Thu | Jul 29, 2021

Immigration Corner | Light at the end of the tunnel for farm workers, truck drivers, helpers

Published:Tuesday | April 20, 2021 | 12:22 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

This is a really urgent question as I’m really wondering if there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for farm workers and little people like me. I just heard from a friend who is a truck driver that there is a new programme for us to stay in Canada for good. Can you tell me about this programme, as me and my new girlfriend, who is a helper, really want to stay in Canada. My girlfriend also has a sister that she is helping to go to school here, but she said a lawyer told her she is kind of old, so she is worried that she may have to go home soon. Can you please tell us if there is a way for us to sort out our papers to stay permanently? A lot of my friends are really anxious to hear from you. Looking forward to your response in the newspaper.

– MM

Dear MM

You are right about a new pathway for some temporary foreign workers and international students to get permanent residence in Canada. Recently, Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, announced a new programme which will come into effect on May 6, 2021 and closes November 5, 2021. There is a cap on the number of applications that will be accepted and therefore you must act immediately.

Under this new programme, temporary foreign workers who are employed in hospitals, long-term care homes and who were working on the front lines during the pandemic could be granted permanent residence status. Additionally, international students who are in Canada may also qualify under this programme.

This programme also extends to immediate family members of the principal applicant, provided that the family member is listed as an accompanying family member in the application for permanent residence under this public policy.


Only 90,000 applications will be accepted under the policy and this is further divided up according to occupation. The government will only be accepting 30,000 applications from temporary workers in selected essential occupations such as general farm workers, transport truck drivers, nursery and greenhouse workers, cleaners, some sales support occupations, sales support occupations, retail salesperson, industrial, electrical and construction trades, installers, repairers, servicers and material handlers, transport and heavy-equipment operators, related maintenance occupations, trades-helpers, construction labourers and related occupations, harvesting, landscaping and natural resources labourers, mail and message distribution occupations. Therefore, anyone working within these occupations should contact an immigration lawyer immediately to assist with this application.

OCCUPATION categories

Only 20,000 applications will be accepted under the category of healthcare and related occupations. The eligible occupations under the healthcare category include all broad occupational Category 3 occupations from the Canadian National Occupational Classification apart from veterinarians, animal health technologists and veterinary technicians. Eligible occupations under this category are some occupations in education, law and social, community and government services. Other essential support workers that also fall in this category are home childcare providers, teaching assistants, retail butchers, security guards, customer service representatives, groundsmen, and some other landscaping personnel.

Temporary foreign workers who are serving in the medical field as nurses, physicians, dentists, medical technicians, social workers, massage therapists, nurse aides, home-support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations, to name a few, would be eligible.

Forty thousand applications will be accepted from international students who have successfully completed their programme of study. International students can apply under this category provided that have successfully completed a post-secondary programme at a designated learning institution within the last four years and no earlier than January 2017.


I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to assist you with this application as you must be accurate and swift when submitting this application. You should also note that this temporary public policy was instituted to facilitate the granting of permanent residence for foreign nationals who are currently in Canada, but do not live and work in the province of Quebec.

Workers must be able to clearly demonstrate that they have a minimum of one year work experience in a healthcare profession, or an approved essential occupation as outlined in the public policy. We expect that additional information will be provided soon.

Nevertheless, you should also expect to provide proof of your work experience, language ability and educational background. You should also anticipate that there will be medical and security checks on all applicants and their accompanying family members.

Deidre S. Powell, is an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer. Connect with her via Facebook, Instagram or or call 613.695.8777.