Skilled visas get more seamless for displaced talent with IRCC’s trusted partner approach

There can be a lot of steps in a skilled visa application, and we’re very happy to announce one less step for our candidates. 

Talented people living in displacement globally qualify for jobs and skilled visas to Canada the same way as others do – but they can also access certain accommodations to overcome displacement-related barriers under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP). These accommodations include use of an expired passport and use of a charitable loan for settlement funds.

A change announced today by IRCC relates to how folks qualify for these EMPP accommodations. 

Before, applicants with job offers in Canada needed to hold a refugee status determination (RSD) or other form of official registration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or its partners, or with a state government. Not everyone can access these options. Obtaining an RSD or an official registration can be a long or impossible process in some countries. Candidates living in refugee circumstances from Lebanon to Pakistan to Kenya have encountered this barrier.

Now, applicants can still apply with either of these options or with the new option of a referral letter from a trusted partner, including TalentLift and a handful of other NGOs. Trusted partners issue referral letters to candidates they’re supporting who have job offers in Canada and who meet Canada’s legal definition of a refugee. No RSD or registration is needed. 

This is great news for talented folks who are in displacement but who may not have access to a timely (or any) RSD or other type of official registration. This is also a win for seamless recruitment from within refugee populations globally. We’re grateful to see this advance towards greater flexibility, and therefore greater scale for this impactful hiring solution.

Read more in an IRCC press release in English or French

Candidates living in refugee circumstances and seeking a job in Canada can join TalentLift. Employers seeking global talent while engaging their team in something transformative can start hiring.