Please note that this immigration program is now closed. The information included on this page is for reference only.

On May 6, 2021, Canada will open new one-time temporary pathways to permanent residence. These pathways will not re-open annually. Once the intake limit has been met, they will be closed permanently.

Only 90,000 applications will be accepted for the English-speaking programs, and there is no cap on the number of applications that will be accepted for the French-speaking programs. These programs will be open until November 5, 2021, or once the intake cap has been filled. The English-speaking programs will likely fill up extremely fast, so potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering their required documents now in anticipation of the May 6 launch date, when Canada’s immigration department will start welcoming applications.

Assessment form: Check your eligibility

Want to know if you’re eligible? Complete this free assessment and we’ll contact you to let you know if you’re eligible, or not.

Please note that this assessment form was removed after this immigration program closed on November 5, 2021.

Basic eligibility requirements for Canada’s new immigration programs for essential workers and international graduates

These new programs are aimed at ensuring that international graduates and essential workers can obtain permanent residence if they do not qualify through one of the current immigration programs due to various factors, including a lack of eligible Canadian work experience or lower proficiency in French or English.

Each of these programs are for those currently working in Canada on a part-time or full-time basis in any occupation at the time that the application for permanent residence is received. If you are not currently working in Canada, then you will not be eligible for these new programs. Those currently working 20 hours a week or less on a valid study permit can apply if they meet all of the other program requirements. In order to be eligible, applicants must intend to reside outside the province of Quebec.

For those who have applied for their post-graduate work permits (PGWP), but who have not yet received it, can apply if they meet all of the other program requirements and all of the following requirements:

  • had a valid study permit at the time that you submitted your application for a PGWP,
  • had completed your program of study at the time that you submitted your application for a PGWP,
  • were eligible to work off-campus without a permit at the time that you submitted your application for a PGWP, and
  • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.

Applications for these programs will be submitted online but will not be submitted through the Express Entry system. Those who have already applied for permanent residence through another stream such as the Canadian Experience class can submit a second application through one of these streams if they wish.

We have broken down each of the four new immigration programs in detail as well as which documents will be required to apply. If you want help determining your eligibility for any of the programs or preparing your application, we recommend beginning by booking a consultation with Canada Abroad here.

In some cases, news outlets covering these programs have referred to ‘six’ new programs, rather than ‘four’ — this is because two of the programs contain two distinct streams. Feel free to jump ahead to the program that most interests you:

If you’d prefer to learn by video, check out my YouTube explainer on this topic!

Program #1: Workers with recent Canadian experience in essential occupations

This program is for those who have accumulated at least one year of authorized Canadian work experience that meets all the following requirements:

  • be the equivalent of at least one year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time experience (1,560 hours) and,
  • wages or commissions must have been paid to the foreign national for their work and,
  • the work must have been in an eligible occupation (please refer below for healthcare and non-healthcare occupation lists) and,
  • the work must have taken place in the three years preceding the date when the application for permanent residence is received and,
  • the work must not have been self-employment, unless the foreign national was working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority.

The foreign national also needs to meet all the following requirements:

  • Be employed in Canada, in any occupation for which wages or commissions are earned, at the time that their application for permanent residence is received (can be full-time or part-time) and,
  • have achieved a CLB or NCLC level 4 in each of the four language skills areas on one of the following approved language tests, the results of which must be less than two years old when the application for permanent residence is received,
    • IELTS – General Training
    • CELPIP – General Test
    • TEF Canada
    • TCF Canada
  • 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,
  • by physically present in Canada when the application is approved (no status requirements stipulated at this time) and,
  • intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec and,
  • must not be inadmissible to Canada for any of the following reasons:
    • having a criminal record,
    • having a serious medical condition which could be a danger to public health or safety, or would cause an excessive demand on Canadian health or social services,
    • security reasons (you have been involved in espionage, subversion, violence or terrorism, or have been a member of an organization involved in any of these),
    • human or international rights violations including war crimes, crimes against humanity, or being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions,
    • one of your family members is inadmissible for one of the above reasons.

This program has an intake cap and only 50,000 applications will be accepted under this program. This cap is further broken down into Stream A and Stream B. Only 20,000 applications will be accepted for processing under Stream A, and only 30,000 applications will be accepted under Stream B.

