Guide 0139 – Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)

Table of contents


This application kit describes the process for skilled refugees who are seeking to apply for permanent residence and are eligible for facilitation measures established under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

It includes:

The instruction guide:

Read the instruction guide completely and then fill out each of the applicable forms.

The forms are designed with questions that will help the processing of your application.

Use this guide if you are a skilled refugee currently residing abroad and are applying for permanent residence to Canada under one of the eligible economic programs.

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions are not legal definitions. In case of a discrepancy between the language in this document and the relevant legislation or regulations, the legal text in the legislation and regulations prevails.

For legal information, see the:

This information will help you complete the forms and guide you through the application process.

Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:

Required step

What you must do to have your application processed.

Important information

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.

Get more information

Where to get more information.

How to apply under the EMPP

Step 1: Make sure you are eligible to come to Canada under an eligible economic program

The EMPP is not a permanent residence immigration pathway. Instead, it is a series of facilitation measures  established to help remove obstacles faced by some skilled refugees, in their first country of asylum, to apply to economic programs  in Canada.

To apply for permanent residence, you must first assess whether you meet the requirements under one of the eligible economic programs.

The eligible economic programs include:

Waiving certain requirements under the EMPP

Required step

In order to help skilled refugee applicants qualify for permanent residence, EMPP applicants applying under the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) do not need to prove that they have obtained the required work experience within a specific timeframe. Instead, applicants are only required to demonstrate that they have accumulated the required length of work experience prior to submitting their applications. The work experience requirement for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) cannot be waived as it is set by each province. The accumulation of experience does not have to be from a single employer or job, but where there is overlap of time worked only one job can be counted at a time.

For example, applicants applying through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) would normally have to provide proof of 1 year equivalent of work experience in an approved job obtained in the last 5 years prior to the signature and submission of their permanent residence application. Instead, applicants will only have to demonstrate that they have 1 year of work experience in total.

Proof of settlement funds are used to ensure that economic applicants can self-sustain themselves in their first year in Canada. Given that this can be a barrier for refugees, as per the public policy in support of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot Phase II, IRCC will be allowing applicants under the Atlantic Immigration Program and Rural and the Northern Immigration Pilot to meet the settlement fund requirement through the use of a loan, provided that it is issued by a trusted partner.

Once you have determined that you qualify under one of these programs, you must read instructions in Step 2 to ensure you are eligible for EMPP facilitation measures before completing the required pathway application and gather the required documents.

Step 2: Make sure you are eligible for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot

To be eligible for the EMPP, you, the Principal Applicant (PA), must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have submitted an application for permanent residence under one of the economic immigration programs accepted under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.

EMPP candidates are only eligible to apply to the following programs:

  1. Submit proof (a copy) of one of the following documents:
    • A valid, positive Refugee Status Determination (RSD) from either the UNHCR, or a refugee-hosting state; or
    • Proof that you are a registered or recorded asylum seeker abroad, if the RSD has not been obtained yet;
    • If the above-mentioned cannot be obtained, a "person of concern letter" issued by the UNHCR for the purpose of EMPP.
  2. Meet one of the two legal refugee definitions used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada:

    Convention Refugees Abroad Class

    You are a Convention Refugee Abroad if you:

    • are afraid of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and
      • are outside Canada;
      • are outside your country of nationality and unable or, because of your fear, unwilling to obtain the protection of your country; or
      • if you have no country of nationality, are outside your country of former habitual residence (home country) and unable or, because of your fear, unwilling to return to that country.

    Country of Asylum Class (Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad)

    You are a member of the Country of Asylum Class if you:

    • are seriously and personally affected by civil or armed conflict or a massive violation of human rights in your country of nationality or habitual residence (home country); and
      • are outside Canada;
      • are outside your country of nationality and unable or, because of your fear, unwilling to obtain the protection of your country; or
      • if you have no country of nationality, are outside your country of former habitual residence (home country) and unable or, because of your fear, unwilling to return to that country.
  3. Be a person that has no reasonable prospect, within a reasonable period, of another durable solution. You can provide that information as part of the additional documentation in your application submission.

