their application for asylum is being processed. However, those having submitted applications under the Special program for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 period (SPASCP), have immediate access, without a waiting period, to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) (Québec health insurance) as soon as they receive the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) (Québec selection certificate) and the approval in principle letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

As soon as you receive those two documents, we invite you the initiate the steps with the RAMQ.

Is there an application fee?

No. There is no fee for submitting a selection application in Québec. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada charges a fee for processing applications for permanent residency.


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Last modification : 2021-09-01
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