Today, June 12, 2023, Canada has launched two new immigration streams under the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP), an initiative first committed to on March 27, 2023. These streams are designed to help skilled refugees and other displaced individuals leverage their education, training, and experience in Canada’s robust job market.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, underlining Canada’s commitment to unlocking the talent often overlooked in refugees and displaced people. This move serves dual purposes – it addresses Canada’s labor shortages and economic immigration needs while amplifying the country’s existing humanitarian commitments.
The new EMPP streams will connect employers with a global talent pool of skilled refugees and displaced individuals who do not require Canadian work experience. This development is seen as beneficial for both refugees and Canadian businesses. The two EMPP streams cater to different segments of the refugee population.
- EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream, is for those with a job offer under any National Occupation Classification 2021 category (TEER 0–5) from a Canadian employer. It opens doors for qualified individuals to fill roles in various sectors, including nursing, software engineering, logistics, and hospitality.
- EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream, is specifically tailored for highly-skilled refugees who do not have job offers but possess in-demand skills. These candidates are expected to secure employment after they arrive in Canada. As a result, applicants for this stream must meet higher language, past work experience, and education requirements. They are also required to provide proof of an education credential assessment, demonstrating the validity of their qualifications. Furthermore, to show their capability of establishing themselves in Canada, applicants must prove that they have a certain amount of funds available. This innovative approach ensures that their valuable skills are fully utilized to contribute to the Canadian economy.
Applauding the initiative, Lara Dyer, Canada Director of Talent Beyond Boundaries, recognized the new federal pathway’s potential impact on addressing labor shortages in healthcare, tourism and hospitality, and construction sectors. Veronica Wilson, Co-Founder and Legal Director of TalentLift, also appreciated the move, highlighting its potential to dismantle visa process barriers that have hindered refugee integration into the labor market.
Last year, Canada set a high bar in refugee resettlement and labor mobility, resettling over 46,500 refugees from more than 80 countries. By launching these innovative EMPP streams, Canada continues to lead in providing a refuge for vulnerable populations while also addressing its economic needs. With measures such as fee waivers, easier validation of work experience, and providing loans for resettlement costs, the EMPP provides a streamlined and supportive path for skilled refugees, reiterating Canada’s commitment to an inclusive and responsive immigration system.