April 21, 2021
New Pathways to Permanent Residence for Foreign Workers in Canada
In light of the extended border closures and challenges in admitting new permanent residents from overseas, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) announced two new time-limited public policies to facilitate the granting of permanent residence for essential workers in Canada on 14 April 2021. This article provides a brief review of the temporary policies.
Policy One – Temporary Workers in Essential Occupations
A foreign worker must have at least one year of full-time work experience (or, the equivalent in part-time experience) in Canada, in an eligible occupation listed in Annex A or Annex B. The work experience must have been obtained in the three years preceding the date when the application for permanent residence is received.
Annex A primarily relates to health care occupations. Annex B lists other eligible occupations (e.g., sales support occupations, industrial, electrical and construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers and material handlers, transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations, trades helpers, construction labourers, harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourers), including many “low-skilled” occupations as defined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
There are two streams under this policy:
- Stream A: the required work experience must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in Annex A. There is an intake cap of 20,000 applications for Stream A.
- Stream B: the required work experience must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in Annex B, or a combination of experience from occupations in Annex A and Annex B. There is an intake cap of 30,000 applications for Stream B.
At the time that the application is received by the IRCC, the applicant must be employed in Canada in any occupation, not limited to those listed occupations. The applicant must have obtained at least CLB 4 in either English or French language, and the language evaluation should be less than two years old.
Policy Two – French-speaking Workers in Essential Occupations
The qualifying work experience requirements are the same as Policy One mentioned above. An applicant must be employed in Canada in any occupation at the time that his or her application is received by the IRCC. The applicant must have obtained at least CLB 4 in French, and the language evaluation should be less than two years old. There is no intake cap to this policy.
For both programs, work experience must have been obtained with valid authorization. An applicant must reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status and be physically present in Canada at the time the application is received and when the application is approved. The applicant must also intend to reside outside of Quebec.
Family members of a principal applicant who applies under these policies are eligible to be granted permanent residence if certain conditions are met, whether they are in Canada or residing overseas.
The policies will be effective on 6 May 2021 and will end on 5 November 2021, or once the intake cap of the applicable stream has been reached, whichever comes first. After the intake cap for the respective stream has been reached, any applications received afterwards will not be processed. Given the time-limited nature of the policies, we recommend that temporary workers who qualify for these programs could start preparing now, including language tests, so that applications can be submitted when the programs open in May 2021.
Thanks for reading. This article has been prepared for general information only, and it is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact one of our team members about your circumstances before acting on this information.