Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway: Assessing the application against the policy conditions
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Applicants should be assessed against the established eligibility criteria below, based on the information and documents provided in their application.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be approved based on the stream to which they are applying:
- Legal entry into Canada and status as a temporary resident
- Official language proficiency
- Current work experience
- Intent to reside outside of Quebec
- Qualifying work experience
- Education requirements (international graduates from a Canadian institution and French-speaking international graduates from a Canadian institution)
Legal entry into Canada and status as a temporary resident
All principal applicants must reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada when the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved. Foreign nationals who do not currently have temporary resident status in Canada, such as refugee claimants, are not eligible for this public policy.
Official language proficiency
The applicant must provide an original language test from a designated provider that shows the applicant meets the minimum language level in each of the 4 language skill areas for the stream to which they are applying, for either the
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in English
- Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) in French
Note: The test results must be less than 2 years old on the date of application. For French-speaking streams, they must provide their NCLC.
- IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)
- CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General test only)
- TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
- TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français (in French only)
The minimum language requirements for each stream are:
|Workers in Canada: Health care and Workers in Canada: Essential non-health care||CLB/NCLC 4 (in either English or French)|
|International graduates from a Canadian institution||CLB/NCLC 5 (in either English or French)|
|French-speaking workers in Canada: Health care and French-speaking workers in Canada: Essential non-health care||NCLC 4 (must be in French)|
|French-speaking international graduates from a Canadian institution||NCLC 5 (must be in French)|
See the language requirements section for information on providing evidence of language proficiency.
Current work experience
Principal applicants must be currently working in order to be eligible for this public policy. Current employment
- must be in Canada
- can be in any occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
- must be authorized
- must be paid in wages or commission
- does not include self-employment, unless the applicant is working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority
The lock-in date to determine “currently employed” is the date the application is received by IRCC.
Factors to consider – Employee vs. self-employed
In determining whether an applicant was an employee or a self-employed individual during their period of qualifying work experience in Canada, officers should consider factors such as
- the degree of the worker’s control or autonomy in terms of how and when work is performed and the methods used to do the work
- whether the worker owns or provides tools and equipment to accomplish the work
- the degree to which the worker has to perform the work personally and whether the worker has the option of subcontracting work or hiring others to help and assist with completing the work
- the degree of financial risk assumed by the worker, including whether the worker is required to make an investment in order to complete the work or provide the service and whether the worker is free to make business decisions that affect their ability to realize a profit or incur a loss (as opposed to the opportunity to earn commissions or other productivity bonuses)
- any other relevant factors, such as written contracts
Self-employed medical doctors in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority are considered to have eligible work experience.
Note: Current employment while under maintained status will be considered as eligible employment under the public policy, provided the applicant continued to work in Canada under the same conditions as their original work permit until a decision was made on their application for a work permit extension.
There are no requirements that the current employment be full-time or permanent.
Applicants do not need to remain employed throughout the processing of the application.
Principal applicants are requested to provide documentary evidence of their employment in Canada through a combination of
- a copy of their most recent work permit (unless they are work permit exempt) and
- an employer letter of reference from their current employment
In all cases, the onus is on the applicant to establish that they meet the public policy eligibility criteria at the time of their application. All applicants are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their work experience in Canada, including the fact that they were in an employer–employee relationship during their period of qualifying work experience (unless they were a self-employed medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority).
Intent to reside outside of Quebec
IRCC must be satisfied that the applicant intends to reside in a province or territory other than the province of Quebec.
Processing offices must follow procedural fairness guidelines if they are not satisfied that an applicant meets the criteria of the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway. In such cases, the office must inform the applicant of their concerns, and the applicant must have the opportunity to respond and provide additional information in support of their application.
Qualifying work experience
Workers in Canada: Health care, Workers in Canada: Essential non-health care, French-speaking workers in Canada: Health care and French-speaking workers in Canada: Essential non-health care
Work experience must meet the following requirements:
- the work experience must be equivalent to at least 1 year of full-time work experience and must have been acquired in the 3 years preceding the date when the application for permanent residence is received
- the applicant must have been authorized to work in Canada
- the work must have occurred in Canada
- the work must be in an essential occupation listed in Annex A or Annex B
- the applicant must have been paid wages or commission
- the applicant must not have been self-employed, unless they were working as a medical doctor in a fee-for-service arrangement with a health authority
The 1 year of work experience can be acquired through multiple periods of employment but must equal at least 1,560 hours in the 3 years before the application for permanent residence is received. Work experience must be acquired over a period of at least 1 year; work in excess of 30 hours per week over a shorter period cannot compensate for any shorter overall period of experience.
