On April 14, 2021, Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced three new temporary streams for permanent residence for essential workers and international graduates who are already in Canada and contributing to the economy.

Two of the new streams apply to existing temporary workers in the health care sector and in other essential industries, and the third targets recent graduates from eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions. The policy will come into effect on May 6, 2021, and will end on November 5, 2021, or once the intake caps have been met.

The Temporary Policy Aims to Address Demographic Challenges

With the senior population increasing each year and birth rates down overall, it is expected that there will be only 2 working-age people for every senior in Canada by 2035. This is down from nearly 7 working-age residents per senior in the early 1970’s. If the trend continues, the financial burden to pay for public services such as health care and pension income may become too great to bear for future generations.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant decrease in the number of immigrants Canada was able to welcome in 2020. Last year, Canada saw just 185,130 immigrants; over 45% fewer people than in the previous year. To remedy this, the federal government has set a goal of welcoming 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, and these new streams will be a significant contributor to reaching that goal.

Further, the pandemic and the strain on various industries across the country over the past year has clearly demonstrated the importance of temporary workers in essential fields such as health care, retail, construction and manufacturing. In recognition of this, the Minister said:

The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with a 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.

Who Can Qualify for Permanent Residence Under Each of the New Streams?

Applicants will be eligible under three new streams, and must meet certain minimum criteria, including:

  • Applicants must be employed in Canada at the time of application.
  • Applicants must meet the minimum proficiency requirement in one of Canada’s official languages.
  • Applicants must reside in Canada and possess valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time of application and when it is approved
  • Applicants must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
  • Applicants must not be inadmissible for any reason under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “Act”) or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations”).

Specific criteria for each of the three streams is as follows (full eligibility details can be viewed by clicking on each of the streams below):

1. Temporary Health Care Workers

  • Intake cap of 20,000
  • Applicants must have the equivalent of at least one year of full-time experience, in Canada, in one of the specified health care occupations.

2. Temporary Workers in Other Essential Occupations

  • Intake cap of 30,000
  • Applicants must have the equivalent of at least one year of full-time experience, in Canada, in one of the designated essential occupations, which include retail, transportation, various trades, agriculture, and repair services.

3. Recent International Graduates from a Canadian Institution

  • Intake cap of 40,000
  • Applicants must have completed a program of study at a Canadian “Designated Learning Institution” no earlier than January 2017.
  • Applicants must have been granted one of the eligible credentials as part of the completion of their program of study, such as a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Applicants must have had the necessary authorization to complete their studies in Canada.

Three Additional Streams Created for French-Speaking or Bilingual Candidates

The IRCC has also created three additional streams for candidates who speak French or are bilingual, in order to contribute to Francophone minority communities in Canada. These streams and the eligibility criteria are similar to those set out above for essential workers and recent graduates, although there are no intake caps.

Eligibility for Family Members of Principal Applicants

Family members of principal applicants under each of the new streams, whether the family is in Canada or abroad, may also be eligible for permanent residence status if they meet the following criteria:

  • The family member must meet the definition of “family member” in subsection 1(3) of the Regulations.
  • The family member must not be inadmissible under the Act or the Regulations.
  • The principal applicant must have been found eligible for permanent residence under the new policy.
  • The principal applicant must have included the family member as an “accompanying family member” in their application for permanent residence.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Assistance with Permanent Residence Applications Under the New Public Policy

If you are having trouble navigating the various options and requirements, Garson Immigration Law has the experience and knowledge necessary to help guide you through the process of immigrating to Canada.

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We will review your eligibility under the new streams for permanent residence and ensure you are positioned for success with respect to your application. 

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law are continuing to monitor the immigration fallout in relation to COVID-19 on both sides of the border and will provide updates as the situation develops. If you have any questions about your potential classification as essential or about your options for immigration under changing public policy, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling us at 416-321-2860.

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