This announcement was timely, as many foreign residents already have work permits or are about to expire. This not only benefits current Canadian residents but also those who intend to move to Canada for work or as student workers.


The new program includes an open work permit program for applicants who have applied through the pathway to permanent residence.

Those whose work permits are expiring within four months can apply for a new permit, allowing them to continue working while their permanent residence is being processed. This post provides all the necessary information to take advantage of this opportunity.


Starting from July 26, 2024, applications will be accepted for the new program.

Canada’s new permanent residence pathways for essential workers and graduates overview

On May 6, six new immigration pathways were officially launched in Canada, providing an opportunity for over 90,000 temporary residents to become permanent residents. These programs are designed to attract essential workers, international students, and French speakers.

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, announced these new pathways on April 14, and applications will be accepted until November 5, 2024, or until program quotas are filled.

The main objective of these initiatives is to support Canada’s efforts to allow more temporary residents to stay in the country permanently.


Can I apply with my spouse or family?

Applicants, along with their spouse or partner and dependent children, are qualified to apply for Canadian permanent residency, allowing families to stay together.

Eligibility for Canada’s immigration streams for essential workers

Canada’s immigration pathways for essential workers have two different streams, which include temporary workers in 40 healthcare occupations and temporary workers in 95 other essential services occupations. These workers have been vital in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The first stream has a quota of 20,000, and the second stream has a quota of 30,000.

French speakers have additional immigration streams, with the criteria being identical except for the French-language requirement. French speakers are not bound by the program quotas.

Do I Need Work Experience to be eligible for this Program?

Candidates applying through the essential workers’ immigration streams must have worked full-time for at least one year or an equivalent amount of part-time experience (1,560 hours) in Canada within three years before applying.

For the healthcare worker stream, the Canadian work experience must be in one or more eligible healthcare occupations. Non-healthcare worker streams require Canadian work experience in one or more eligible non-healthcare occupations. However, experience in healthcare occupations can also be included to apply through this stream.

Do I Need Language Proficiency to be Eligible?

Applicants are required to provide results from an approved language test in English or French. The results must be consistent with the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 4 (CLB 4). It is important to note that French speakers are not subject to program quotas.

Other Eligibility Criteria for Essential Workers

Apart from the aforementioned eligibility requirements, candidates are expected to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Have the intention to reside outside the province of Quebec
  • Meet the criminal and medical admissibility requirements of Canada

Eligibility for Canada’s immigration streams for international graduates

Canada’s immigration streams for international graduates are specifically intended for those who have completed their studies in Canadian post-secondary institutions. The stream for English speakers has now reached its maximum quota of 40,000 applications and is closed. However, French speakers are not limited by any quotas and can apply during the open application period from May 6 to November 5, 2024.

What are my Qualifying Educational Credentials for Essential Graduate Stream?

To be eligible for the international graduate stream, candidates must have completed a program of study at an eligible Canadian institution no earlier than January 2022. Only certain types of educational credentials are eligible, such as a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued upon completion of a program of at least eight months in duration. Additionally, a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation is issued upon completion of any program duration, provided that it leads to a skilled trade occupation..

Do I Need a Language Proficiency to be Eligible under Graduate Stream?

Candidates must provide language test results from an approved test in English or French. The results must be consistent with the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 5 (CLB 5). All applicants, even those who completed their qualifying educational credential in English, must submit language test results.

Other Criteria for Graduate Stream

Aside from the above-listed eligibility requirements, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be present in Canada on a valid status (or be eligible to restore status)
  • Be physically present in Canada when submitting and approving the application
  • Have the intention of residing outside of Quebec province
  • Be admissible to Canada, both medically and criminally.

Application Procedures and Required Documents for Essential Workers and Graduates program

The Government of Canada website now offers an application guide for the new immigration programs targeting essential workers and graduates. The guide provides detailed instructions on the required documentation and application procedure, which will be divided into four steps.

Step 1 – Gather Supporting Documents

Upon signing up for the IRCC’s online application portal, a document checklist will be created based on the applicant’s profile and sent to them. The following documents will be required from all applicants:

  • Proof of entry and status in Canada
  • Passports (biodata page)
  • Proof of current employment in Canada (work permit — if applicable, employer reference letter, pay stubs)
  • Immigration Medical Exams (IME)
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Proof of language proficiency (approved language test results less than two years old).
  • Photographs

Support Documents for Essential Workers

For the essential workers’ stream, all applicants must submit proof of qualifying Canadian work experience in an eligible occupation:

  • Employer reference letters for the periods of qualifying work

Support Documents for Graduate Stream

Proof of a qualifying Canadian educational credential is mandatory for all applicants under the graduate stream. The acceptable proof includes:

  • A final transcript, and
  • A letter from the institution.

Applicants must provide proof that shows:

  • The type of educational credential granted, such as a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation
  • The length of the program of study in weeks, months, or years
  • The date of completion
  • The name of the educational institution that granted the credential.

Additional documents may be necessary based on the applicant’s profile, including documents related to identity, civil status, family members, and familial relationships. Any documents submitted in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Step 2 – Completing the Application

In Step 2 of the application process, candidates must provide personal information, upload supporting documents, and complete various required forms. Forms can be downloaded to a computer and filled out with the necessary information.

Step 3 – Pay Fee (Covered for You)

After ensuring that your application is complete and error-free, you will need to pay the necessary fees. The fees are as follows:

  • Permanent residence fees for the principal applicant: CAD$1,050, which includes a CAD$550 processing fee and a CAD$500 right of permanent residence fee.
  • Permanent residence fees for spouse or partner (if applicable): CAD$1,050, which includes a CAD$550 processing fee and a CAD$500 right of permanent residence fee.
  • Dependent children’s fees (per child, if applicable): CAD$150.
  • Biometrics fees: CAD$85 for a single applicant or CAD$170 for a family.

All fees must be paid at the time of submission. In the event that your application is refused, you will receive a refund of the fees paid, except for the CAD$500 right of permanent residence fees paid by adult applicants.

Step 4 –Submitting Application

Applicants can submit their application once they are ready, but the processing time for these programs is currently unknown.

Why is Canada’s Immigration Program for Essential Workers and Graduates very Important?

The Immigration Program for Essential Workers and Graduates is crucial for Canada because it acknowledges the significant contributions made by newcomers, particularly temporary residents, during the challenging times of the pandemic. Minister Mendicino recognized the importance of these new immigration policies, as they will enable individuals with temporary status to plan their future in Canada, contribute to the country’s economic recovery, and aid in building back a better Canada.