New Pathways to Permanent Residence for In-Country Essential Workers and International Graduates

At a Glance

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced new pathways to permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates who are currently in Canada and actively contributing to the Canadian economy.
Eligible applicants will be able to submit applications from May 6, 2021 through November 5, 2021 or until all spots are filled, for a maximum of 90,000 new permanent residents.
Also, additional permanent residency streams will be launched for French-speaking or bilingual applicants in May, under the same eligibility requirements. These will not be subject to a quota.
Eligible foreign nationals will have an additional route to transition to permanent residence in Canada.

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced new pathways to permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates who are currently in Canada and actively contributing to the Canadian economy.

A closer look

  • Eligibility for essential workers. Workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a listed health care profession or another pre-approved occupation considered essential by the Canadian government, including cashiers, contractors and supervisors in certain electrical and construction trades, and transportation workers, among many others.
  • Eligibility for international graduates. International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last four years and no earlier than January 2017.
  • Number and type of applications accepted. These streams will start receiving applications on May 6, 2021 and will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until all spots are filled. There are 90,000 spots to be filled:
    • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care;
    • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other select essential occupations; and
    • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution.
    • Application process. The government is expected to publish information on the application process soon.
  • Additional streams launched for French-speaking applicants. In order to promote Canada’s official languages, three additional streams, with the same eligibility requirements, have been launched for French-speaking candidates who reside outside Quebec. Eligible candidates will be able to start applying on May 6, 2021, as with the other pathways; however, there is no limit on the number of applicants who will be accepted under these programs.

Impact

Essential workers as well as eligible international graduates currently in Canada can benefit from these policies and transition to permanent residence without the need to depart Canada.

In Canada, permanent residence offers benefits such as access to public health care; the ability to live, work or study anywhere in Canada; and the ability to eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.

Background

  • COVID-19 recovery. As Canada seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has encouraged addressing labor shortages through immigration as a central part of Canada’s economic recovery. These new permanent residence pathways target workers whose skills and talents are specifically needed in the country and provide an incentive for these workers to remain in the country.
  • Global trend. During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration policies were quickly deployed for essential workers to bypass travel bans and strict health requirements. A key example is in Europe, where 17 countries (out of 48 surveyed in March 2021) have entry ban exemptions for  medical/healthcare/essential workers. In Canada, the government granted permanent residence for certain refugee claimants working in the health care sector.
  • 2021 Immigration Levels Plan. The new pathways will also help the country reach the targets set out in the 2021 Immigrations Level Plan of 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of 2021.

Looking Ahead

The new permanent resident pathways show Canada’s continued commitment to expanding immigration in the country as a source of economic recovery.

Source: fragomen.com
Published: 15 April 2021

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