New Canadian Permanent Residency Pathway For Essential Workers

by | May 20, 2021

The Canadian Government has announced yet another new permanent residency pathway specifically for persons who are working as essential workers inside Canada. Persons who are inside Canada temporarily and are currently engaged in an essential type of job may be able to apply directly for Canadian permanent residency under this new stream. 

The Temporary Public Policy Program

The recently announced program is known as the temporary public policy program. The new program was announced on 12 April 2021 and was set to take effect from 6 May 2021. The temporary public policy program was created to facilitate the granting of permanent residency to foreign nationals who are in Canada but outside of Quebec. The program focuses on persons who have recent Canadian work experience in essential service occupations. 

Eligibility Requirements

It is important to note that the temporary public policy program targets specific essential service occupations and has some eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify to apply. 

Firstly, to qualify, you must have completed at least one year of full-time experience or part-time experience that cumulatively adds up to one year. This means that if you worked on a part-time basis over the last three years in an essential occupation for example, then you must have completed at least 1560 hours of work in Canada. Further, you must have worked in the essential occupation for over three years to qualify.

Annex A and Annex B

Your job type must be one of the listed occupations under Annex A or Annex B of the program. The temporary public policy program covers two streams. One stream deals with essential workers in the healthcare sector and the other stream deal with essential workers in non-healthcare sectors.

For stream A, the one year of work experience required must have been acquired in one or more occupations listed in annex A and you cannot combine that with B. On the other hand, the experience required for stream B must have been acquired in one or more of the occupations listed in Annex A and cannot be combined with annex B (to be confirmed) ????

Employment in Canada

Secondly, you must have been employed in Canada in any occupation at the time when your application for permanent residency is received. You must be currently working in Canada in any occupation. It does not have to be one of the listed occupations. You could be working in a completely different occupation but you must have, at least in the last 3 years, had at least one year of full-time work experience in one of the listed occupations.

It is worth noting that your employer must meet the definition of work. Standard work means any activity inside Canada for which you are going to be compensated. In other words, it is any activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned; essentially, any paid labour is work. 

Physical Presence in Canada

Further, if you worked in an essential occupation while you were inside Canada but you are outside Canada at the time of application, you would not qualify. You must be physically present inside Canada at the time you apply and you must have a valid status. Valid status means that you must have a valid work permit or a valid study permit, or you must have a valid visitor record.

If your status document is expired, you may still be able to apply if you are able to apply to have your status restored or status document renewed. Therefore, if you are able to restore your status then you may apply even if your permit has expired. In addition, you must intend to live in any province other than Quebec. This is because the program is specifically for persons who are outside of Quebec. It must be the case at the point when you are applying and you must have submitted an application in accordance with the policy guidelines for this particular pathway. 

Language Skills

You must also sit an English language or French language test and score at least a level four in the test.

Family Members Eligibility

The temporary public policy program allows your family members who are either inside or outside Canada to also apply for Canadian permanent residency. As such you may be eligible to include your immediate family members on the application whether they are with you inside Canada or they are outside Canada. There are definitely some requirements that must be met for your family members to qualify under the program.

Bear in mind that under Canadian immigration law, a family member is a dependent spouse or dependent child. A dependent spouse can either be your married partner or your common-law partner. A dependent child may be any child who is under the age of 22 or in some exceptional circumstances, it could be a child who is older than 22, but suffers from certain mental or physical disabilities and has been dependent on you before they turned 22.

Eligible Occupations

The program provides a long and extensive list of health-related occupations covered. If you are working in health-related occupations or if you have worked in one of the health-related occupations in the last 3 years, you will be eligible to apply under the program subject to meeting the other eligibility requirements. The health-related occupations covered include all types of nursing roles, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, dieticians, audiologists, respiratory therapists, denturists, social workers, psychologists, family and marriage counselors, other related counselors, home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations, nurses aid, orderlies and patient support associates. All these occupations would fit under the category of eligible health-related occupations under Annex A.

Annex B lists other eligible essential occupations that are non-healthcare related. As earlier mentioned, if you are working in one of the listed occupations or you have worked in one of the roles in the last three years on a work permit and you are currently inside Canada, then you may be able to apply for permanent residency under this program. Annex B listed occupations include cashiers, service station attendants, store shelf stockers, clerks, order fillers, and all the sales-related occupations. These are roles that would not ordinarily qualify under the express entry program. This program is therefore a really good opportunity for persons inside Canada, who are in non-professional or non-skilled trades type jobs who may not qualify under the express entry program.

Notably, there are trade-type jobs that are also covered. They include electricians and general industrial and construction-type jobs. Particularly, iron-workers, plumbers, carpenters, tile setters, installers, material handlers, transportation, transport truck drivers, bus drivers, delivery courier service drivers, taxi and limousine drivers. Other occupations include air transport and ramp attendance, labourers, individuals in the farm working business, landscaping, ground maintenance labourers, cleaners, retail salespersons, mail distribution occupations, agriculture workers, general farm workers, managers in agriculture, contractors, labourers in food and beverage processing among many others. 


The temporary public policy program is a temporary program and not a permanent solution to immigration needs. It is a one-time pathway that has closing data hence, there is a cap on applications.  The cap for stream A is 20,000 applications while the cap for stream B is 30,000 applications. There is a standard permanent residency application fee that you will have to pay when applying. Applications under the temporary public policy program opened on 6 May 2021. Applications will close on 5 November 2021 or remain open until the cap is reached, whichever comes first.

It is worth noting that you need to be present in Canada and you must have been working in Canada for at least one year even if it was on a part-time basis to qualify. Given that this program is temporary, it is advisable that, if you are working or have worked in the listed occupations and you are currently in Canada and you meet the other eligibility requirements, you quickly apply for permanent residency under this new permanent residency pathway.

Let Us Help

In case you are interested in applying for Canadian permanent residency under the new temporary public policy program, we are available and happy to assist you to put together your application and guide you throughout the process. 

We are also happy to provide the best professional advice in case you have any questions or inquiries regarding the new temporary public policy program. 

Please feel free to contact us. Book a call with us today!


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