In a measure that screams “Your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a new public policy offering an accelerated pathway for essential/ health care workers in Canada. Under this new public policy, effective May 6th, 2021, those that have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in an approved for essential or health care profession, can now apply for permanent residency.
A combined maximum of 50,000 applicants will be accepted under this new public policy. Should any applications be received once this cap has been reached, IRCC has indicated that they will not process them under this policy.
This new public policy will end on November 5th, 2021 or until the cap closes.
Who is Eligible to Apply Under This New Public Policy?
Applicants who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply under this new program once it opens. According to the public policy, the criteria is:
- Have at least one year of full-time or full-time equivalent work experience in an eligible health- care occupation within the last 3 years immediately prior to the submission of the application;
- Be currently employed in Canada with a valid work authorization to work;
- Have attained a level of proficiency of at least CLB level 4 in English or French in the last 2 years if applying under the foreign national’s program and at least CLB level 4 in French if applying under the French-speaking program;
- Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved;
- Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.
More information about the public policy and how to apply can be found be here.
How is this different to applying under the Express Entry system?
The requirement of having one year of Canadian work experience also exists to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class, so how is this public policy any different?
First of all, the language requirements to be eligible under this public policy are considerably lower than the entry criteria for the Canadian Experience Class. Under this public policy, applicants are required to demonstrate only CLB level 5 to qualify where are to qualify under the Canadian Experience Class, some applicants must demonstrate CLB level 7.
Type of work experience:
To enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class, applicants must have work experience in an occupation that falls within NOC 0, A, or B. In contrast, eligibility under the public policy is not dependent on the level of work experience. Rather, the work experience needs to appear on one of two demand lists. The occupations available on the demand lists are a selection of occupations within all NOC classifications, that is NOC’s 0, A, B, C, and D.
Limit on intake:
Anyone who qualifies to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class can submit a profile. Under the public policy, IRCC has stated they will accept only 50,000 applications under this policy, 20,000 from Health-Care workers, 30,000 from Essential workers. Furthermore, applications will be processed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Why were these public policies introduced?
In an attempt to reach their immigration target of admitting 401,000 of new permanent residents in 2021, and in light of the extended challenges brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic, IRCC have noted this as an opportunity to grant a permanent residences status to foreign nationals in Canada, who are already working and contributing to the Canadian economy. Previously, such applicants would be reliant on a provincial nomination as their only option to get permanent residence on Canada.