An allowance for a reasonable period of vacation time will generally be made in calculating the period of qualifying work experience (for example, a 2-week period of paid vacation leave within a given 52-week period in which the applicant was engaged in qualifying work experience). An allowance for normal vacation time during a period of qualifying work experience cannot be used as a substitute or proxy for meeting the in-Canada element of the work experience requirement (in other words, work experience obtained outside Canada while the applicant was on vacation from their work in Canada will not be counted as part of the period of in-Canada work experience). While officers will account for a reasonable period of vacation time in calculating the period of qualifying work experience in Canada, each application is considered on its own merits with a final decision based on a review of all the information available to the officer at the time of decision.
Work experience must have been authorized
Principal applicants should provide a copy of the work permit or study permit that demonstrates that they held authorization for the time worked. If it is not provided, officers shall verify authorization to work in the Global Case Management System (GCMS). Some applicants may have had authorization to work without a work permit or have been authorized to work by virtue of their study permit. Please review Temporary Residents: Students for more information about work while studying.
In order to determine whether an applicant was authorized to work without a work permit, please consult International Mobility Program: Authorization to work without a work permit.
Currently, there are public policies allowing foreign nationals interim work authorization: former work permit holders with job offers may work while their restoration and work permit applications are being processed. Please review Public policy exempting certain out-of-status foreign nationals in Canada from immigration requirements: COVID-19 program delivery to determine whether the applicant was authorized to work.
Employment must have occurred in Canada. In most cases, employer letters of reference or employment contracts will contain the location of work. Work experience acquired while working for a Canadian company outside of Canada is ineligible for this public policy.
The 1 year of work experience must be obtained in one or more of the eligible occupations listed.
The 1 year of work experience must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in Annex A only. Experience cannot be combined with Annex B occupations. If an applicant has combined their work experience from Annex A with Annex B occupations, they do not meet the requirements of this stream and shall be refused.
The 1 year of work experience must have been acquired in
- one or more occupations listed in Annex B or
- a combination of occupations in Annexes A and B
If an applicant only has work experience in occupations listed in Annex A, they do not meet the requirements of this stream and shall be refused.
For the periods of work experience claimed in the application, all applicants must demonstrate they performed both of the following:
- the actions identified in the initial lead statement of the NOC description
- a substantial number of the main duties listed in the NOC description, including all the essential duties and all the duties that distinguish a particular occupation from any other
- Duties that begin with “may” in the NOC description are not usually considered to be essential duties.
There are considerations for applicants with experience in NOC 4031 (secondary school teachers) and NOC 4032 (elementary school and kindergarten teachers):
- Work experience acquired in NOC 4031 and 4032 is only eligible if the language of instruction was French.
- There is no restriction on the subject of instruction, provided the delivery was in French (for example, experience as a math teacher is eligible if they were teaching in French).
- There is no requirement that the language proficiency be demonstrated by a French language test.
Wages or commission
The employment must meet the definition of work under subsection 73(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
Subsection R73(2) defines “work” as “an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned.” IRCC generally takes the position that the term “wages” (as set out in this definition of “work”) would not include remuneration in kind, such as room and board in exchange for work or services provided.
Experience acquired in a volunteer capacity is ineligible for this public policy.
Education requirements (international graduates from a Canadian institution and French-speaking international graduates from a Canadian institution)
If the principal applicant applied through the international graduates from a Canadian institution stream, they must have been granted a Canadian post-secondary credential that meets all of these requirements:
- The program(s) of study must have been completed at a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligible designated learning institution (DLI). Officers can verify whether the DLI was PGWP eligible using the DLI list.
- If completed at a private PGWP-eligible DLI outside of Quebec (authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees under provincial law), the program of study must be a degree program as authorized by the province, and not any program of study offered by the private PGWP-eligible DLI. Officers can verify whether the specific program at the DLI was PGWP eligible using the DLI list.
- The principal applicant must have completed the program of study prior to the date on which the application for permanent residence is received, and no earlier than January 2017.
- The principal applicant must have been authorized to study. In most cases, this means that IRCC would have issued a study permit. If not provided, officers shall verify authorization to study in GCMS. Please review Study permits: Who needs a study permit as some students may have been study permit exempt.
- The principal applicant must have been issued one of the following credentials:
- a degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate)
- a diploma, certificate or attestation from a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade
- one or more diplomas, certificates or attestations, where each program of study is at least 8 months in duration and the combined length of the credentials is equivalent to a 2-year credential (at least 16 months in duration)
- one or more diplomas of vocational studies (DVS) or attestations of vocational specialization (AVS), where each program of study is at least 900 hours in duration and the combined program of study is at least 1,800 hours in duration
- When combining 1 AVS with 1 DVS, the length of the AVS may be less than 900 hours if the combined length is at least 1,800 hours.
Students who studied at a Canadian PGWP-eligible DLI from abroad without in-Canada study authorization are also eligible for this public policy.
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