Hiring with Impact: Employers now have a faster route to hire displaced talent to address skills shortages

Dilruba is a talented nurse from Afghanistan who relocated to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)

Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced today that a new federal immigration pathway is coming this summer to support Canadian employers to hire candidates living as refugees.  

The new pathway will be an expansion of Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) and will not replace the current EMPP changes to other existing visa pathways, but will operate as an additional route. 

The goal is a simpler and faster pathway that helps to scale the use of jobs and skilled visas to Canada as a solution to displacement and to help fill gaps in skills shortages across all sectors in Canada. Employers are experiencing severe shortages and collaborative solutions are needed. 

What we know about the new EMPP federal pathway so far is that it will include job offers under any National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 category (TEER 0-5) and will be a one-step permanent residence application that IRCC aims to process within six months.

The new pathway is expected to 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. 

More information on the new federal EMPP pathway, including eligibility criteria, will be available in the coming weeks and shared on our website.

TalentLift and our partners have long advocated for simpler and faster visa pathways for displaced applicants. Canada’s existing skilled visa pathways disproportionately exclude displaced applicants for reasons that have nothing to do with skills or potential – they face ongoing barriers through requirements like demonstrating ‘temporary intent’ to be eligible for work permits (the fastest route to Canada), demonstrating Canadian work experience, and providing proof of education through original transcripts. 

This pathway is a big win for displaced talent globally and the hiring teams eager to get involved. We’re grateful to see this advance towards greater equity, and therefore greater scale for this impactful hiring solution. We hope to see IRCC continue advancing changes to other skilled visa pathways that are needed for deeper equity. 

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.



“This is an innovative program that doesn’t seek to maximize the economic opportunity for refugees by chance but by choice.” – Minister Fraser

“If we develop a program that allows people to do the right thing that also meets an essential need there is no limit on what we can achieve.”- Minister Fraser

“I could put 25,000 people to work today, and that’s only in Ontario.” – Joseph Mancinelli, International VP and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada, LiUNA! who introduced Minister Fraser at today’s announcement

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