    Durable solutions

    When considering an application for immigration to Canada under the EMPP, a Migration Officer must be satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect, within a reasonable period of time, for the refugee applicant to obtain another durable solution.

    There are three types of durable solutions:

    Voluntary repatriation

    Voluntary repatriation occurs when refugees voluntarily return to their country of nationality or habitual residence. For voluntary repatriation to be possible, the situation in the country of origin must have changed in a lasting and meaningful way that enables the refugees to return safely.

    Local integration

    Local integration is a long-lasting solution to a refugee’s situation. It is more than the granting of safe conditions of asylum. Local integration allows refugees to participate broadly in the host society.

    Resettlement in a country other than Canada

    An offer of resettlement to a country (other than Canada).

  4. Be outside of your country of persecution.
  5. Reside outside of Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is submitted under one of the economic pathways listed in (1).
  6. You must successfully pass all medical, security and criminality checks

    You and your family members included in your application must do a medical exam by a doctor approved by IRCC (called a Panel Physician). IRCC will also perform background and security checks for all applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada. This includes checks into any past criminal behaviour, violations, infractions, etc. We will not contact organizations or individuals if it puts you or your family in danger.

If you intend to live in Quebec

Do not use this application if you intend to live in Quebec; Quebec immigration programs are not eligible under the EMPP. Instead you should contact the Ministère de l’Immigration, Francisation et Integration (MIFI) for more information on Quebec immigration programs.

Common questions about eligible family members

Who is the principal applicant (PA)?

If there is only one person applying for permanent residence, that person is by default the principal applicant. When a family applies for permanent residence together, one family member must be the principal applicant. Under EMPP the principal applicant is the person that meets the definition of a refugee and is the skilled worker that meets the requirements of the economic program.

Who can be included as family members?

Under the Canadian immigration system, a family includes:

See subsection 1(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) for the legal definition of the word “family member”.

All family members must be declared in the application, even if they are not accompanying the PA to Canada.

What is the difference between an accompanying family member and a non-accompanying member?

Accompanying family member: A family member who plans to come to Canada at the same time as the PA.

Non-accompanying family member: A family member who has been separated from the family and is not able to, or choose not to, accompany the PA to Canada.

Why do I need to list non-accompanying family members?

Failing to declare a family member may result in the refusal of your application.

Family member definitions

Your family members include your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children and any children that are their dependent children.


Refers to either of the two persons (opposite or same gender) in a marriage legally recognized in the country in which it took place, as well as in Canada.

Important information

Proxy, telephone, fax, internet and similar forms of marriage where one or both parties were not physically present are not considered as valid spousal relationships under the Regulations. For more information, consult our policy on the legality of a marriage.

Common-law partner
Refers to a person who is living in a conjugal relationship with another person (opposite or same gender), and has done so continuously for a period of at least one year. A conjugal relationship exists when there is a significant degree of commitment between two people.

This can be shown with evidence that the couple share the same home, support each other financially and emotionally, have children together, or present themselves in public as a couple.

Common-law partners who have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year but are unable to live together or appear in public together because of legal restrictions in their home country or who have been separated for reasons beyond their control (for example, civil war or armed conflict) may still qualify and should be included on the application.

Dependent children

We assess your child’s eligibility as a dependant based on how old they were at a specific point in time, called the lock-in date. This is usually the date we received your application. To see if your child qualifies as a dependant, we consider the age of your child on the lock-in date, even though your child’s age may change during processing.

Your child or the child of your spouse or common-law partner can be considered a dependent child if that child meets the requirements below on the lock-in date:

  • They’re under 22 years old, and
  • They don’t have a spouse or common-law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22, and
  • They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

With the exception of age, dependants must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.

Not sure if your child is a dependant? Check if your child qualifies by answering a few questions.

If your child’s age was locked in on or before October 23, 2017, a previous definition of dependent children may apply.

Dependent child of a dependent child
Refers to children of dependent children of the applicant and those of the spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.

What does other family members mean?

You cannot include other relatives in your application other than those who meet the definition of family member.

If you want to come to Canada with other family members (over age children, siblings, parents, cousins, etc.), these persons require a separate application.

