Applications open tomorrow for new pathway to permanent residency for over 90,000 essential temporary workers and international graduates of a Canadian institution

News release

May 5, 2021—Ottawa—Last month, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced an innovative pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates of a Canadian institution who are actively contributing to Canada’s economy.

This special public policy will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates of a Canadian institution who are already in Canada and who possess the skills and experience we need to fight the pandemic and accelerate our economic recovery.

Eligible applicants can submit their applications through IRCC’s online portal starting May 6, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. EDT time. To be eligible, workers must have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in a health care profession or another pre-approved essential occupation. International graduates must have completed an eligible post-secondary program in Canada within the last 4 years, and no earlier than January 2017.

The portal will remain open until November 5, 2021, or until we have reached the maximum number of applications:

  • 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 an eligible Canadian institution

Three additional streams with similar eligibility criteria have also been launched for French-speaking and bilingual candidates, but there is no maximum number of applications.

Under all streams of this temporary pathway, applicants must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec to qualify.

This new pathway to permanent residence recognizes Canada’s need for educated and experienced workers as we work toward our economic recovery. It also acknowledges the extraordinary service of so many essential workers during the pandemic, many of whom are newcomers to our country and have played critical roles as we fight COVID-19.

Applicant guidelines:

Resources are available online, including checklists, forms, and an application guide. Applicants should use the online eligibility tool to confirm that they qualify and that their application is complete before submitting an application.

All applications must include valid language test results received through a designated testing organization. Applicants can use a previous language test from a designated organization, as long as the result is less than 2 years old when the application is received.

Those who have already completed an immigration medical exam (IME) as part of any previous application are invited to submit this information when applying. If the IME cannot be used for this permanent residence application, IRCC will instruct the applicant to complete a new IME. Applicants who have never completed an IME in the past should make every effort to do so before applying. If it is not possible to do so due to COVID-19-related disruptions, individuals should provide proof that a medical appointment is scheduled with a panel physician.

Applicants requiring accommodation as a result of a disability may request an alternative format application and are encouraged to contact IRCC early. For streams with a limited intake, accommodation requests must be received by May 20, 2021, or before the cap has been reached, whichever is later. IRCC will consider the submission of a request for an accommodation, by email or by phone to the Client Support Centre, as an assertion that you require an accommodation due to a disability. Please include the following information in your email to

  • your full name
  • your mailing address
  • your telephone number
  • which stream you’re applying for
  • the type of alternative format you require, such as paper copy, Braille or large print
  • if you wish to receive it by mail or by email
  • confirmation that you are requesting an accommodation due to a disability


“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the contributions of newcomers in essential jobs, as we have recognized the caregivers, cooks and cashiers as our everyday heroes. With this new pathway, we are recognizing their key role in our economic recovery, allowing them to set down roots in Canada 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

Quick facts

  • Because candidates must work in Canada when they apply, they have already proven their ability to fill labour market gaps.

  • This pathway has a language requirement of at least level 5 for international graduates of a Canadian institution and level 4 for essential workers. These levels are set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks and the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens.

  • International graduates must have completed a program at an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution between January 2017 and the day they submit their application.

  • Essential workers must have obtained at least 1 year of eligible full-time work experience or the equivalent in part-time work (at least 1,560 hours) in one or more of the designated professions listed within the public policies.

  • Incomplete applications will be assessed based on the information provided. If they are refused due to incompleteness, processing fees will not be returned.

  • Only applicants can access and upload their documents through the intake portal. Representatives cannot access the portal for their clients. This is because applications must be electronically signed in the intake portal.

Related products

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Alex Cohen
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Page details

Date modified: