In our last blog as well as the April 2021 Lawyer’s Monthly issue we discussed the need for new immigration pathways that will help the government meet its ambitious targets while addressing Canada’s economic needs.
Today (April 14, 2021) the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the implementation of temporary public policies that create new temporary pathways to permanent residence for temporary workers in essential occupations, international students, and French speakers.
Amongst the programs announced are pathways that will allow international graduates who have completed an eligible program of study in Canada, as well as temporary workers in health care and/or select essential occupations, to apply for permanent residence. The Minister stated that the interim pathways are meant to ensure that Canada has the workers it needs to fuel its economic recovery.
The basic eligibility criteria for students as well the temporary foreign workers in essential occupations is provided below (we will discuss the specifics in future blogs):
At the time of their application, candidates must:
· hold temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore it)
· be present in Canada
· be authorized to work in Canada
· be currently working in Canada
· have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages
· meet general eligibility requirements of the stream they want to apply under
IRCC will accept applications under these policies from May 6, 2021 to November 5, 2021, or until a program stream has reached its cap. The application caps are as follows:
· 20,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in healthcare
· 30,000 applications for temporary foreign workers in other selected essential occupations
· 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution
The eligible NOC codes for foreign nationals in Canada, with recent Canadian work experience in essential occupations is very expansive including numerous NOC “C” & “D” positions, and can be reviewed here. While the eligibility conditions for international graduates are provided here.
It is important to note that essential workers and international graduates who can demonstrate a proficiency in French (by way of language test results) will not be subject to the overall cap. Threshold for French language proficient is CLB 4.0 for essential workers and CLB 5.0 of international graduates.
It is unclear how the programs will operate given that demand under the essential worker and international student streams will likely far exceed the cap.
Timing will play a critical role with respect to permanent residence applications under the new pathways. Contact our office to ensure you get the right immigration guidance in a timely manner.