Canada announces new pathway to permanent status for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates

The Federal Government introduced a new pathway to permanent residency for up to 90,000 foreign nationals working in Canada in essential jobs such as personal support and health services, and international graduates already in Canada, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced Wednesday.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provided a list of occupations that are deemed essential. It includes people in a wide range of skilled trades, such as electricians and metal workers, along with farm workers, cashiers, home child care providers and French immersion teachers, among others.

To be eligible, workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in one of 40 different health care jobs or 95 other pre-approved essential jobs. Graduates must have completed an eligible Canadian post-secondary program over the last four years.

Warning: The information provided below has no legal value. This information was taken from the Immigration website on April 15, 2021 and is subject to change without notice.

This 90,000 permanent residencies are separated in two different programs:

1. Temporary Residents with recent work experience in Canada (50,000 applications):

Work experience needs to be equivalent to 12 months full-time work experience in Canada in the last 3 years and will be divided in two different streams:

  • Stream A (20,000 applications): Work experience in many health care occupations
  • Stream B (30,000 applications): Work experience in many fields like cashiers, construction, security, farm workers, cleaners, etc.

To be eligible, besides the 1-year work experience they also need:

  • English proficiency: CLB 4
  • Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved
  • Be employed in Canada in any occupation at the time that the application for permanent residence is received

For full information on this program and the full list of occupations that will be part of this program, please access:

2. Temporary Residents who graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution and were granted in the last 3 years (40,000):

  • A degree (Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate) which must be a degree issued on completion of a program of at least 8 months in duration;
  • A degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade
  • One or more diploma/certificate/attestation where the following conditions are met: For diplomas/certificates/attestations, each program of study must be at least 8 months in duration and the combined length of the credential(s) must be equivalent to a two-year credential (at least 16 months in duration).

Besides the post-secondary certificate(s):

  • English proficiency: CLB 5
  • Be employed in Canada with a valid permit or authorization to work pursuant to the Act and Regulations at the time the application for permanent residence is received and must not be self-employed
  • Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved

For full information on this program and the full list of skilled trades that will be part of this program, please access:

Both public policies come into effect on May 6, 2021 and will end on November 5, 2021 or once 90,000 applications have been received, whichever comes first.

Registration is open for a new semester of the Uprooted U program

We’re so excited to announce that the second semester of Uprooted U will begin on May 4th 2021. And we’re thrilled to be welcoming back our amazing co-teachers, Tyler Correia and Jesse Kohut.

Held over twelve weeks, this semester will offer a weekly two hour blended course, incorporating foundational academic skill building and advanced implementation of these skills.

Throughout the course, students will be guided in developing critical thinking, writing, and reading skills, while engaging in assignments to challenge themselves and expand their horizons.

This program will also offer weekly study hall sessions, and each student who successfully completes the course will be provided with a certificate.

This program is free, and open to all.

For more information, and to apply, please contact Natasha at
natasha.rollings @

You can register by filling out the form below or by downloading and sending the registration form before April 23rd, 5.00 pm.

We are here for you

In solidarity with all of those who have been left behind during this pandemic, the FCJ Refugee Centre has been determined to be an open door in a global lockdown. We have been more active than ever, and we want to share some of this with you. Transparency is our way to say thank you to everyone helping us.

“A historical moment”: COVID-19 vaccination at the FCJ Refugee Centre

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Toronto has expanded to refugee homes in the city, with hospital teams operating several pop-up clinics.

On Tuesday, over 50 residents and staff at the FCJ Refugee Centre received their vaccines, in a vaccination day organized by the University Health Network’s Social Medicine Program and the Women’s College Hospital’s Crossroads Clinic for Refugees.

“This is a historical moment,” said Loly Rico, Co-Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre. “It is the first day of a vaccination campaign that we believe, and we hope, that we can continue doing,” she added.

“This is a chance for the society. The idea is to open thee space for people that need to have an easy access to the vaccine,” she explained.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Co-Director Francisco Rico-Martinez.

Rico-Martinez explained that, even if the vaccine is free and available to all residents in Canada, regardless of their immigration status, “some of our residents thought they wouldn’t get the vaccine because they aren’t citizens, or because they haven’t any immigration status or health coverage.”

“Sometimes they get the impression sometimes that they don’t exist in society, and they were recognized today,” he added.

More information: Webinar: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines

Read also: ‘It’s a dream come true’ as COVID-19 vaccine rollout expands to city’s refugee homes (Toronto Star)

‘Navigating the Divider,’ a New Program for Newcomer Youth

The FCJ Refugee Centre is launching Navigating the Divider, a new program supporting newcomer youth and community members to develop employability skills.

This program will empower youth to reach their full potential, learn about their rights, and develop new skills.

