Gamechanger: Canada’s new economic immigration streams for displaced talent now open

Najeeb (second from right) is a telecommunications professional originally from Afghanistan. He arrived in April alongside his wife and two daughters under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

Canada’s groundbreaking pilot supporting talented people living as refugees to apply for economic immigration has expanded and now includes a new federal pathway. The goal is a simpler and faster application that helps to scale the use of jobs and skilled visas to Canada as a solution to displacement, while simultaneously addressing critical labour shortages faced by businesses.

The new federal pathway is an expansion of Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) and does not replace the current EMPP accommodations to other existing visa pathways, but will operate as an additional route. When applicants come to Canada through the EMPP, they land as permanent residents with a pathway to citizenship.

The new federal EMPP pathway includes two streams, one that requires a job offer and one that does not. Both include a more flexible approach to eligibility by allowing other displaced people who lack a durable solution and are in need of international protection to apply. 

EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream overview:

  • A one-step permanent residence application with a processing time of six months
  • Job offers can be under any National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 category (TEER 0-5) 
  • No Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) required
  • Applicants must meet work experience and education requirements and meet language minimums based on the occupation classification level
  • Work experience can be obtained any time in the past 
  • Education credential assessments (ECA) are not required 

The EMPP Federal Skills No Job Offer Stream requires applicants to have an advanced level of English, have recent high-skilled work experience, demonstrate settlement funds, and obtain an ECA for foreign education. 

The EMPP provides accommodations to some of the displacement-related barriers that applicants may face throughout the visa process. Both streams under the new federal EMPP pathway will include existing EMPP accommodations, such as:

  • Use of a loan from a trusted microlender to satisfy a settlement funds requirement, if applicable
  • Use of an expired passport or other ID in place of a valid passport 
  • Waiver of the permanent residence processing fee and biometrics fee
  • Applicants will not be required to have a refugee status determination (RSD) and can use a referral letter from trusted partners like TalentLift that have expertise in assessing eligibility. 

TalentLift and our partners have long advocated for simpler and faster visa pathways for displaced applicants and we are very pleased to see a lot of our feedback and suggestions incorporated, especially around eligibility and work experience requirements.

Canada is building a more inclusive and equitable skilled immigration system designed to attract and retain talent, regardless of circumstance, to power teams and new home communities. This is a big win for displaced talent globally and the Canadian hiring teams. 

How do hiring teams meet candidates? 

Get in touch! Once we know more about your open roles and your team, we’ll shortlist candidates with the skills you need. Our goal is a seamless recruitment and relocation experience for you and the candidates you hire, through talent search, visa, and relocation services

Join a community of pioneering hiring teams across Canada. Start hiring with TalentLift.

Members of the media are welcome to get in touch