Canada’s new essential worker stream reaches intake cap

Shelby Thevenot
Updated: Aug, 21, 2023
  • Published: July 16, 2021

Canada’s new immigration stream for English-speaking essential workers in non-healthcare-related positions has reached its limit of 30,000.

The quota was met on July 16, more than two months after the program originally launched. It is the second of the six temporary residence to permanent residence (TR to PR) pathways to fill up before the programs close on November 5. The first was the international graduates stream, which was open for 25 hours.

Get help applying for the new open work permit

The stream for healthcare workers is still open. Out of 20,000 spots, only about 2,600 have applied as of July 16. The streams for French speakers have an unlimited number of seats. So far, the stream for French-speaking essential workers in non-healthcare positions has the most applications.

The quotas for the streams were set as follows:

The essential worker stream was filled just a day after Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced a new bridging open work permit for TR to PR applicants. Starting July 26, this new work permit option will allow applicants to keep working in Canada while they wait for a decision on their application.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched these limited-time streams to provide additional immigration pathways to international graduates and essential workers living in Canada during the pandemic. IRCC is aiming for 90,000 applicants to gain permanent residence through the streams. During the pandemic, IRCC has been focusing on in-Canada applicants, since they may not face the same level of coronavirus-related disruptions as immigration candidates overseas.

IRCC expects to process 40,000 of these applications in 2021 to support the department's goal of landing 401,000 new immigrants this year.

Get help applying for the new open work permit

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