Visa Crunch

About 90,000 essential migrant workers and overseas graduates now have a new path to permanent residency.

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, unveiled an ambitious road to permanent residency for over 90,000 essential workers working in a temporary capacity and foreign graduates who provide active contributions to the Canadian economy. He 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.”

These innovative public initiatives will allow permanent residency to migrant employees and foreign graduates who are already in Canada and who possess the expertise and experience needed to combat the pandemic and accelerate economic activity in the country, post pandemic. This latest pathway would concentrate on the migrant workforce employed in Canadian hospitals and long-term care homes, as well as those on the frontlines in other critical industries, as well as foreign graduates who will make an active contribution to the future of the economy of Canada.

To meet the eligibility requirements, staff must have at least one year of Canadian job experience in a health-care career or another pre-approved necessary occupation to be qualified. International graduates must have graduated from a qualifying Canadian post-secondary degree during the last four years, no sooner than January 2017. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will start accepting applications falling underneath the following three streams from May 6, 2021:

  • 20,000 applications for contract health care staff
  • 30,000 applications for temporary jobs in other critical positions.
  • 40,000 applications from foreign students who have graduated from a Canadian university.

The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until their capacity is reached. These three sources will admit up to 90,000 new permanent residents.

Since the fall, after unveiling the highest immigration targets Canada has ever seen, the immigration minister has been hinting at the possibility of promoting immigration for temporary residents. Mendicino said that the transition would be necessary to recover from a year of decreased immigration. Since Canada did not accept enough refugees in 2020, population growth slowed to pre-World War I rates.

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