Two new streams under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot will help refugees with or without a job offer in Canada
Canada is offering new immigration opportunities for refugees and other displaced people who have skills and qualifications that are in demand in the Canadian labour market. The two new streams are part of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), which combines refugee resettlement and economic immigration.
The EMPP was launched in 2018 and aimed to identify skilled refugees in the Middle East and East Africa who could apply for Canada’s economic immigration programs. Now, the pilot has been expanded and updated to include two new streams: one for candidates who have a job offer in Canada, and another for candidates who have high skills but no job offer.
Job offer stream
The EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream allows Canadian employers to recruit and hire skilled refugees for a variety of occupations that are in demand in Canada, such as nurse aides, personal support workers, long-term care aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, logistics and warehouse workers, tourism and hospitality workers, and truck and delivery service drivers. The eligible occupations can range from managerial to intermediate level.
To be eligible for this stream, candidates must meet minimum requirements for language proficiency, work experience and education. They do not need to provide an education credential assessment or proof of funds to settle in Canada.
Candidates can get help from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that partner with the EMPP to find and connect with Canadian employers, support them through the immigration process, and assist them with their settlement and integration in Canada. Some NGOs may charge a fee for their services.
No job offer stream
The EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream is for candidates who have skills that are highly sought after in Canada, and who are confident that they can find employment after they arrive in Canada. To be eligible for this stream, candidates must meet higher requirements for language proficiency, work experience and education because they will need to look for work on their own. They also need to provide an education credential assessment and have enough funds to support themselves and their family members in Canada.
Benefits of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
The EMPP offers several benefits to candidates who apply through either of the new streams, such as:
- waiving application and biometric fees for candidates and their dependants
- processing applications within six months or less (in most cases)
- covering the cost of medical exams through the Interim Federal Health Program
- allowing candidates to use loans from the Immigration Loans Program to fund travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs and fees that cannot be waived
- providing pre-arrival travel services from the International Organization for Migration
- waiving the right of permanent residence fee
- offering access to the EMPP-specific Canadian Orientation Abroad Programme to help candidates prepare for life in Canada
The EMPP also offers benefits to Canadian employers who hire skilled refugees through the pilot, such as:
- accessing a new pool of qualified candidates who can fill labour shortages
- getting support from NGOs to find and hire suitable candidates
- learning how to support newcomer employees with their integration in the workplace and community
Canada is a global leader in refugee resettlement. In 2021, Canada welcomed more than 46,500 refugees from over 80 countries. By launching the new streams under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, Canada is demonstrating its commitment to both humanitarian and economic goals.
“Helping employers access a new global talent pool is another way we are using our immigration system to address ongoing labour shortages,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in a media release. “Finding these skilled workers among people who happen to be displaced abroad and lack a durable solution is a made-in-Canada solution that we are promoting globally. Canada will continue to develop and scale up these types of innovative measures that allow us to welcome more vulnerable people, while helping businesses find the skilled workforce they need to grow.”