Find Out If You Are Eligible To Migrate To Canada As An Essential Worker Or Graduate

Canada seeks to welcome graduates and essential workers who are already in Canada and have the skills and experience needed to work against the COVID-19 pandemic and bring the Canadian economy to full recovery. 

However, this pathway is time-based, and applications are only accepted from May 6, 2021, to November 5, 2021. Although there is a deadline, no more applications will be accepted if the Canadian government receives up to 90,000 applications before November 5, 2021. 

Foreign nationals who have proficiency in either English or French can apply. There is no limit to the number of applications that French-speaking foreigners will welcome.

Eligibility Criteria for Essential Workers

     A. Eligibility Criteria For Principal Applicants

  • You must have one year of full-time work experience or the equivalent of part-time experience (a total of 1,560 hours) under an employer in Canada,  in an eligible occupation in the three years preceding the date of your application. There are two streams:

Stream A: For temporary residents with work experience in one of the health-related occupations listed as follows(cannot be combined with occupations in list B):

List A:

3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors

3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

3111 Specialist physicians

3112 General practitioners and family physicians

3113 Dentists

3121 Optometrists

3122 Chiropractors

3124 Allied primary health practitioners

3125 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating

3131 Pharmacists

3132 Dietitians and nutritionists

3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists

3142 Physiotherapists

3143 Occupational therapists

3144 Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

3211 Medical laboratory technologists

3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants

3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists

3215 Medical radiation technologists

3216 Medical sonographers

3217 Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.

3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)

3221 Denturists

3222 Dental hygienists and dental therapists

3223 Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants

3231 Opticians

3232 Practitioners of natural healing

3233 Licensed practical nurses

3234 Paramedical occupations

3236 Massage therapists

3237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment

3411 Dental assistants

3413 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

3414 Other assisting occupations in support of health services

4151 Psychologists

4152 Social workers

4153 Family, marriage and other related counsellors

4165 Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers

4212 Social and community service workers

4412 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations occupations

The above-listed occupations are mostly in healthcare but do not include veterinary job positions. The listed occupations are organised by National Occupational Classification(NOC) code.

Stream B: For temporary residents with work experience in one of the other essential occupations listed below(Can be a combination of Lists A and B occupations):

List B:

The other essential job positions are organised into three groups and are listed by the NOC code according to the broad occupational category in which they fall.

A. Major unit groups

1. Sales and support occupations

6611 Cashiers

6621 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

6622 Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers

6623 Other sales-related occupations

6621 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

2. Industrial, electrical and construction trades

7201 Contractors and supervisor, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations

7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations

7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades

7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades

7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers

7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors

7232 Tool and die makers

7233 Sheet metal workers

7234 Boilermakers

7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters

7236 Ironworkers

7237 Welders and related machine operators

7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)

7242 Industrial electricians

7243 Power system electricians

7244 Electrical power line and cable workers

7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers

7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers

7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians

7251 Plumbers

7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers

7253 Gasfitters

7271 Carpenters

7272 Cabinetmakers

7281 Bricklayers

7282 Concrete finishers

7283 Tilesetters

7284 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers

7291 Roofers and shinglers

7292 Glaziers

7293 Insulators

7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)

7295 Floor covering installers

3. Other installers, repairers and servicers and material handlers

7441 Residential and commercial installers and servicers

7442 Waterworks and gas maintenance workers

7444 Pest controllers and fumigators

7445 Other repairers and servicers

7451 Longshore workers

7452 Material handlers

4. Transport and heavy equipment operation and related maintenance occupations

7511 Transport truck drivers

7512 Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators

7513 Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs

7514 Delivery and courier service drivers

7521 Heavy equipment operators (except crane)

7522 Public works maintenance equipment operators and related workers

7531 Railway yard and truck maintenance workers

7532 Water transport deck and engine room crew

7533 Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations

7534 Air transport ramp attendants

7535 Other automotive mechanical installers and servicers

5. Trades helpers, construction labourers and related occupations

7611 Construction trades helpers and labourers

7612 Other trades helpers and labourers

7621 Public works and maintenance labourers

7622 Railway and motor transport labourers

6. Harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourers

8611 harvesting labourers

8612 Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers

8613 Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers

8614 Mine labourers

8615 Oil and gas drilling, servicing and related labourers

8616 Logging and forestry labourers

B. Minor unit groups

1. Mail and message distribution occupations

1511 Mail, postal and related workers

1512 Letter carriers

1513 Couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors

2. Retail salesperson

6421 Retail salespersons

3. Cleaners

6731 Light duty cleaners

6732 Specialized cleaners

6733 Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents

 4. Agriculture and horticulture workers

8431 General farmworkers

8432 Nursery and greenhouse workers

5. Other workers in fishing and trapping and hunting occupations

8441 Fishing vessel deckhands

8442 Trappers and hunters

     6. Machine operators and related workers in food, beverage and associated products processing

9461 Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing

9462 Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

9463 Fish and seafood plant workers

9465 Testers and graders, food and beverage processing

C. Specific 4-digit unit groups

0821 Managers in agriculture

0822 Managers in horticulture

4031 French and French immersion secondary school teachers (the language of instruction must be French)

4032 French and French immersion elementary school and kindergarten teachers (the language of instruction must be French)

