Ottawa, February 13, 2021—As we confront the pandemic’s second wave and chart a course for our recovery, attracting skilled immigrants—who bring the talents and skills our economy needs to thrive—is a central part of our plan. With travel restrictions limiting who can come to Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is pioneering new ways to engage those who are already here and hard at work. Their status may be temporary, but their contributions are lasting—and we’re hoping to help more of them stay permanently.
In an effort to help more skilled workers stay in Canada and bolster our economic recovery, approximately 27,300 workers with Canadian experience received an invitation today to apply for permanent residence. These workers fall under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) of the Express Entry pool. Successful CEC candidates have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience, have proven that they can contribute to our economy and have paid taxes. Those who receive an invitation have 90 days to submit their complete application.
Most notably, approximately 90% of CEC candidates are already living in Canada. This means they’re unaffected by current travel restrictions and won’t face the same barriers as overseas applicants when gathering the required documentation and undergoing criminality and medical screening. Those invited to apply who are not currently living in Canada will be able to travel once restrictions are lifted.
All travel restrictions for permanent resident applicants approved after March 18, 2020, remain in effect. IRCC will continue to accept and process Express Entry applications and looks forward to welcoming skilled workers from abroad when travel resumes.
From large companies to major labour unions, Canadians agree that immigration is essential to our economy. One in three businesses with employees is owned by an immigrant, creating thousands of jobs from construction to retail. Throughout the pandemic, newcomers have played an outsized role in Canada’s response, accounting for over one third of our doctors and pharmacists. Put simply, immigration is crucial to Canada’s short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.