Pathways to PR for workers and graduates in Canada

Pathways to PR for workers and graduates in Canada

Canadian experience has always been valuable for people looking to become permanent resident (PR). It has recently become even more important as Covid pandemic has caused Canada to shut its border to non-essential international travel. The implication is that, until regular travel resumes, Canada now focuses much of its immigration energies on temporary residents who are already physically present in the country. In this article, I will share some of the pathways to PR for workers and graduates in Canada.

Limited-time PR Streams

Canada will launch six new immigration streams on May 6. These new streams are designed for essential workers and recent grads who are working in Canada. Candidates may be eligible if they have work experience in essential occupations such as healthcare and others. To apply, you must currently be working in Canada in any occupation. These programs are unique because they do not take National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level into account.

Under these new programs, Canada will accept up to 90,000 applications. This includes an unlimited number of francophone or bilingual candidates. Applicants need to demonstrate a minimum language requirement. The immigration department has said language test results need to be included in the application.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The CEC is a long-standing federal immigration program designed to attract and retain people who already have experience living and working in a skilled occupation in Canada. To be eligible, a candidate needs one year of skilled (NOC 0, A, or B) work experience in Canada within the last three years, as well as an intermediate to high English proficiency, depending on what type of occupation you hold. There is no job requirement to be eligible.

The CEC is managed through the Express Entry (EE) system. Under EE, IRCC will process most complete applications in six months or less. Express Entry uses a grid called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank candidates, and periodically sends those with the highest scores Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence. Having a job offer, high proficiency English or French, an advanced educational credential, and more years of Canadian work or educational experience will all help improve your score.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

A nomination under a federal immigration program allows a person to settle in any province or territory in Canada, except for Quebec. In addition to the federal and Quebec programs, there are scores of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which allow provinces to nominate people to immigrate to that specific place.

For instance, Alberta runs the Alberta Opportunity Stream (AOS) for people who are already working in the province. You have to be working in an eligible occupation and show that you will continue to hold employment in it. Alberta identifies ineligible occupations, but it does not provide a list of occupations that are eligible.

A nomination from any PNP gives you 600 additional points in the CRS system, which has a maximum of 1,200 points. As such, any PNP nomination makes it extremely likely that you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.


Quebec administers its own economic immigration programs. Many of these programs are quite similar in form and structure to the federal governments. However, they have an emphasis on French language proficiency. For example, there is a Quebec Experience Class that has sub-streams for people who have skilled work experience in the province, and for recent graduates of Quebec post-secondary institutions.

In Conclusion

As you can see, Canadian work or study experience is always valuable. However, it is particularly useful now, since Canada is focusing on reaching its immigration levels targets. So, if you are already in Canada as a temporary resident, opportunities abound for you. You can use your Canadian experience as a springboard to your future as a permanent resident.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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