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Amnesty program allowed 8500 undocumented healthcare workers to stay in Canada

A temporary amnesty program allowed more than 8,500 undocumented foreign health care workers and their families to remain in Canada, according to Department of Immigration figures. The “guardian angels” program was a pandemic necessity, officials said.

“Over 8,500 individuals have received permanent residence through this pathway which includes family members,” said a November 9 department briefing note Undocumented Workers. The program is no longer accepting applicants.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Guardian Angels was introduced Dec. 14, 2020 following labour shortages so severe cabinet called out the army to help staff nursing homes in Ontario and Québec. None of the foreign medical workers had a legal right to stay in Canada, though only a small undisclosed number crossed the border illegally.

“An undocumented migrant is an individual who has no authorization to reside or work in Canada,” wrote staff. “The majority become undocumented by falling out of status when they cannot meet eligibility criteria for existing immigration programs after lawfully entering Canada and have overstayed their authorized period of stay.”

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