As Canada continues the fight against the pandemic, immigration remains critical to economic recovery by addressing labour shortages and adding growth to the workforce. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced a new pathway to permanent residency for over 90,000 essential temporary workers and international graduates who are actively contributing to Canada’s economy.
The focus of this accelerated pathway will be on temporary workers employed in hospitals and long-term care homes and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international graduates who are driving the economy of tomorrow. In addition to workers in 40 healthcare occupations, these public policies also apply to 95 other essential jobs across a range of fields, such as caregiving and food production and distribution.
“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better. Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay,” says Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
To be eligible for the new pathway to permanent residency, workers must have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in a healthcare profession or another pre-approved essential occupation. International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last 4 years and no earlier than January 2017.
Starting May 6, 2021, IRCC will begin accepting applications under the following three streams:
- 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care
- 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations
- 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution
The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. Up to 90,000 new permanent residents will be admitted.
Additional streams for French-speaking or bilingual candidates
To promote Canada’s official languages, three additional streams with no intake caps have also been launched for French-speaking or bilingual candidates. Communities across Canada benefit from French-speaking and bilingual newcomers, and this pathway will contribute to the vitality of these Francophone minority communities.
These new policies would also help Canada get closer to achieving its 2021 Immigration Levels Plan target – to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents.