New Canadian Immigration Pathway for Essential Workers and International Students 2021

Canada recently announced a pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates. 

This new pathway is designed to help Canada retain the talented workers it needs, create jobs, and drive long-term growth in Canada. 

The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with a temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better. Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay.


– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Opening date: 

  • May 6, 2021. 

Closing date: 

  • November 5, 2021, or until programs have reached their limit. 

How many applications will be accepted under each stream? 

  • 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

What are the eligibility requirements? 

  • Be present, authorized to work and working in Canada at the time of their application to qualify.
  • Have a valid permit or temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status). 
  • Be in Canada at the time the application is approved. 
  • Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Québec. 
  • Submit an application electronically, including the prescribed forms and documents showing how you meet the eligibility requirements. 
  • Language evaluation that is less than 2 years old when the application is received. 
  • You must not be inadmissible. 

International students eligibility requirements

  • Language - at least benchmark level 5 in English or French for each of the four language skill areas. 
  • Employment - be employed in Canada with a valid work permit or authorization to work. Self-employment is not accepted. 
  • Education - must have been obtained with valid authorization. The program must have been completed no earlier than January 2017 from a designated learning institution. 
  • Degree - at least 8 months in duration and/or meeting the program requirements. 

Essential workers eligibility requirements

  • Language - at least benchmark level 4 in English or French for each of the four language skill areas. 
  • Work experience - at least 1 year full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time hours (1,560 hours), in Canada, in an eligible occupation in the three years proceeding the date the application is submitted. Self-employment is not accepted. 
  • Eligible occupations - The one year of work experience must be obtained in one or more of the eligible occupations as follows:
    • Stream A: occupations listed in Annex A. Experience cannot be combined with Annex B occupations.
    • Stream B: occupations listed in Annex B, or a combination of occupations in Annexes A and B.
  • Employment - be employed in Canada with a valid work permit or authorization to work in any occupation at the time the application for permanent residence is received. 

How do I apply? 

  • Please see the Government of Canada's Application Guide more information and details are available. 

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