As reported by my colleagues in other posts, in April 2021 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced public police establishing six new pathways to permanent residence for both recent international graduates and foreign workers in Canada. The Honourable Marco Mendicino advised at the time of the announcement that these new pathways would facilitate the landing of 90, 000 foreign nationals from within Canada. The immigration measure would in turn ensure that Canada not only secured international talent that could contribute to the ongoing fight against Covid-19, but who additionally possessed skills necessary to support Canada’s economic recovery.
Eligibility criteria for foreign workers has previously been explained in depth by colleagues. International graduates were advised that eligibility would be limited to those individuals who had completed a post-secondary program at a designated learning institution in Canada within the last 4 years. It was announced that generally 40, 000 applications would be accepted from international graduates; however, no cap would be introduced for applicants who are French speaking and/or bilingual given Canada’s ongoing need for French migrants.
These public policies came into effect on 6 May 2021. The pathway for international graduates reached its quota after only one day. Speculation on why this immigration pathway specifically filled up so quickly has pointed to the lower eligibility requirements of this stream specifically. For example, while traditionally migrants seeking permanent residence in Canada under the Canadian Experience Class would need to obtain a 7 on their Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and have at least one year of work experience. However, under the new public policy, graduates only needed a CLB of 5, with no specific work experience requirements.
Given the significant and ongoing interest in this policy by international students within Canada, we hope that IRCC introduces either additional public policy or legislative amendments that will facilitate the migration of graduates.