On June 12, 2023, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, unveiled two groundbreaking immigration streams for skilled refugees. The Federal Skills Job Offer Stream and the Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream, both part of the Economic Mobility Pathway Pilots (EMPP), are now accepting applications.
The Genesis of the New Immigration Streams
The announcement of these new immigration streams was initially made on March 27, 2023, intending to launch two unique pathways for skilled refugees. The two streams cater to candidates with a job offer from a Canadian employer and highly skilled refugees without a job offer.
Eligibility Criteria for the New Immigration Streams
To qualify for these innovative streams, applicants must be located outside Canada and possess one of the following documents:
- Proof of Refugee Status Determination (RSD) from the UNHCR or a state hosting refugees.
- Documentation indicating that the applicant is registered or recorded by the UN Refugee Agency as a person of concern.
- United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine in the Near East (UNRWA) refugee documentation.
- Documentation demonstrating registration as a person of concern with UNRWA.
- Evidence of provisional protected status and an IRCC officer’s determination that you lack a permanent solution.
Applicants who do not possess any of the above-listed documents can contact one of IRCC’s trusted partners to have their situation assessed and receive a referral letter to apply under these streams.
Federal Skills Job Offer Stream
The Federal Skills Job Offer Stream allows Canadian employers to recruit qualified candidates for various in-demand positions. These include roles such as nurse aides, personal support workers, long-term care aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, logistics and warehouse workers, tourism and hospitality workers, and truck service drivers.
To qualify, applicants must have a full-time, non-seasonal job offer in TEER Categories 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 from a Canadian employer. They must also have at least one year of full-time, paid work experience (1,560 hours) or an equivalent amount in part-time. Self-employed individuals also qualify. English or French language proficiency of CLB level 5 for TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 jobs and CLB level 4 for TEER 4 or 5 jobs is required.
Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream
The Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream acknowledges the in-demand skills that specific candidates possess, enabling them to secure employment in Canada. However, this stream is limited to only 150 applications per year.
To apply under this stream, candidates must have at least one year of full-time, paid work experience (1,560 hours) or an equivalent amount of part-time experience. Self-employment does not qualify. Applicants must have an education equivalent to a Canadian secondary school with an Education Credential Assessment. English or French language proficiency of CLB level 7 in each of the four language abilities is required. Applicants must also have sufficient settlement funds.
The amount of settlement funds required is as follows:
- For a single applicant: $13,310
- For a family of two: $16,570
- For a family of three: $20,371
- For a family of four: $24,733
- For a family of five: $28,052
- For a family of six: $31,638
- For a family of seven: $35,224
- For each additional family member: $3,586
These new immigration streams represent a significant step forward in Canada’s commitment to providing opportunities for skilled refugees. The Federal Skills Job Offer Stream and the Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream are not just immigration pathways but economic mobility and a brighter future for refugees with the skills and determination to succeed.
Patricio Dallan, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain at Walmart Canada, has expressed his support for the program, stating, “Walmart Canada welcomes this expanded government program and applauds the creation of further economic opportunities for new Canadians. Programs like EMPP are important in breaking down barriers to employment for newcomers and helping them find their footing in their new country. As one of Canada’s most diverse and inclusive companies, we look forward to providing even more newcomers with fulfilling, long-term employment opportunities with Walmart Canada through this collaboration with the Government of Canada.”
In conclusion, the two new immigration streams, the Federal Skills Job Offer Stream and the Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream, are a testament to Canada’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, offering skilled refugees a chance to contribute to the Canadian economy and society.