Step 3: Use the document checklists and gather your documents

Read and follow the instructions below to complete the forms and use the document checklists to make sure that you have all the required forms and documents.

Please make sure that you are providing all documents and forms identified in the document checklist for the economic program and the document checklist for EMPP.

1. Economic program checklist

First, complete the application kit for the economic program (AIP, RNIP or PNP) you will be applying under.

You can obtain the application for the different economic programs here:

Because you are applying under the EMPP, some document requirements under these programs will not apply to you given your refugee situation. You do not need to submit:

Instead add the following note to that section of the document checklist: “Not required for the EMPP”

With the exception of the items listed above, you must submit all the forms and documents listed in the document checklist of your chosen pathway’s application kit.

2. EMPP checklist

Next, gather all the documents and forms listed on the EMPP Document Checklist (PDF, 375 KB).

Translation of documents

You must submit the following for any document that is not in English or French, unless otherwise stated on your document checklist:

  • the English or French translation; and
  • an affidavit from the person who completed the translation (if they’re not a certified translator); and
  • a certified copy of the original document.

small exclamation warning signImportant information: Translations must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by an applicant’s parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.

If the translation is not done by a certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial association of translators and interpreters in Canada), you must submit an affidavit swearing to the accuracy of the translation and the language proficiency of the translator.

An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document.

Translators who are certified in Canada don’t need to supply an affidavit.

The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:

In Canada:

  • a notary public
  • a commissioner of oaths
  • a commissioner of taking affidavits

Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Consult your local provincial or territorial authorities.

Outside of Canada:

  • a notary public

Authority to administer oaths varies by country. Consult your local authorities.

Step 4: Fill in your forms

It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information.

When filling out all the forms, be complete and accurate.

If you do not provide all the requested information and the documents from the checklists, your application will be returned to you.

Complete the Schedule 20 Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot using the instructions below.

This form is where you describe what events led you to seek protection as a refugee.

This form must be completed, dated and signed by:

You can download (PDF, 2.2 MB), save and fill out the form on a computer.

Part A: Your personal information
Question 1

Write your:

  1. Family name
  2. All of your given names (first names and middle names)
  3. Date of birth as it appears in your government identification as follows: year-month-day (YYYY-MM-DD)
  4. Check the box if you are a male, female or other
  5. If you do not identify with the sex/gender listed in your passport or other government identification, list your self-identified sex/gender.
  6. list all your nationalities, ethnic and racial groups or tribal groups.
  7. List your religion and denomination or sect.
Question 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Read each sub-question carefully and provide as much information as possible. Providing precise information will make it easier and faster for us to process your application.

Part B: Immigration status
Question 7

If you have made an asylum or refugee claim in any country, including the one you are country residing in, check “YES”. Provide details for each claim on a separate line of the table including dates, description of circumstances and decision. If you answered "YES", include a copy of all documentation received from the country regarding any refugee claim.

Question 8

List any immigration applications, under any category (family reunification, refugee resettlement, etc.) you have submitted (in any country) and are in process.

Part C: Additional family information

You must list all your brothers and sisters on this form even if they are not accompanying you to Canada, are deceased, presumed deceased or their whereabouts are unknown.

If the family member is deceased, type “deceased” in the “current address and e-mail address” box.

If the family member’s location is unknown, type “unknown” in the “current address and e-mail address” box.

Question 9

Brothers and sisters

You must list the following information for all of your brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, adopted brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters who have been adopted by others. Enter their:

  • full name
  • their relationship to you
  • date of birth (YYYY/MM/DD)
  • city/town and country of birth
  • date of death, if deceased (YYYY/MM/DD)
  • current address
  • e-mail address
Part D: Pre-arrival and post-arrival under the EMPP

If you are found eligible for EMPP, you will have access to a number of facilitation measures, mainly to address barriers in leaving your first country of asylum.

It is important to note that, as an economic applicant to Canada, you must be self-sufficient for your first year in Canada, including providing yourself for basic needs for you and your family.

Please check the boxes to indicate each facilitation you would like to request.

