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The Application Window For Québec Refugee Collective Sponsorship Program Closes

The one-month period that was given for organizations in Québec to apply to sponsor refugees is now over. the former  Immigration Minister of Quebec Nadine Girault announced in October last year that the province would be accepting sponsorship applications under Quebec’s Collective Sponsorship program from January 18, 2022 and run through to February 16, 2022.

The application closed last week as the deadline came and went.

The province is now advising all organizations that applied to sponsor a refugee that they could not change anything in their applications on the Arrima Express Entry-style online platform.

The Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration stated in French on its website that “the minister of immigration, francization and integration could be proceed to undertake one or several draws if the number of applications submitted and admissible exceeds the maximum number of applications that are allowed from sponsors.”

825 sponsored refugees will be accepted in Québec this year

The immigration department of Québec announced late last year that it would be accepting 825 applications for the sponsorship of refugees in 2022 including 400 from organizations and 425 from groups of two to five people.

In the case where immigration officials receive more applications than the target, the province will hold a random draw to select those applications it will consider.

In the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) figures that were released last week, it showed that Québec welcomed 1,610 refugees last year which was lower than the 6.9 percent that was welcomed in 2020.

In 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19, the province welcomed 4,815 refugees,

The announcement that Québec would resume its Collective Sponsorship program was greatly welcomed last year by non-profits in the province.

The Gazette Officielle du Québec in November, 2020 published a decision barring organizations from sponsoring refugees for one year. The decision referred only to serious concerns which had to be examined. At that time, the immigration minister of the province had not expanded on that to the news media and refugee advocacy groups criticized the government for that decision.

The Action Refugies Montreal executive director Paul Clarke reportedly then told the French-language daily newspaper La Presse the province was tarring all refugee organization with the same brush and described Quebec’s decision as unfortunate.

He spoke in French saying “they are using a hammer when they should be using a scalpel.”

Quebec’s issues with the sponsorship of refugees by organizations under that program, officially known as the Programme des personnes refugiees a l’ etranger (Parrainage collectif), was resolved late last year.

Girault spoke in French in October saying “we have reached an important milestone in our collective sponsorship program in terms of ensuring the protection and well-being of refugees as we receive them here in the very welcoming society that is Québec.

In ensuring the integrity of the program, Québec has banned organizations that have submitted false or misleading information in the previous two years from being able to sponsor refugees in the coming year.

Sponsorship groups can send a maximum of two applications but a Québec citizen or permanent resident cannot be a part of more than one sponsorship group. Those sponsors have confirmed that they would provide the basic needs of the candidate and his or her family for 12 months.

The responsibilities of the sponsor would be:

  • To provide for the costs of getting settled in Québec; expenses like housing, furnishings, travel, food and clothing.
  • To provide for costs related to helping the candidate enter the job market or look for a job that are not covered by a government program
  • To provide for expenses for healthcare, health services and drugs not covered or reimbursed by a public insurance plan

The sponsor must also offer the candidate and his or her family assistance with settling and integrating into the province like:

  • Providing assistance in finding a job
  • Providing support in accessing public services
  • Providing support for participating in community life
  • Helping in school registration.

For you to be eligible for the program, you must be a convention refugee or a member of the country of Asylum Class.  

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