Canada: New Pathways to Permanent Residence Announced

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced new permanent residence pathways for international graduates and in-country essential workers.
  • Eligible foreign nationals may apply between May 6, 2021 and November 5, 2021.
  • IRCC will grant permanent residence to 90,000 applicants. If 90,000 spots fill up before this date, the submission window may close before November 5, 2021.
  • Additional pathway options for bilingual and/or French-speaking foreign nationals will be announced in May 2021. Bilingual and/or French-speaking foreign nationals will not be subject to the 90,000-spot quota.


IRCC has set the following eligibility requirements for this program:

Eligible essential workers:

Eligible international graduates:

  • Must have completed a post-secondary educational program in Canada within the last 4 years;
  • Must have completed a post-secondary educational program in Canada no earlier than January 2017.

The Canadian government will accept the following application groupings:

  • 40,000 applications for international graduates from Canadian post-secondary institutions;
  • 20,000 applications for temporary healthcare workers;
  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other essential industries.

What are the Changes?

This new pathway program reflects the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 immigration landscape. As global immigration systems relax restrictions, the Canadian government is eager to reignite economic activity. These initiatives bolster that effort.

Looking Ahead

The Canadian government will continue evaluating immigration programs and pathways. For employers with Canada-bound talent, the national 2021 Immigrations Level Plan is a useful forecasting resource. Additional pathway programs could follow later this year.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.