Access to IOM support

Pre-Departure Medical services:

Immigration Loans Program (ILP):

Please check the box to indicate that you would like to request this facilitation.

The Immigration Loans Program (ILP) provides eligible immigrants with access to funding that would otherwise not be available to them. Loans are used to cover a number of expenses, including travel to Canada and other costs associated with immigration, specifically defraying the cost of transportation to Canada (transportation loan), assisting with establishment in Canada (assistance loan) and defraying the cost of the right of permanent residence fee (RPRF loan).

The objective of the transportation loan is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants to cover the costs of transportation for themselves and their beneficiaries from overseas to their place of final destination in Canada. This includes approved service fees from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as well as other related expenses. Any applicants who chose to book their own travel will not be issued a transportation loan.

The Assistance loan provides financial assurance to cover the costs associated with initial settlement (basic needs) or labour market access needs or both

Note: An assistance loan cannot be used to meet settlement fund requirements of the economic program. Applicants can use it to assist them financially with initial expenses outlined above. Applicants will not be entitled to both an assistance loan, and a loan as proof of settlement fund (once the latter is in place).

Before issuing a loan, an officer will assess your situation according to your need, ability to repay and settlement funds already available.

Part E: Consent and declaration
Question 11

Read the consent and declaration text.

Question 12
  1. Tell us if someone helped you complete your application. This includes anyone who helped you answer the questions.

    If you answer “Yes”, write the name of the individual or organization that helped you.

  2. Tell us if you paid this person or organization to help you complete your form.
Question 13

Declaration of applicant

Read the declaration, sign and date. If you do not sign, the application will be returned to you.

Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) - optional

A representative is someone who provides advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the application process. If you appoint them as your representative by filling out this form, it means that you give your representative permission to do business on your behalf with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). A representative may be paid or not paid and must be declared. Learn how to appoint a representative.

Step 5: Submit the Application

Submitting your application to IRCC

Send your application by email.

Applications must be sent from the email of principal applicant or immigration representative (if applicable). This means that any emails or documents sent from an email not listed on the undertaking (a third party) may be returned.

Emailing your application


Prepare the email by following these steps:

  1. Check scanner settings:
    • PA or the representative should use a high resolution scanner of at least 400 DPI
    • scanned documents can be in color or black and white
    • all forms and supporting documents must be saved and submitted in PDF format
    • applicants’ photos can exceptionally be saved in JPEG format
    • ensure the photos meet IRCC’s photo specifications
  2. Prepare your email to the dedicated email address
    • you need to submit at least 6 separate email attachments and each attachment cannot be bigger than 5MB
    • IRCC does not accept compressed files (such as ZIP or RAR) as they cannot be opened
  3. Use these naming conventions for your attachments:
    • Document Checklist for Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
      Name this file: "PA Family Name, First Name – IMM 0137 - Document Checklist EMPP"
    • Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot form
      Name this file: "PA Family Name, First Name – IMM 0138- SCH20"
    • Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Document OR Registered or Recorded asylum seeker document OR Person of Concern letter
      Name this file: "PA Family Name, First Name – Refugee Status"
  4. Email the application to with the subject line as: "EMPP application for PA Family Name, First name".

    The email size cannot be bigger than 10MB. If it is, send the attachment in two or more emails and number your email subjects like this:

    • Part 1 of 2 - EMPP application for PA Family Name, First name
    • Part 2 of 2 - EMPP application for PA Family Name, First name

    If your email is larger than 10MB, it will bounce back and you may not receive an email auto-reply

    After you send your email to IRCC, ensure your application was received:

    • you should receive an auto-reply from IRCC for each email sent; save this or these auto-reply/replies
    • if you do not receive an auto-reply within 48 hours, write to and ask whether your application was received
    • do not re-send your application unless IRCC asks you to resend it

Incomplete applications will be returned to you without being processed.

What Happens Next?

Emailed applications will receive an auto-reply upon submission.

When you send your application via email, an immediate auto-reply is sent to the email address from which the application was submitted. This email confirms that the EMPP application package has been received. It does not confirm that your application is complete nor does it include the name of the PA.

