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New Canada PR streams: What international students should know

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Trudeau's government aims to accept 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. Could you become one of them via a new pathway? Source: Dave Chan/AFP

If you’re one of the thousands hoping to obtain permanent residence (PR) in Canada, the new Canada PR streams would be music to your ears. Beginning May 6, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting permanent residence applications under new streams for healthcare and essential workers, as well as international graduates of Canadian institutions.

The effort is part of Canada’s aim to accept 401,000 new immigrants in 2021. Since many international students, graduates, and workers are more likely to stay in the country throughout the pandemic, they would have higher chances to secure permanent resident status during this time. By May 6, there would be 1.5 million work and study permit holders vying for one of the 90,000 spots; 50,000 for health and essential care workers, and 40,000 for international graduates.

The streams will remain open until Nov. 5, 2021, or until they have reached their limit. Here’s what we know so far, as reported by CIC News.

Canada PR

The Samuel De Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Quebec,  illuminated in the colours of the Lebanese flag to express solidarity. Source: Sebastien St-Jean/AFP

How international students benefit

Good news for international students in Canada: you do not have to wait until graduation to apply for these new Canada PR streams. Students with work experience are welcome to apply to the essential worker streams. Though you do not have to be employed at the time of application, you must have worked at least 1,560 hours within the past three years.

How to pick your stream

Stream A is for healthcare occupations, while Stream B covers other essential occupations. Healthcare workers may not apply to Stream B. However, Stream B applicants may count Stream A work experience. If you are eligible for more than one stream, you may apply to each — as long as you pay the fee for each application.

How to apply for new Canada PR streams

To become eligible for the new Canada PR streams, you must complete English or French language tests such as the IELTS or CELPIP. The new Canada PR streams allow you to immigrate to any province besides Quebec. However, any education or work experience you gained in Quebec will still contribute to your eligibility.

On the website, there will be a “How to Apply Tool” to help you navigate the streams. You will then create an account and see the document checklist — which includes a generic immigration applicant form called the IMM 0008. Fill out and validate the form using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

When you submit your application, you must attach all the necessary documents to determine your PR eligibility. The list of documents is not yet finalised, but it should be similar to terms detailed in the Canadian Experience Class application guide. You must also present English or French language test results and pay the fee upfront. The application fee is not confirmed yet, but you can expect it to range between 1,050 and 1,325 Canadian dollars. IRCC is aiming to process applications for these new streams in six months.

All applications will be submitted online based on a first-in, first-out basis. Every programme has different requirements for essential workers and graduates as well as French-speaking essential workers and graduates. Check your eligibility on the official website.

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