New Canadian Permanent Residency Pathway For International Students

by | May 20, 2021

The Canadian Government recently announced a new immigration pathway for students. Particularly students who are inside Canada and have graduated from Canadian post-secondary institutions and are not yet Canadian permanent residents. 

The new program is also specific to persons who are outside of Quebec. Therefore, if you graduated from a post-secondary institution anywhere across Canada other than Quebec, this program may be useful as another avenue through which you may now apply for Canadian permanent residency. 

The new program was announced on 12 April 2021 and took effect from 6 May 2021. This new program is in addition to the Canadian Experience Class, which is part of the Express Entry Program that still remains an option for you. The Canadian Government has gone further to create more avenues for those persons who may not otherwise meet the eligibility requirements under the Canadian Experience Class.

Temporary Public Policy Program

The new program is known as temporary public policy. The temporary public policy program is tailored to facilitate the granting of permanent residence to foreign nationals in Canada, outside Quebec. There is a separate program that is targeted at persons inside Quebec. 

Under the temporary public policy program, persons who have graduated from any eligible institution across Canada other than one that is in Quebec may qualify subject to other eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

There are a number of eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify under the temporary public policy program to enable you to apply.

  1. Completion of Studies in Canada

To begin with, you must have completed your studies at a Canadian post-secondary institution no earlier than January 2017. If your program ended in 2016, for instance, you will not qualify under this program. It is important to note that you must have been authorized to study in Canada. You must have had a valid study permit. 

Additionally, your studies must have been carried out at a Canadian designated learning institution. This requirement is also a critical requirement for persons who are applying for study permits.

Upon completion of your studies, you must either have been issued a degree, diploma, certificate or an attestation. These credentials are issued when you complete a program leading to a skills trade or an occupation in a skilled trade that qualifies. For the degree, it could be a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, or doctorate. The duration of your study program must have been at least eight months. 

You may have done multiple programs and completed more than one diploma or certificate or attestation. In this case, the minimum length of the program must have been eight months and the combined length must be equivalent to a two-year credential over the 16 months. This particularly applies to a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization, which is normally for persons in skilled trades jobs. You must have completed at least 900 hours.

  1. Employment in Canada

Another important requirement is that you must be employed in Canada. You must have a valid work permit or be authorized to work at the time you apply for permanent residency. You must also not have been self-employed unless you are a medical doctor. However, you must not be employed in the area that you were trained in. The requirement is simply that you must have a valid work permit. 

However, your employer must meet the definition of work. Essentially, you must be carrying out an activity for which you are being paid. Work means an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned. So you must have been working.

  1. Status and Language Skills

For you to qualify, you must have valid status in Canada and you must be living in Canada. So if you are outside Canada after completion of your post-secondary studies, you will be ineligible. You must reside in Canada and you must have valid temporary residency status. Temporary resident status means that you must either have a work permit or a study permit or you must have a visitor record.  If you are out of status, you must be eligible to restore your status for you to qualify under this program.

Notably, you need to be physically present in Canada which means you must be inside Canada because the program applies to provinces other than Quebec. You must intend to live in a province or territory other than Quebec and submit an application for it. You will also be required to write an English or French language test and score at least a level five benchmark of the language test.

Family Members Eligibility

The temporary public policy program allows you an opportunity to also apply for your family members who are with you inside Canada as well as those family members who are outside Canada. Nonetheless, some requirements would have to be met for your family members to become eligible under the program to also apply for permanent residency. 

Keep in mind that family members mean your immediate dependents for immigration purposes. It could be a partner, whether a married partner or common-law partner or your dependent children. Dependent children are those who are generally under the age of 22 or in the case of a child with a mental or physical disability, their age could be over 22 depending on the particular legal circumstances.


There is a maximum number of applications that the Canadian Government will be accepted under the new temporary public policy program. The cap on applications is currently set at 40,000 applications. The standard permanent residency fees also apply to applications under this program. The earliest by which you would be able to submit an application under this program is 6 Ma 2021.

The temporary public policy program is a one-time program and hence, it is not a permanent program. The program has a deadline set on 5 November 2021 or if a quarter of 40,000 applications is met, whichever comes first. Therefore, it is important for you to take advantage of this program as soon as possible. It is advisable that eligible persons apply early to ensure that they secure a place.

What is Annex A?

The temporary public policy program covers two streams as provided for under Annex A or Annex B of the program. One stream deals with essential workers in the healthcare sector and the other stream deal with essential workers in non-healthcare sectors.

Annex A provides for the types of eligible skilled trade jobs under the temporary public policy program. If you graduated from a skilled trades program and you secured employment in one of the listed categories under Annex A, you would be eligible to apply under the program. 

In other words,  if you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any length leading to occupation in a skilled trade, you would qualify. It is important for you to go through the listed categories of skilled trade jobs to confirm. It covers almost all of the skilled trades occupations or at least the most common ones.

Let Us Help

Should you be 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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