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When the Canadian economy ground to a halt during the Covid pandemic, essential workers in areas such as health, trucking, retail, and agriculture continued to work tirelessly to help their communities.

Recognizing that many of these essential service positions were occupied by temporary workers and international graduates, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) initiated an immigration pathway that will allow more than 90,000 foreign nationals already living in the country to gain Canadian permanent residency.

In addition to validating the essential service these foreign nationals provided, this initiative will also get Canada closer to reaching its goal of welcoming 400,000 newcomers this year. Immigration slowed significantly during the pandemic, and now it’s time to catch up. Canada‚Äôs population is rapidly ageing; without sufficient immigration maintaining public services and filling employment vacancies will become increasingly difficult.

Who Can Apply Under This Permanent Resident Pathway?

As of May 6, 2021, IRCC will open applications for Canadian permanent residency from temporary workers and international graduates already living in Canada.

There will be two application streams for temporary workers with experience in:

  • 40 healthcare-related professions including registered nurses, dentists, and pharmacists (20,000 applicants)
  • 95 selected essential services, including cashiers, courier service drivers, plumbers, agricultural workers, and cleaners (30,000 applicants)

And one stream for:

  • international graduates (40,000) who have graduated from a qualifying 8 months or more program within the last four years (before 2017) and be currently living and working in Canada

The program will be accepting applications until November 5, 2021, or until 90,000 applicants are received, which comes first. As an incentive for promoting the French language in Canada, an additional three streams have been opened without limits for bilingual (English/French) and French-speaking foreign nationals.

Eligibility Requirements

Interested temporary workers must have 1-year of Canadian work experience in one of the eligible categories. They must also:

  • Be employed in one of the qualifying categories at the time the application is submitted.
  • Possess language benchmark skill level 4 in either official language across all four language abilities (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
  • Be currently living in Canada with a valid temporary resident status (or the ability to restore their status)
  • Intend to live in Canada (outside Quebec)

How to apply

Applications for this immigration pathway must be submitted online. The applicant must demonstrate that they are residing and physically present in Canada at the time of application. Candidates must also not be inadmissible to Canada.

If you require assistance in navigating the application process for this limited program before the deadline for submission, the immigration consultants at Elaar Immigration can help. This is an unprecedented opportunity for temporary workers and international graduates to gain permanent residency, one that should not be missed.

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