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The CSAI offers support to asylum seekers, particularly in their process of obtaining a work permit. In addition, thanks to the support of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), since June 2018, the CSAI has been offering support in finding housing.

Help in finding housing for asylum seekers

Quebec is a land of welcome for the thousands of people who are granted refugee status following a claim for asylum in Canada. 

The CSAI is funded by the MIFI to offer asylum seekers a service to help them find housing. The CSAI workers provide information, support and accompaniment. Advice is provided on topics such as the housing search, the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and the role of the Tribunal administrative du logement.  

Prior to the pandemic, workers were present two days a week at the Victoria Hospital’s temporary shelter, where many asylum seekers were housed in the first weeks of their arrival. They were also present at the YMCA shelter on Tupper Street.  

Due to the health crisis related to COVID-19, services at the shelters have been suspended. However, we have remained available by phone. The current shortage of decent and affordable housing continues to make it very difficult to find housing, especially for asylum seekers, as they do not yet have a work permit, therefore no job, references, guarantors nor credit history.

Our services

  • Assistance in finding housing 
  • Support in obtaining a work permit
  • Social and cultural activities, in collaboration with community organizations 
  • Help and support for families 

Collaboration with our partners

  • Training offer on immigration and integration of refugees and immigrants 
  • Support for school personnel 

Le Programme spécial des demandeurs d'asile en période de COVID-19 (PSDAPC)

On December 14, 2020, a special program came into effect that allows asylum seekers who worked on the front lines with the sick and elderly during the first wave of COVID-19 to apply for permanent residence.  

This program aims to thank these individuals (nicknamed “guardian angels”) by allowing them to obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) which will give them access to permanent residence. It is a collaborative effort between the federal and provincial governments, and applications will be accepted from December 14, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Individuals who require support to properly complete all steps of the process can call the CSAI to make an appointment with a counsellor. 

Selection requirements: 

  • Have worked in Quebec in an eligible occupation for at least 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020, in a public or private health institution or for a social economy company or a private company in home care 
  • Have acquired, in Quebec, the equivalent of at least six months of full-time or 750 hours of part-time or full-time work experience, before or during the period of application of the immigration program in a public or private health institution or for a social economy company or private company in home care
  • Have met all of the above conditions by August 31, 2021 

Eligible Occupations:

  • Coordinators and supervisors in nursing care (NOC code 3011); 
  • Registered nurses (NOC code 3012); 
  • Licensed practical nurses (NOC code 3233); 
  • Beneficiary attendants, nurse aides, and health care aides (NOC code 3413); 
  • Home support workers (in one of the eligible occupations in NOC code 4412 related to direct patient care). 

Eligible workplaces:

  • Public sector establishments: hospitals, CLSCs, rehabilitation centers, CHSLDs, etc. 
  • Private sector establishments: private CHSLDs with or without a contract, private residences for the elderly (RPAs), intermediate resources and family-type resources (RIRTFs), social economy companies and private home care companies