4411 Home child care providers

4413 Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants

6331 Retail butchers

6523 Airline ticket and service agents

6524 Ground and water transport ticket agents, cargo service representatives and related clerks

6541 Security guards and related security service occupations

6551 Customer services representatives – financial institutions

6552 Other customer and information services representatives

8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialised livestock workers

8255 Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services

9617 Labourers in food and beverage processing

9618 Labourers in fish and seafood processing.

  • You must be employed in Canada in any occupation at the time you are applying.
  • You cannot be self-employed unless you are working as a physician in a fee-for-service with a health authority, and as such, get paid for each unit of service you render
  • You must have a Canadian Language Benchmarks(CLB) score of at least 4 in English or French in all aspects of the language.
  • You must be residing in Canada on a valid temporary status or be eligible for restoration of status if your temporary residency status has expired.
  • You must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec
  • You must have submitted an application using the appropriate forms provided by IRCC
  • You must apply online, and
  • You must meet the admissibility requirements.

B. Eligibility Criteria for Family Members of Principal Applicants Living Outside Canada:

  • You must be included as an accompanying family member in an application for permanent residence under this policy
  • You must meet the definition of a “family member”, which includes any of the following:
  1. The spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant

             2. A dependent child of the principal applicant or the principal applicant’s spouse or common-law partner

             3. A dependent child of a dependent child

  • You must meet the admissibility requirements, and
  • A delegated IRCC officer must approve you.

Suppose you are a family member of a principal applicant living in Canada, in addition to the above requirements for “family members of principal attendants living outside Canada”. In that case, you must also be residing within Canada.

Eligibility Criteria For Graduates

A. Eligibility Criteria for Principal Applicants

  •    You must have completed a program of study at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI)in or after January 2017. 

Designated Learning Institutions, by definition, include:

  1. A public post-secondary institution such as a college, trade/technical school, university, or a Quebec CEGEP

             2.   A private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions in Quebec

3.   A private or public post-secondary institution in Quebec that offers qualifying programs of at least 900 hours duration that give a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialisation (AVS)

4.  A Canadian private institution authorised under a provincial statute to confer degrees under provincial law, but only if the program of study completed was a degree as authorised by the province.

  • You must have been granted one of the following credentials after completing the required program in Canada:
  1. A degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate) which was issued to you after you must have completed the program of at least eight months in duration

2.   Or, a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued to you after you must have completed a program of any duration leading to occupation in a skilled trade.

3. Or, one or more diplomas/certificates/attestations where the following conditions have been met:

a) For diplomas/certificates/attestations, each program of study must be at least eight months in duration, and the combined duration of the credentials must be the equivalent to a two-year credential (at least 16 months in duration)

b) For a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) or an Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS), each program of study must be at least 900 hours duration, and the combined program of study must cumulatively be at least 1,800 hours duration.

  • You must be employed in Canada with a valid permit or work authorisation when the application is received.
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) score of at least 5 in either English or French, in all the language abilities.
  • You must be residing in Canada on valid temporary status or be eligible for restoration of status if your temporary residency status has expired.
  • You must intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec
  • You must have submitted an application using the appropriate forms provided by IRCC
  • You must apply online and
  • You must meet the admissibility requirements.

The criteria for family members of principal applicants living outside Canada and those living in Canada are the same as those listed for the same category under “Essential Workers”.

For foreign nationals from Francophone countries, the requirements that apply to their Anglophone counterparts apply to them. However, instead of a CLB score of at least four (4), the criterion is that you must have Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) of at least 4 in French for each of the four language abilities.

All applications will be attended to and processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are eligible for more than one stream, you may submit multiple applications in the streams where you are eligible, but note that you will still pay the application fee twice. 

If you are not currently employed, you are ineligible to apply, even if you are on leave. You must be gainfully employed; if you are not being paid for your work or are self-employed, you are not eligible to apply, except you are a physician in a fee-for-service in a health institution. Your work experience may not be continuous but must cumulatively amount to 1,560 hours and must be acquired in the last three years preceding the date of your application.

For more information and enquiries, please visit the IRCC website.

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