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Research report

Settlement trajectories of asylum seekers in Québec

This study documents the settlement trajectories of asylum seekers who arrived in Québec in 2017–2018. It explores the challenges they face and the alignment of their needs and the services provided by the public and community sectors.

Among these asylum seekers, 59.8% of applications will be accepted in 2017–2020, paving the way to citizenship. It is therefore all the more important to implement measures to foster their integration and that of their children in terms of francization, employment, education and living conditions.

Asylum seekers wantsto work: 90% of adults are between the ages of 18 and 50, 94.0% applied for a work permit and 72.8% earned a postsecondary degree. The lack of recognition of studies, professional experience and access to training hinder their integration on the job market. The lack of access to subsidized daycare constitutes another major obstacle to employment and francization that especially burdens women. Of the respondents, 61.1% did not have enough money to meet their basic needs, and 41.6% experienced food insecurity.

We suggest a change in perspective in three key areas:

• Promote the integration of asylum seekers and specifically facilitate francization and access to employment that matches their skillsets;
• Facilitate the process for asylum seekers who want to settle outside Montréal after a period of adaptation in the city to assess their needs and skills and provide them with guidance;
• Foster the well-being of asylum seekers’ children through targeted measures to help families overcome poverty and access subsidized child care


Main researcher
Jill Hanley, McGill University

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