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Government comes to the rescue of immigrants experiencing financial hardship

The Canadian government has introduced different measures aimed at alleviating the hardship that has been caused to Canadian citizens including immigrants as a result of the global pandemic.

The introduction of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) earlier in March by the Canadian government was aimed at providing temporary income support worth $2,000 monthly to people who have been impacted by the current global pandemic.  The program will cease at the end of September thereby bringing the total number of duration the benefits lasted to a total of 28 weeks.

Just like Canadian citizens, immigrants including international students as well as temporary foreign workers must meet the same requirements to enjoy this benefit as well as other government emergency benefits. All those that are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) can apply for this program. However, with the end of the program in view, the government has proposed three new programs for those who may continue to face hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this will likely start by September 27.

The first program is the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) which is aimed at primarily supporting all those who do not qualify for an EI and are searching for jobs with little or no financial support. This program will give out $400 per week for a total of 26 weeks

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is another program proposed by the Canadian government which seeks to financially support all individuals who cannot continue work as a result of caregiving responsibility they have to carry out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals must prove that they are taking care of a child whose school has closed as a result of the pandemic or they are looking after a family member with a disability whose care home is closed due to the pandemic or they are taking care of a child or aged loved one who has been advised by a medical professional to stay at home due to a higher risk of exposure and negative effect of the virus on the health of such person. The CRCB will give out $500 per week on a family basis for a duration of 26 weeks.

The last program is the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and it is intended to support all health workers who fall ill or needs to self – isolate as a result of the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The worker will be paid $500 per week for a duration of two weeks.

International students as well as other new immigrants were allowed to freely access the CERB without restrictions imposed by show of valid work or study permit or a confirmation email. This move which was introduced by the government in May was geared towards ensuring that international students and new immigrants were given a warm rather than hostile welcome into Canada.

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