OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says his department is creating a new pathway to permanent residency for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates who are currently in Canada.
Mendicino says the new policy will grant permanent status to temporary workers and graduates who possess the skills and experience the country needs to fight the pandemic and achieve an economic recovery.
He says health care and other eligible essential workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience to apply, while international graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last four years.
On May 6, the immigration department will start accepting up to 50,000 applications from health care and other essential workers and 40,000 applications from international students who graduated from a Canadian institution.
The department says the new policy will help the government meet its goal to accept 401,000 new permanent residents this year while COVID-19 travel restrictions continue to limit the numbers of newcomers landing in the country.
The economic and life disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have also prompted some recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and family connections.