In April 2021, the Canadian government announced the TR to PR Pathway. The program allowed individuals working in essential occupations, and international graduates working in any occupation, to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) accepted over 80,000 applications before closing the program in November 2021.
Due to a backlog of applications caused in part by the TR to PR pathway, the Canadian Government paused Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Express Entry draws in September 2021.
During this time, many foreign workers in Canada were left without an option to remain in the country permanently. While Canada has announced plans to extend post-graduation work permits, they have not yet provided details on this process.
Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, recently confirmed that Canada is working on a program that will help temporary residents remain in Canada permanently. More information was released on September 20th, which outlines a plan, in the form of five pillars, to expand current TR to PR pathways and programs already in place.
According to the CBC, Fraser was given a 120-day timeline and has until September 9th to come up with the plan. As the date falls outside of the House of Commons’ sitting calendar, it is expected the plan will be announced when sessions resume. Minister Frasers’ response is expected to be addressed on September 20th. The new program won’t be identical to the previous TR to PR Pathway according to Fraser. The new plan is expected to address the six points raised in the motion:
More specific information is expected to be released in the future as the plan is still currently in the development phase.
With all-program Express Entry draws having resumed in early July, Fraser’s recent announcement may hint at more relaxed eligibility requirements compared to Express Entry. At the moment, Canada’s Express Entry system requires candidates to have work experience in skill types 0, A, or B. For candidates with work experience in skill types C or D, the options to remain permanently are typically much more limited. As Canada continues to face a major labour shortage, the government is providing more and more options for essential workers to settle permanently. For this reason, it is possible that the new Canadian immigration program will target a broader range of candidates working in Canada.
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