Canada is launching six new limited-time immigration programmes to essential workers and international student graduates working in Canada as part of an initiative to meet immigration targets despite travel restrictions.
The new programmes have sparked a lot of interest because they are open to a diverse range of candidates. To apply, you must be working in an eligible occupation in Canada or have recently graduated from an eligible educational programme, as well as meet language requirements, among other requirements.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue a guide outlining the information that candidates must submit. What we know about the programmes now is based on the IRCC’s public policies and briefing notes from an April 21 meeting between the IRCC and three associations representing immigration lawyers and consultants.
The following are some frequently asked questions about the new programmes for essential workers and international graduates. As new information becomes available, CIC News will update this storey.
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Online applications will be accepted.
The application procedure will follow the first in, first out principle.
The first step is to see if you are eligible. Each programme has different requirements for essential workers, graduates, and French-speaking essential workers and graduates.
To be approved for permanent residence, you must submit a fully completed application with all fees paid at the time of application. Language test documents are included in this category. You must also be working at the time of your application, and you cannot be on medical, maternity, or other leave.
IRCC can only refuse or approve applications for these programmes. This is why you must submit everything at once, as the department may not be able to provide you with a second opportunity to submit a completed application. In some cases, IRCC may request additional documentation.
It may also be possible to submit documents that are more difficult to obtain at a later date, such as police certificates, if you can demonstrate that you made a reasonable effort to obtain them.
The application guide will include the documents required for the new programmes. For more information, IRCC recommends consulting the Canadian Experience Class application guide.
There will be a “How to Apply Tool” to help you decide which stream to apply for. Then you’ll be directed to set up an account. A document checklist will be displayed. The first document required is an IMM 0008, which is a generic immigration application form. To fill out and validate the form, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. IRCC says it is important that these forms are validated and submitted with 2D barcodes.
The following documents will include proof of eligibility criteria, such as proof of studies in Canada or a study permit. Language test documents taken within the last two years must be uploaded at the time of submission. If you are applying for the international graduate streams, you must also upload copies of your educational credentials.
There will be an acknowledgement and consent form, a privacy statement, and then a page that confirms your submission.
After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be able to see what you uploaded.
IRCC intends to process these new streams in six months, but has not yet established a processing standard.
If people are eligible for more than one stream, how will intakes be calculated?
You choose which programme you want to apply for ahead of time. The number of intake caps will be determined by the number of times the “Submission Button” is pressed. The IRCC intends to include a counter on the main page to track the number of submissions.
Can I apply to more than one stream?
Yes, but you will be required to pay the fees twice.
How much are the fees?
Fees are not yet confirmed, but they could range between $1,050 and $1,325. All fees must be paid up front.
Can I apply if I haven’t finished my studies?
Yes, current employment in any occupation is eligible, and it does not have to be full-time, as long as the 1,560 hour requirement was met within the three years preceding the application date.
Is it possible to apply if I live in Quebec?
Applicants must intend to immigrate to any province other than Quebec in order to be eligible for the new pathways. This is part of a larger initiative to increase French immigration outside of Quebec. Furthermore, Quebec has a special agreement with Canada that forbids the federal government from implementing new immigration programmes in the province.
However, in terms of these new programmes, Quebec education and work experience remain eligible. Quebec-based applicants may still be considered, but they may be required to answer questions about how they intend to relocate, their settlement plans, what they have done to actively seek employment outside of the province, or if they have a job offer elsewhere.
Quebec-based applicants may be eligible for one of the province’s own immigration streams.
Do I have to be working in an eligible occupation at the time I apply?
No, it does not. You may be employed in any occupation at the time of your application. You simply must have worked 1560 hours in an eligible occupation in the previous three years.
There are two types of essential occupations that are eligible. Healthcare occupations are classified as Stream A, while other essential occupations are classified as Stream B. If you are applying as a healthcare worker, you cannot use Stream B occupations to determine your eligibility; however, if you are applying as another essential worker, you can use Stream A work experience to determine your eligibility.
Are medicals required as part of the application process?
IRCC is currently attempting to extend medicals as much as possible for those in Canada during COVID-19.
They will divide people into two groups for this group: those who have never done medical and those who have done medically. Those who have undergone medical treatment should provide documentation. It is unclear how old the medical can be. If you have access to an Upfront Medical, you may want to do so.