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Canada launching 6 new immigration programs for international graduates,essential workers and French

IRCC introducing pathways for 90,000 international student graduates and essential workers in Canada to become permanent residents, plus an unlimited number of French-speaking applicants. IRCC has also held an Express Entry draw today.

Essential workers, international student graduates and French speakers in Canada will have six new pathways to permanent residency this May.

Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, announced the new programs that will pave the way for 90,000 new immigrants to get permanent status this year through three of the streams. The other three of the streams for French-speaking immigrants will have no intake cap.

The new programs will be for temporary workers employed in hospitals and long-term care homes, and those on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international student graduates from Canadian educational institutions.

As of May 6, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications under the following three streams:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care

  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations

  • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian educational institution


The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. These new public policies apply to workers in 40 healthcare occupations, as well as 95 other essential jobs across a range of fields, like caregiving and food production and distribution.

To be eligible, workers need at least one year of Canadian work experience in a healthcare profession or another pre-approved essential occupation. International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last four years, and no earlier than January 2017.

Graduates and workers must have proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages; meet general admissibility requirements; and be present, authorized to work and working in Canada at the time of their application to qualify.

“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,” Mendicino said in a media release. “Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay.”

Express Entry draws targeting domestic candidates

One of the ways Canada has been working toward achieving the 2021 target is by inviting very large numbers of immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence, who are living in Canada during a pandemic. About every two weeks since the start of the year, Canada has held Express Entry draws that only target candidates who are eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or who have previously been nominated through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Express Entry is the main way Canada welcomes economic class immigrants as it comprises over one-quarter of Canada’s annual newcomer admissions.

On February 13, Canada invited every CEC-eligible candidate from the Express Entry pool, a total of 27,332 candidates. This was by far the largest and most historic draw since Express Entry launched in January 2015. Before this draw, the most Express Entry candidates IRCC ever invited at one time was 5,000. The immigration department said the reason for the draw was part of an effort to help more immigration candidates who were working in Canada to stay in Canada. About 90 per cent of CEC candidates are already in Canada, meaning they will not be affected by travel restrictions, and they might not have the same difficulties in getting all their documents together compared to overseas applicants.

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