Canada welcomes 90,000 temporary foreign workers to be permanent residents in 2021 through six new immigration streams. This program is part of Canada’s 2021–2023 immigration plan to grant 401,000 permanent residence permits.
“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with a temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better. Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay,” said Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in a press release issued on April 14.
In this program, Canada will grant permanent residency to temporary health care workers, essential workers and international students who are already in Canada and have the skill which are needed to battle with the pandemic and to speed up the recovery of the country’s economy.
“I can’t imagine doing it, I wouldn’t want to be in the hospital right now and I wouldn’t want to be around the virus. So, for them to do what they’ve done over the last year and a half, it’s just amazing, absolutely let them in,” said Douglas Friesen, a 58-year-old retired landscaper.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada started taking applications on May 6, 2021. The international graduates’ stream is already full. The other streams will close on November 5, 2021 or when they reach capacity.
“I feel lucky because all my documents were ready to file the application,” said Deepanshu Dogra, a recent international graduate who came from India and is now living Alberta. Dogra completed his computer networking course in Ontario.
Mukul Nandra, an international graduate in 2019 and currently the store manager at ABLO Liquors Calgary, has not been so lucky.
“I wish I could manage to complete my all documentation before applications got full,” said Nandra.
The program, effectively, aims to reward essential workers on temporary work permits who have been working throughout the pandemic. The main focus of this program will be on the workers employed in the medical field and on other essential sectors such as the food industry, cleaning, plumbing and all other essential services.
“I know a few people who are going to be in this program, and I’m proud of them and I’m proud to say that they’re going to be Canadians,” said Friesen.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the strength of the economy is measured by individuals working and paying taxes to the government to fund public services. Immigrants play a vital role in Canada’s economy because the population of the country is getting older and does not have as many children as before. IRCC reports that there are only three working people for every senior in Canada right now and by 2035, there will only be two.
Mendicino, and others, hope this new program will reverse this trend and “create jobs and drive long-term growth in Canada.”