Canada has announced an innovative pathway to permanent residency for over 90,000 essential workers including Caribbeans who are contributing to the development of the North American nation.
The initiative was recently announced by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), Marco Mendicino and will grant special status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already contributing to the growth of Canada’s economy.
“The focus of this new pathway will be on temporary workers employed in our hospitals and long-term care homes, and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international graduates who are driving the economy of tomorrow,” he said, according to the Jamaican Observer.
Eligible candidates must have worked in Canada for at least one year either in the health sector or another essential profession. The process will commence on May 6 and the IRCC will accept applications under three streams, Mendicino said.
The streams will accept 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care; 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations; and 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian institution.
Also, some 90,000 new permanent residents will be admitted under these three streams, Mendicino said, adding that three additional streams with no intake caps have also been launched for French-speaking or bilingual candidates.
“Communities across Canada benefit from French-speaking and bilingual newcomers, and this pathway will contribute to the vitality of these Francophone minority communities,” Mendicino said. “As we continue the fight against the pandemic, immigration will remain critical to our economic recovery by addressing labor shortages and adding growth to our workforce.”
He continued: “With an accelerated pathway to permanent residency, these special public policies will encourage essential temporary workers and international graduates to put down roots in Canada and help us retain the talented workers we need, particularly in our healthcare system.
“Today’s announcement will help us achieve our 2021 Immigration Levels Plan, which will see Canada welcome 401,000 new permanent residents. The skilled newcomers and international graduates welcomed under our plan will help create jobs and drive long-term growth in Canada.”
Mendicino said the pandemic has shone a light on the contributions of newcomers and that the new policy is to help those with temporary status to plan their future in Canada as well as the country’s economic recovery.
“Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay,” he said.
According to the High Commission of Canada to Guyana and Suriname, some one million people residing in Canada are of Caribbean descent, and over two million Canadians travel to Caribbean countries annually.