The program has been cultivated through a joint program between students at York University and Seneca College, and the FCJ Refugee Centre Youth Network.

We are looking for dynamic and enthusiastic volunteers to support this program to deliver workshops, and act as peer mentors.

The first orientation workshop will be held on March 26th, at 3h00.

Please click here to register.

When you can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario

Ontario has a three-phase plan that prioritizes COVID-19 vaccines for those at greatest risk of severe illness and those who care for them. The province is currently completing Phase 1 of the plan.

Phase 1

High-risk populations (approximately 1.8 million people)


  • December 2020 – March 2021


  • Congregate living for seniors
  • Health care workers
  • Adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations
  • Adult chronic home care recipients
  • Adults over 80 years old


  • Distribution through hospital site clinics, mobile teams, site-specific clinics, mass vaccination clinics (late March)

Phase 2

Mass deliveries of vaccines (approximately 9 million people)


  • April 2021 – July 2021


  • Adults aged 60 to 79, in 5-year increments
  • High-risk congregate settings (such as shelters, community living)
  • Individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers
  • Those who cannot work from home
  • At-risk populations


  • Distribution through: mass vaccination clinics, pharmacies, primary care, site-specific clinics, mobile teams, mobile sites, public health units

Phase 3

Steady state


  • July 2021 onwards


  • Adults 59 years and younger


  • Distribution through: mass vaccination clinics, pharmacies, primary care, site-specific clinics, mobile teams, mobile sites, public health units

If there is limited supply, people will be vaccinated in the order in which they are listed. Learn how the priorities are determined.

All timelines are subject to change depending on vaccine supply.

Booking a vaccination

Ontario’s vaccine booking system is now available:

How to book a vaccine »

Check with your public health unit

Each public health unit is developing a vaccine plan tailored to their own community’s needs. Local plans will align with Ontario’s vaccine distribution plan and ethical framework. Find your public health unit and check their website for details about vaccination in your area.

Find your public health unit »

More information on the Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan website »

Youth Engagement Week

In connection with the CCR Youth Network‘s Newcomer Youth Civic Engagement Project, the FCJ Youth Network is organizing, this second week of March, the Youth Engagement Week.

The event is focused on offering newcomer youth an opportunity to be leaders in their communities and tackle issues that affect them.

The activities aim to help newcomer youth connect and engage with their communities, identifying key issues for newcomer youth and supporting them in exploring ways to address these issues within their communities.


  • March 9th – 8pm: Games Night
  • March 10th – 4pm: Talk to Action by CCR YN
  • March 11th – 4pm: Migrant Youth Engagement 101

To register and for further information:

Community Engagement Initiative for the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

FCJ Refugee Centre is taking part of the National Action Plan to end Gender-Based Violence, with Women and Gender Equality Canada and YWCA Canada.

In order to make concrete changes, voices from the communities impacted are essential.

FCJ Refugee Centre is organizing a series of consultations in different languages. These consultations will provide a space to hear the important voices of women who have faced gender-based violence.

To learn more:

» After decades of talk, national action plan to protect women finally in the works (CBC News)

Human Trafficking is Still Happening in Canada

Human Trafficking Awareness Day (February 22nd, 2021)

The Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network – TCHTN calls for awareness among all Canadians to recognize Human Trafficking as a growing concern across Canada.

Despite the pandemic, human trafficking continues to take advantage of systemic issues such as poverty, inequity, and legislation focused on prosecuting criminals, as opposed to empowering communities and supporting survivors. In fact, the pandemic has only highlighted the blatant social inequalities that allow human trafficking to continue.

Being united in combatting human trafficking, addressing systemic inequities, and knowing the warning signs are all important in its prevention. Collaboration and communication are essential in addressing this crime against humanity, labour and human rights.

We need to intensify our counter-trafficking collaboration and enhance communication among governmental and non-governmental agencies, to condemn all forms of human trafficking and slavery and provide support to those affected.

The TCHTN encourages Canadians to listen to victims and survivors of human trafficking and to raise awareness of the magnitude of this modern slavery and labour exploitation happening here in Canada and abroad.

We encourage local and national media to echo TCHTN’s call to promote voices, initiatives and efforts against human trafficking here in Toronto/the GTA, as well as across Canada. Fighting against human trafficking is a commitment that inspires the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network every day to embrace principles of human rights, equity, anti-oppression frameworks and social justice.

Join the movement with us,

For those looking to know more about the TCHTN or to contact a representative from those organizations above, please do not hesitate to send a message to Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network – TCHTN coordinator, Luis Alberto Mata, or call him. He’ll get back to you asap:

  • Email: Lmata @
  • Tel: (416) 469-9754 ext. 242
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