Canada will grant permanent residency to more than 90,000 foreign students and workers who helped treat patients during the pandemic, the immigration minister announced Wednesday.
The program, in effect from May 6, is intended for workers with at least one year of work experience in health care or dozens of other sectors deemed essential — from grocery store cashiers and shelf stockers, to truck drivers and farm workers — as well as graduates who’ve completed a post-secondary degree within the last four years.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the measure should help Canada reach its target of welcoming more than 400,000 immigrants this year, compensating for a drop in immigration last year when the border was closed.
“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers,” he told a news conference.
“These new policies will help those with a temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better,” he said.
“Your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay.”