Stream A – This stream is for those who have accumulated their one year of work experience in one of the following eligible healthcare occupations:

Stream A — Eligible healthcare occupations

>
OccupationNOC
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors3011
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses3012
Specialist physicians3111
General practitioners and family physicians3112
Dentists3113
Optometrists3121
Chiropractors3122
Allied primary health practitioners3124
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating3125
Pharmacists3131
Dietitians and nutritionists3132
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists3141
Physiotherapists3142
Occupational therapists3143
Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment3144
Medical laboratory technologists3211
Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants3212
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists3214
Medical radiation technologists3215
Medical sonographers3216
Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.3217
Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)3219
Denturists3221
Dental hygienists and dental therapists3222
Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants3223
Opticians3231
Practitioners of natural healing3232
Licensed practical nurses3233
Paramedical occupations3234
Massage therapists3236
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment3237
Dental assistants3411
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates3413
Other assisting occupations in support of health services3414
Psychologists4151
Social workers4152
Family, marriage and other related counsellors4153
Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers4165
Social and community service workers4212
Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations4412

Stream B – This stream is for those who have accumulated their one year of work experience in one or more of the non-healthcare occupations listed below (or a combination of occupations from both the healthcare and non-healthcare lists):

Stream B — Eligible non-healthcare occupations

>
Unit GroupOccupationNOC Code
Sales support occupationsCashiers6611
Service station attendants6621
Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers6622
Other sales related occupations6623
Industrial, electrical and construction tradesContractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations7201
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations7202
Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades7203
Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades7204
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers7205
Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors7231
Tool and die makers7232
Sheet metal workers7233
Boilermakers7234
Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters7235
Ironworkers7236
Welders and related machine operators7237
Electricians (except industrial and power system)7241
Industrial electricians7242
Power system electricians7243
Electrical power line and cable workers7244
Telecommunications line and cable workers7245
Telecommunications installation and repair workers7246
Cable television service and maintenance technicians7247
Plumbers7251
Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers7252
Gas fitters7253
Carpenters7271
Cabinetmakers7272
Bricklayers7281
Concrete finishers7282
Tilesetters7283
Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers7284
Roofers and shinglers7291
Glaziers7292
Insulators7293
Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)7294
Floor covering installers7295
Other installers, repairers and servicers and material handlersResidential and commercial installers and servicers7441
Waterworks and gas maintenance workers7442
Pest controllers and fumigators7444
Other repairers and servicers7445
Longshore workers7451
Material handlers7452
Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupationsTransport truck drivers7511
Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators7512
Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs7513
Delivery and courier service drivers7514
Heavy equipment operators (except crane)7521
Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers7522
Railway yard and track maintenance workers7531
Water transport deck and engine room crew7532
Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations7533
Air transport ramp attendants7534
Other automotive mechanical installers and servicers7535
Trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupationsConstruction trades helpers and labourers7611
Other trades helpers and labourers7612
Public works and maintenance labourers7621
Railway and motor transport labourers7622
Harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourersHarvesting labourers8611
Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers8612
Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers8613
Mine labourers8614
Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers8615
Logging and forestry labourers8616
Mail and message distribution occupationsMail, postal and related workers1511
Letter carriers1512
Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors1513
Retail salespersonRetail salespersons6421
CleanersLight duty cleaners6731
Specialized cleaners6732
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents6733
Agriculture and horticulture workersGeneral farm workers8431
Nursery and greenhouse workers8432
Other workers in fishing and trapping and hunting occupationsFishing vessel deckhands8441
Trappers and hunters8442
Machine operators and related workers in food, beverage and associated products processingProcess control and machine operators, food and beverage processing9461
Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers9462
Fish and seafood plant workers9463
Testers and graders, food and beverage processing9465
Other groupsManagers in agriculture821
Managers in horticulture822
French and French Immersion Secondary school teachers (language of instruction must be French4031
French and French Immersion Elementary school and kindergarten teachers (language of instruction must be French)4032
Home child care providers4411
Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants4413
Retail butchers6331
Airline ticket and service agents6523
Ground and water transport ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks6524
Security guards and related security service occupations6541
Customer services representatives - financial institutions6551
Other customer and information services representatives6552
Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers8252
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services8255
Labourers in food and beverage processing9617
Labourers in fish and seafood processing9618

Skip ahead to learn about the required documents.

Program #2: French-speaking workers with recent Canadian experience in essential occupations:

This program is the same as Program #1 with the following two exceptions:

  1. Have achieved a NCLC level 4 in each of the four language skills areas on one of the following approved French language tests, the results of which must be less than two years old when the application for permanent residence is received,
    • TEF Canada
    • TCF Canada
  2. There is no cap on the number of applications that will be accepted for processing for this program.

Skip ahead to learn about the required documents.

Program #3: International graduates currently employed in Canada

This program is for those who have completed an eligible qualification as of January 1, 2017 onwards from an eligible Canadian Designated Learning Institution while on a valid study permit.

