It is said that every cloud has a silver lining, and in times like these, it is no exception. Beginning on May 6th, qualified individuals in Canada temporarily can apply for permanent residency, an important step to remaining in Canada long term and getting citizenship.
The new policy offers permanent residency to essential workers with Canadian work and education experience, in a faster program than in normal times for those who qualify. It reflects the government's recognition that such people deserve a faster and simpler path to citizenship, due to their work and education and ability to easily integrate into Canadian society through their language skills and other connections to Canada.
Ordinarily, permanent residency can be achieved through sponsorship by a family member, the Express Entry program (which uses points), running a business, and being given asylum (among other methods).
In this new program, however, temporary workers in 40 health care professions, 95 other selected essential occupations, and international students who graduated from a Canadian institution in recent years, are all eligible to apply between May 6th and November 5 of 2021. Importantly, they must not be inadmissible to Canada and be currently working with authorization in one of the designated professions, or have graduated with a recognized Canadian degree.
As well as the November deadline, there is a cap for applications (total of 90,000 for all the programs); any received afterward are not processed. This is why speed is important, as well as accuracy in meeting the requirements.
As the requirements are lengthy and the forms can be quite complex, filling out an application by yourself can be risky. Rejected application can make future applications more difficult, or even cause a loss of status with strongly negative consequences.
Even unintentional mistakes can be seen as ‘misrepresentation’ i.e. falsehoods that could ban someone from applying for many years. This is especially true with programs limited in time and amount as the currently opened stream is.
It is more important than ever to have an experienced representative that can advocate on your behalf, including writing letters, replying to immigration officer questions, and researching cases similar to your own.