Canada continues to anticipate welcoming a record number of immigrants into the country throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Canada is expected to soon begin welcoming up to 500,000 immigrants by 2025, according to the most recent 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan. However, recent policy decisions will impact the number of permanent residents Canada welcomes in the coming years.

In March 2023, the Canadian Government made various policy changes which will impact immigrants arriving in Canada. These changes included an amendment to the Safe Third Country Agreement impacting refugees arriving in Canada through unofficial border crossings, in addition to a new pathway announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which will be introduced as part of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, allowing more immigrants to come to Canada.

The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot

The Canadian Government created the Economic Mobility Pilot Pathway to help skilled refugees immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs and help support Canadian labour market needs. 

The program combines refugee resettlement with economic immigration, allowing for the humanitarian and financial goals of immigration to be accomplished through one integrated program. This Pathway gives Canadian employers access to a new source of potential employees who can fill existing job openings. 

In 2021, the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot program helped settle approximately 500 skilled refugees and their families in Canada as part of the second phase of the Pilot. In turn, this helped several Canadian industries overcome severe labour shortages.

Program Provides Support and Resources to Newcomers

One key feature of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot is that it helps qualifying newcomers get into Canada and supports them beyond their arrival alone. 

The program helps newcomers access a range of services and supports, including, among other things:

  • language training;
  • pre-arrival services;
  • employment coaching; and
  • assistance with skills recognition and credentialing. 

Further, program applicants are eligible to have the fees associated with biometrics, pre-departure medical assessments, and applications waived. Those who are selected as part of the program are also given access to loans that they can use to meet the financial requirements for coming to Canada.

Eligibility for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot 

To be eligible to come to Canada under the Economic Mobility Pathways, Pilota refugee must:

  • be a Convention or country of asylum refugee;
  • be outside Canada and their country of persecution;
  • have no durable solution in the country they are living in; and
  • have a document that shows their refugee status, such as:
    • a valid, positive Refugee Status Determination,
    • proof that they are an asylum seeker abroad, registered or recorded by the hosting state, or
    • proof that they are registered as a person of concern by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Applicants must otherwise be admissible to Canada and must be eligible for one of the economic immigration programs included as part of the Pilot. This requires an applicant to have:

  • sufficient English or French language skills;
  • education or job training/ work experience; and
  • a job offer from a Canadian employer for full-time work.

Options to Immigrate to Canada through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot Program

Applicants can apply on their own to the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot. However, there are various methods of assistance available to applicants. 

The Canadian Government has partnered with seven different non-governmental organizations which help refugees come to Canada through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot. These non-governmental organizations help by identifying refugees who may qualify while abroad and working with participating Canadian partners to connect refugees with Canadian employers nationwide. British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon have all agreed to participate as part of the program through the Provincial Nominee Program

Applicants can also apply through the Atlantic Immigration Program or the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in addition to the Provincial Nomination Programs. The Atlantic Immigration Program provides a pathway to permanent residence for those who want to live and work in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was created in order to help spread economic immigration to smaller Canadian communities. The number of immigrants accepted under these programs is much smaller than the number of applicants accepted as part of the Provincial Nomination Program.

Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot Program Expansion in 2023

In March 2023, it was announced that Canada would launch a new economic pathway under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot in order to help Canadian employers hire those in need of asylum. The government announcement indicated that the new program will help employers hire people to fill a wide array of jobs that are currently needed in Canada, such as:

  • nurse aides;
  • personal support workers;
  • long-term care aides;
  • software engineers;
  • web designers;
  • mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians; 
  • teachers;
  • tourism and hospitality workers; and
  • truck and delivery service drivers.

This expansion will allow 2,000 qualified refugees to be accepted as part of the new Pathway – a significant increase from the 500 allocated in 2021. The announcement also included information about how the Pathway will be easier to apply for, and applications will be considered more quickly than in the past. Further, there will be increased funding for partner organizations in order to make it easier for qualified candidates to apply for the Pathway.

More information on the Pathway is expected to be released later this year.

Contact the Immigration Lawyers at Garson Immigration Law in Toronto for Advice on Immigration Pathway Programs

At Garson Immigration Law, our skilled lawyers are exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We work with clients to guide them through the immigration process while keeping an eye on changing immigration regulations to ensure that clients understand all of their options when seeking to immigrate to Canada. We pride ourselves on finding robust legal solutions to the most challenging immigration situations for businesses and individual clients. Our firm assists with a wide variety of immigration matters, such as permanent residence applications, citizenship, work and study permits, and U.S. immigration. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, please call 416-321-2860 or contact us online.

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