Canada to offer more immigration pathways

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Canada to offer more immigration pathways to temporary residents

International students, foreign workers, and asylum seekers who are already in Canada may soon get more permanent residence options.

Why this change is necessary

There are two major benefits to offering more PR pathways to existing students, foreign workers, and asylum seekers in Canada:

  1. In the short run, this will offset the temporary decline in immigration caused by the pandemic, which will support economic growth. 
  2. In the long run, it will benefit Canada because immigrants with Canadian experience tend to have strong labour market outcomes.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino also said that students from other countries are “particularly attractive”because of the combination of having Canadian education, work experience, social and professional networks, and fluency in English and/or French results, which result in quicker labour market integration and high wages in the long term. Because of this, the government is making it easier for them to work in Canada. 

For example, Canada is allowing online study at a Canadian designated learning institution between May 2020 and April 2021 to count towards future Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. The PGWP is coveted among international students because it enables them to gain the Canadian work experience they often need to be eligible for a range of economic class immigration programs. These programs include Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Quebec Experience Program.

What could changes look like?

The minister did not hint at what the changes may entail, but his options may include one or more of the following:

  • Launching new federal pilot programs.
  • Holding program-specific Express Entry draws.
  • Modifying Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to provide more points for Canadian experience.
  • Modifying eligibility criteria for federal programs (e.g., reducing the work experience requirement for the Canadian Experience Class).
  • Extending the length of temporary work permit durations to give candidates more time to gain the Canadian work experience they need to be eligible to apply for an immigration program such as the Canadian Experience Class.