Six New Permanent Residence Pathways
For Essential Workers, International Graduates, and French Speakers
On April 14, 2021, the Minister of Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship, Marco E. L. Mendicino, announced six new programs to achieve Permanent status in Canada. Three of these programs will help 90,000 essential workers and international graduates to become Canadian Permanent Residents. In addition, to support and assist the development of minority official language communities in Canada, the Government is promoting three identical streams with no intake cap for those with French language proficiency.
These streams will start accepting applications from May 6, 2021, until November 5, 2021, or once the applicable stream’s intake cap has been reached, whichever comes first. The exception to the cap will be the programs for French-speaking applicants. For all the six new streams, applicants must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec. They must also currently reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible for restoration). They also need to be physically present in Canada at the time the application is received and when the application is approved, and not be inadmissible to Canada.
A maximum of 40,000 applications will be accepted for international students who graduated from a Canadian educational institution. However, there is no intake cap for the French-speaking graduated students.
To be eligible as an international graduate (English or French), you must:
· Have completed a program of study at an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) prior to application and no earlier than January 2017.
· Have completed your studies under valid authorization (e.g. study permit).
· Be employed in Canada with a valid permit or authorization to work.
· Have attained a level of proficiency of at least CLB 5 in either official language for each of the four language skill areas. If applying under the French-speaking program, CLB 5 is required in all French Language skills.
Similarly, a maximum of 20,000 applications will be accepted for healthcare professions (Stream A) and a maximum of 30,000 applications will be accepted for other essential occupations (Stream B). To be eligible for these streams, the foreign workers must:
● Have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a healthcare profession or another pre-approved essential occupation (See Annexes A and B for more details).
● Have been working under valid authorization (work permit or authorization to work without work permit)
● Have attained a level of proficiency of at least CLB 4 in either official language for each of the four skill areas. If applying under the French-speaking program, CLB 4 is required in all French Language skills.
Details on how to apply will be added to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website soon. A more detailed explanation of the eligibility requirements is available within the relevant public policies.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted foreign nationals’ contribution to Canada and the necessity of ensuring the workforce to support Canada’s economic recovery. These policies will benefit those workers with experience in essential occupations and those international graduates who are already employed and contributing to Canada’s economy. These policies will also benefit francophone workers outside Quebec and support the Government of Canada’s official language objectives. These policies are part of the government’s efforts to increase francophone immigration outside of Quebec and support economic growth and long-term prosperity throughout the country.
Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner, and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in corporate immigration, temporary permits, and all types of permanent residence applications for professionals and entrepreneurs.