Canada permanent residency
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks off the stage after attending a news conference April 16, 2021 in Ottawa, Canada. Source: Dave Chan/AFP

The Canadian government hinted that it may lift the cap on a recently launched Canada permanent residency programme, following careful assessment of its early results.

“I’m open to discussion on whether or not to review the current caps,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino was quoted saying in the Globe and Mail. His department will first assess applications received and how the target of 90,000 admissions has been reached. “At that point, I will certainly have a much greater line of sight on whether or not there may be a need to revisit the caps,” he said.

Effective May 6, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began accepting applications under the following three streams:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care
  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations
  • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian educational institution

The streams will remain open until Nov. 5, 2021 or until they have reached their limit. The stream for international students filled its cap of 40,000 applicants in just 24 hours.

Another indicator of the programme’s popularity can be seen in the crashing of IELTS and CELPIP websites on April 15, one day after Mendicino announced the new Canada permanent residency programme. As applicants need to demonstrate language proficiency in English or French, the announcement drove many to book their language tests at the soonest possibility.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, IELTS and CELPIP are currently operating at reduced capacity. According to CIC News, few spots appear to be available in the coming weeks for both tests.

“We expect to expand our operations in the coming weeks to meet this new demand for our proficiency tests … In the meantime, test takers can rest assured that we are continuing to reliably deliver tests at our centres across Canada and internationally,” Betty Chan, Vice-President of Operations at Paragon, which operates the CELPIP, told CIC News.

How to qualify for Canada permanent residency programme

The scheme will allow eligible international graduates to apply for Canada permanent residency. Graduates must meet several requirements which include completing a selected Canadian post-secondary programme from eligible Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) no earlier than January 2017. 

Applicants must also be employed in Canada with valid status at the time of application, and meet the language ability of at least benchmark 5 in English or French in each of the four language disciplines as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens. International graduates must also live in Canada with valid temporary status and be physically present at the time of application, and intend to reside outside Quebec.