The eligible Designated Learning Institutions for this program are:

  • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or in Quebec CEGEP;
  • a private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec;
  • a private or public post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS); or
  • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees under provincial law but only if the program of study completed was a degree as authorized by the province, which may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.

The three eligible qualifications for this program are:

  1. A degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate) which must be a degree issued on completion of a program of at least 8 months in duration; or
  2. A degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade listed in Annex A below; or
  3. one or more diploma/certificate/attestation where the following conditions are met:
    • For diplomas/certificates/attestations, each program of study must be at least 8 months in duration AND the combined length of the credential(s) must be equivalent to a two-year credential (at least 16 months in duration).
    • For the DVS and AVS, each program of study must be at least 900 hours in duration AND the combined program of study must be at least 1,800 hours in duration.
      • When combining one AVS with one DVS, the length of the AVS may be less than 900 hours if the combined length is at least 1,800 hours.

Annex A — Eligible trade occupations

>
Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
7201 Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
7232 Tool and die makers
7233 Sheet metal workers
7234 Boilermakers
7235 Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters
7236 Ironworkers
7237 Welders and related machine operators
7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
7242 Industrial electricians
7243 Power system electricians
7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians
7251 Plumbers
7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
7253 Gas fitters
7271 Carpenters
7272 Cabinetmakers
7281 Bricklayers
7282 Concrete finishers
7283 Tilesetters
7284 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
7291 Roofers and shinglers
7292 Glaziers
7293 Insulators
7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
7295 Floor covering installers
Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades;
7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
7303 Supervisors, printing and related occupations
7304 Supervisors, railway transport operations
7305 Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators
7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
7313 Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
7314 Railway carmen/women
7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
7316 Machine fitters
7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
7321 Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
7322 Motor vehicle body repairers
7331 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
7332 Appliance servicers and repairers
7333 Electrical mechanics
7334 Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
7335 Other small engine and small equipment repairers
7361 Railway and yard locomotive engineers
7362 Railway conductors and brakemen/women
7371 Crane operators
7372 Drillers and blasters - surface mining, quarrying and construction
7373 Water well drillers
7381 Printing press operators
7384 Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.
Major Group 82, supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production
8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services
8231 Underground production and development miners
8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
8241 Logging machinery operators
8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
8255 Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
8261 Fishing masters and officers
8262 Fishermen/women
Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;
9211Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
9213 Supervisors, food and beverage processing
9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
9215 Supervisors, forest products processing
9217 Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing
9221 Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling
9222 Supervisors, electronics manufacturing
9223 Supervisors, electrical products manufacturing
9224 Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing
9226 Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing
9227 Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly
9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
9232 Central control and process operators, petroleum, gas and chemical processing
9235 Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators
9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks
6321 Chefs
6322 Cooks
Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers - retail and wholesale
6332 Bakers

The foreign national also needs to meet all the following requirements:

  • Be employed in Canada, in any occupation for which wages or commissions are earned, at the time that their application for permanent residence is received (can be full-time or part-time),
  • the work must not be self-employment, unless the foreign national was working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority,
  • have achieved a CLB or NCLC level 5 in each of the four language skills areas on one of the following approved language tests, the results of which must be less than two years old when the application for permanent residence is received and,
    • IELTS – General Training
    • CELPIP – General Test
    • TEF Canada
    • TCF Canada
  • 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,
  • by physically present in Canada when the application is approved (no status requirements stipulated at this time) and,
  • intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec and,
  • must not be inadmissible to Canada for any of the following reasons:
    • having a criminal record,
    • having a serious medical condition which could be a danger to public health or safety, or would cause an excessive demand on Canadian health or social services,
    • security reasons (you have been involved in espionage, subversion, violence or terrorism, or have been a member of an organization involved in any of these),
    • human or international rights violations including war crimes, crimes against humanity, or being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions,
    • one of your family members is inadmissible for one of the above reasons.

This program has an intake cap and only 40,000 applications will be accepted under this program.

Skip ahead to learn about the required documents.

Program #4: French-speaking international graduates currently employed in Canada

This program is the same as Program #3 with the following two exceptions:

  1. Have achieved a NCLC level 5 in each of the four language skills areas on one of the following approved French language tests, the results of which must be less than two years old when the application for permanent residence is received,
    • TEF Canada
    • TCF Canada
  2. There is no cap on the number of applications that will be accepted for processing for this program.

Required forms and supporting documents for Canada’s new immigration streams for essential workers and international graduates

For all of Canada’s new immigration programs for essential workers and international graduates, applicants should be prepared to submit the following documents and forms along with their application. Please note that we’ve compiled these lists of forms and documents based on the information available prior to launch, but the exact forms and documents required may differ when the programs officially open.

Required forms

>
  • Validated Generic Application Form to Canada (IMM008) for the main applicant
  • Schedule A: Background/Declaration (IMM 566) for the main applicant, spouse or common-law partner (whether accompanying or not), and each dependent child over the age of 18 (whether accompanying or not),
  • Additional Dependants/Declaration (IMM008DEP) if the principal applicant has more than five dependants (whether they are accompanying or not) for the main applicant
  • Supplementary Information – Your Travels (IMM 5562) for the main applicant
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406) for the main applicant, spouse or common-law partner (whether accompanying or not), and each dependent child over the age of 18 (whether accompanying or not),
  • Use of Representative (IMM 5406), if applicable
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409) if you have a Common-Law partner
  • Statutory Declaration from Non- Accompanying Parent/Guardian for Minors Immigrating to Canada (IMM 5604) accompanied by the non-accompanying parent’s photo ID showing their signature if the child of the main applicant is not being accompanying by their other parent (separate form is required for each child)

Supporting documents

>
  • Copy of the pages of your passport or travel document for the main applicant, their spouse or common-law partner and their dependent children, showing:
  • The passport number,
  • The date of issue and expiry,
  • The photo, name date and place of birth,
  • Pages showing any amendments in name, date of birth, expiration, etc
  • Proof of authorized status in Canada for the main applicant and their spouse or common-law partner and their dependent children (if applicable)
  • Valid language test result (proof of bookings will not be accepted) for the main applicant
  • Police certificates for each country that you have lived in for six months or more in a row since the age of 18 (or proof that you have already applied for them) for the main applicant, spouse or common-law partner, and each dependent child over the age of 18
  • Birth certificate for the main applicant, their spouse or common-law partner and their dependent children (birth certificates for children need to list both parent’s details on them)
  • Marriage certificate for the main applicant and their spouse (if applicable)
  • Final divorce or annulment certificate(s) for the main applicant and their spouse (if applicable)
  • Death certificate for any former spouses or common-law partner for the main applicant and their spouse (if applicable)
  • Adoption papers issued by recognized national authorities showing the legal, approved adoption of adopted dependent children (if applicable)
  • Digital photo of each family member
  • Proof of current employment in Canada for the main applicant which can include:
    • Employer reference letter(s) that include:
      • The specific dates of your employment (to/from dates)
      • Description of your main responsibilities and duties
      • The corresponding NOC code (if known)
      • Your total annual salary and benefits
      • The number of hours you worked per week
      • Your employer’s name, signature, full address, telephone number and email address (if applicable)
      • Be on company letterhead
    • Copies of your T4 tax information and your Notice of Assessments
    • Works contracts
    • Pay stubs
  • For those currently living in Quebec, you would need to include a settlement plan or letter to explain to an officer your intention to reside outside of Quebec

Program #1 and #2 — Additional document requirements

>
  • Proof of work experience identified in your application that accumulate one year of eligible Canadian work experience which includes:
    • Employer reference letter(s) that must include:
      • The specific dates of your employment (to/from dates)
      • Description of your main responsibilities and duties
      • The corresponding NOC code (if known)
      • Your total annual salary and benefits
      • The number of hours you worked per week
      • Your employer’s name, signature, full address, telephone number and email address (if applicable)
      • Be on company letterhead
    • Copies of your T4 tax information and your Notice of Assessments
    • Works contracts
    • Pay stubs

Program #3 and #4 — Additional document requirements

>
  • Proof of completed eligible Canadian education which includes:
    • Copies of your completed qualification
    • Transcripts for your completed qualification

Unlike with applications for permanent residence submitted through the Express Entry system, applications will not be cancelled as incomplete after a completeness check. Instead, applications will be fully processed and refused if they are incomplete. This means that application fees will not be refunded if the application is refused, and applicants will not know that there was a problem with their application until the full processing time has elapsed.

It is not yet known if a medical examination with a panel physician would be required upfront or requested later in the process. It is also not yet known if they will accept previously completed medical examinations or not. Typically, they would accept them if they had been completed in the past twelve months with an approved panel physician.

It has not been stipulated that there will be a required amount of funds for these applications. Typically, those already working in Canada are not required to show proof of funds.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for these programs, or the required forms and documents, begin by booking a 30-minute consultation or by completing the assessment form at the top of this page. We’ll review your eligibility for these immigration pathways, as well as an overview of Canada’s other immigration options. Plus, we can advise you on how to get yourself ready for the May 6 launch date!

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has stated that more information will be made available in May. This means that the above information may change, or new requirements may be stipulated. This article will be updated as new information becomes available.