Canada Launches New Immigration Pathway to Hire Skilled Refugees
Today, March 27, 2023, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, announced the launch of a new economic pathway under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). The EMPP is a program that started in 2018. It connects skilled refugees and other qualified displaced individuals who meet the requirements of Canada’s economic immigration programs with Canadian employers who need workers in critical occupations.
The new federal pathway, which will open this summer, will give candidates an opportunity to restart their careers and lives in safety with their families in Canada.
“Canada is a global leader in helping skilled refugees connect with employers struggling to find workers in critical areas, while giving newcomers the opportunity to restart their careers and their lives here in Canada.”The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
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The new economic pathway under the EMPP
According to the announcement, the new pathway will complement existing EMPP pathways and offer employers more opportunities to fill in-demand jobs. Moreover, it will allow employers to hire refugees and other displaced people who qualify under any NOC 2021 category (TEER 0–5).
“The new federal pathway will give employers more opportunities to fill a wide range of in-demand jobs, including nurse aides, personal support workers, long-term care aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, teachers, tourism and hospitality workers, and truck and delivery service drivers.”
In addition, the application process for the new federal pathway “will be easier and faster”. The new pathway has simplified and sped up the application process by establishing uniform eligibility standards and requiring only one submission. The processing time for most applications is anticipated to be less than 6 months, allowing EMPP newcomers to swiftly relocate to Canada and commence work.
More information, including who may be eligible, will be available in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive Candian Immigration updates.
<<Organizations can now sponsor up to 13,500 refugees in Canada>>
About the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)
In 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the EMPP as a small research project. During the first phase of the pilot, IRCC learned that skilled refugees can qualify for permanent residence through economic programs with some help. During the second phase, launched in December 2021, IRCC is aiming to settle up to 500 refugees and their families.
EMPP facilitation measures include:
- waiving some fees,
- making it easier to prove the applicant’s work experience,
- reviewing and processing applications in 6 months or less (in most cases), and
- letting applicants use loans to fund travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs and fees that cannot be waived.
As of October 2022, Canada has already welcomed over 100 skilled refugees and their family members under the EMPP.
How to apply for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
You can apply for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) on your own, or with help from a non-government partner.
There are 7 partner organizations outside the government that can help you connect to employers in Canada, prepare for a job offer, and then apply for the EMPP. Some partner organizations can issue a referral letter, which makes it faster and easier for you to apply. Other partner organizations can help you apply, but won’t affect the documents you need to use.
1. If you use a partner that can issue a referral letter
You need fewer forms and documents for your application. However, you still need a job offer from a Canadian employer. The Partners that can provide a referral letter include:
2. If you use another partner or apply on your own
You have to complete the Schedule 20 form and submit proof of your current refugee situation with 1 of these:
- a valid, positive Refugee Status Determination (RSD) from the UNHCR or a refugee-hosting state
- proof you’re an asylum seeker abroad, registered or recorded by the hosting state
- proof you’re registered or recorded as a person of concern by the UNHCR, if you don’t have a positive RSD yet
These other partners include:
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
- FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance
- International Rescue Committee
3. Complete the applications
There are 2 applications you must complete for the EMPP. The first one is an application for the economic immigration program:
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)
And the second one is an application for the EMPP. IRCC mentions on its website that you can submit both applications together, using only the instructions for the EMPP application. You can also complete the application by yourself or use an immigration representative. Of course, you can find more information about this program and its requirements, here.
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