The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec (RAMQ) is the health insurance board of the government in Quebec. This body helps temporary foreign workers in Quebec to recover any hospital costs they have incurred while they are at work in Canada. But if a temporary worker applies for an extension of his/her temporary Canada work visa, he/she could stay back on an implied status. This means the decision on their visa renewal is pending.
While living in an implied status, these workers will not get the benefits provided by RAMQ as per Quebec rules. Currently, owing to the COVID-19 crisis, the processing delay at different levels of the Canada immigration process is seen. This delays the workers’ visa renewal and affects their assured wellbeing in Quebec.
After considerable voicing of the temporary foreign workers’ (TFW) plight due to this situation, the Canadian government has finally acted to their benefit. As of 29th April 2020, the TFW’s with work permits expiring without the chance of renewal because of processing delays will continue to get RAMQ benefits. The processing delays are due to COVID-19 preventive measures implemented by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
So, from now, all TFWs living in Quebec with an implied status will be eligible for a 6-month extended medical coverage provided by the RAMQ.
For getting this benefit, the TFWs must contact the RAMQ and fill and submit an extension form. They should attach a copy of the previous work permit. This should be accompanied by a letter from the IRCC that confirms the receipt of the request for extension of the current work permit. Photographs aren’t required with the application though.
The RAMQ cards that the TFWs will receive will be valid for 6 months. Even accompanying family members can be given health coverage. This measure is helpful to those workers who already have RAMQ coverage.
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