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Ottawa opens new pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers

May 3, 2021  By Greenhouse Canada

Applications open this week for a new pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates.

These special public policies will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already in Canada. This new pathway focuses on temporary workers employed in hospitals and long-term care homes and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, including agriculture, as well as international graduates.

To be eligible, workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a health-care profession or another pre-approved essential occupation.


For the agriculture and horticulture workers’ category, this includes:

  • General farm workers (8431),
  • Nursery and greenhouse workers (8432),
  • Managers in agriculture (0821),
  • Managers in horticulture (0822),
  • Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (8252)

Categories in food processing are also eligible. Click here for the complete list of approved essential occupations.

International graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last 4 years, and no earlier than January 2017.

Effective May 6, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications under the following 3 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 institution

The streams will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. Up to 90,000 new permanent residents will be admitted under these 3 streams.

To promote Canada’s official languages, three additional streams with no intake caps have also been launched for French-speaking or bilingual candidates. “Communities across Canada benefit from French-speaking and bilingual newcomers, and this pathway will contribute to the vitality of these Francophone minority communities,” according to the release.

A detailed explanation of all eligibility requirements is available within the public policies.

Ottawa says immigration will remain critical to Canada’s economic recovery by addressing labour shortages and adding growth to the workforce.

This announcement works towards Canada’s 2021 Immigration Levels Plan, which aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents.

With files from: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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