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There are nearly 1.5 million workers and students in Canada. Some 90,000 new permanent residence spots will be available beginning May 6.

Canada’s recent announcement is being met with great fanfare.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is launching six streams for essential workers and international graduates on May 6. It will provide permanent residence to up to 50,000 essential workers and 40,000 graduates. The programs close on November 5, or when the quotas are met, whichever happens first. There are no quotas for French-speaking applicants.

Canada’s rationale for the programs is it wants to transition as many of those in the country now to permanent residence to support its 401,000 new immigrant target for 2021. Those in Canada are more likely to be able to obtain permanent residence now since they are not subject to the same COVID-related travel restrictions that immigration candidates abroad face. The government believes high levels of immigration will support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

The significant demand by immigration candidates in Canada to complete an English-language test is a major indicator of the level of interest in the programs.

Those wishing to obtain Canadian permanent residence under the economic class usually need to complete an English or French language test that has been approved by IRCC. This requirement is in place even if English or French is your mother tongue, or if you have lived, worked, or studied in an English or French-speaking environment (e.g., such as in Canada).

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