How we review your application

Phase 1 – Completeness check

Applications forms review

After receiving your application by email, IRCC reviews the application forms to ensure that all required forms for review were signed and submitted. At this stage, there is no verification as to whether applicants submitted all supporting documents necessary to assess the application.

If the application is not missing forms:

If the application is missing forms or if they are not signed:

Phase 2: Eligibility assessment for EMPP

If the application is complete, IRCC will begin processing your application and determine if you meet the EMPP’s requirements in order to be able to access EMPP facilitations.

Your application may be forwarded to the IRCC office overseas responsible for your country of residence. At this stage, a Migration Officer may determine that enough information is available to make a decision or, they may ask for you and all accompanying family members to come for an interview. If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you with the date, time and location and will tell you which documents to bring. You and your accompanying family members must provide biometrics (fingerprint and a live photograph) at interview.

If an officer finds that you meet the EMPP requirements, they will proceed with further assessments.

Phase 3: Permanent residence eligibility assessment

You are found to be eligible for permanent residence when it is determined that you meet the requirements of the permanent residence immigration pathway you are applying under.

Applications are assessed on a case by case basis. Once your application is ready to be assessed, a Migration Officer will review your application to determine if you are eligible.

Phase 4: Admissibility Assessment

You are admissible to immigrate to Canada when you pass:

Once you are found eligible, you, your spouse, and each of your dependent children must complete an immigration medical exam by a doctor from the IRCC list of Panel Physicians. Only Panel Physicians approved by IRCC can do this exam. The panel physician will tell you which tests are required. We will provide you with the instructions when the time comes. You must not complete a medical exam until we tell you to.

You should not pay for your medical exam. The payment of the medical exam is paid for by the Government of Canada. Present the IFHP Certificate of Eligibility to the panel physician during your appointment for the medical examination. If the panel physician asks for you to pay money, please report this to the IRCC office overseas. Reporting such an incident will not affect processing of your application and will help ensure the integrity of the resettlement program.

Before we issue a visa, we do background and security checks for all applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada. This includes checks into any past criminal behaviour, violations, infractions, etc. We will not contact organizations or individuals if it puts you or your family in danger. All applicants are required to disclose any criminal past, including charges, on their forms. If you do not disclose this information, regardless of how serious the charge, infraction or conviction is, your application may be refused.

Phase 5: Final stage

Once you have satisfied the Migration Officer that you are eligible and are not inadmissible, your application can be finalized.

If you have indicated that you would like to have IOM arrange for your transportation, then IRCC will advise IOM to coordinate directly with you. You will be contacted directly by IOM.

If you do not have a valid passport for travel, IRCC will issue a travel document to facilitate your travel to Canada. Even if you have a valid passport, you will be provided a travel document. Please note that some countries require that exit permits be obtained prior to departure in order to leave the country. In those instances, an IRCC office overseas will provide you with more information at this stage. Please note the costs, processing times and procedures for exit permits vary greatly. It is your responsibility to understand the process to obtain the exit permit.

Things that delay processing

The following may delay processing:

Phase 6: Arrival in Canada

If you are approved to become a permanent resident in Canada, help is available to make your adjustment to life in Canada easier as a newcomer. It should be noted that this help is limited to the help generally provided to all economic class permanent residents.

Before you arrive, you will be able to access a general orientation to life in Canada that will help you prepare for your move, and connect you to free settlement services after you arrive in Canada – such as language training.

Other Important Information

1. Fees and travel documents


The only eligible fee for a permanent resident application submitted under the EMPP is the Right of Permanent Residence fee. You are exempted from paying the Permanent Residence application fee and the biometrics fee.

Travel documents

Even if you have a valid passport, you will be provided a travel document to travel to Canada. You must still submit a copy of your and your family’s valid passports with your application.

2. Updating your contact information

3. Checking application status

Once your application has been received and reviewed by IRCC, you can check its status on-line.

4. Current processing times

Processing times can change. You can check current processing times on the Application processing times webpage.

5. Protecting your information

Your personal information is:

For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Help Centre.

6. For additional information on:

7. Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions by visiting the Help Centre.

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