In the midst of border closures, travel bans and other disheartening immigration news, there are glimmers of light of immigration opportunities for workers in Canada. As part of its pandemic response, IRCC has made it easier for those working in essential services to obtain work permits and those with Canadian work experience to obtain permanent residence status. Here are some information about these measures:
1) Permanent Residence for Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry) applicants
The Express Entry pool has recently limited its draws to those qualifying through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Provincial Nominee Programs. The CEC program is for those that have at least one year of work experience in Canada. Recently, the number of points required to obtain an invitation to apply for CEC applicants has decreased from 471 (March 4, 2020 draw) to 452 (April 30, 2020 draw). The minimum CRS score required to obtain an ITA have not been this low since May 2019. While IRCC has not announced how long they plan to continue these CEC program-specific draws, while they do persist, it is expected that the scores will continue to decrease. If you have completed your one-year of high-skilled work experience in Canada, now is an opportune time to explore moving forward with your PR application.
2) Work permits for essential workers
Those who are able to secure job offers in occupations that have been determined to be essential during the pandemic may qualify for expedited processing of their work permits. Additionally, ESDC is offering priority processing for specific occupations related to agriculture, food processing and trucking. The minimum recruitment requirements for 10 key occupations has been waived until October 31, 2020.
3) Students working in essential services
As of April 22, full-time students that are working in essential services are now able to work more than the allowable 20 hours per week on their study permits. This includes those working in health care, critical infrastructures, and in the supply of food or other critical goods. To see a full list of the essential services and functions, click here. This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.