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Government launches second phase of skilled refugee pilot program

December 8, 2021

By Vancouver is Awesome |

The government has expanded a pilot that allows refugees to apply for permanent residency through conventional economic immigration streams by removing some of the barriers that would traditionally have precluded them.

The minister hopes to see only a six-month window between the date a successful candidate submits their application and the day they can start working in Canada.

The pilot is an expansion of a 2018 program that aimed to identify 10 to 15 skilled refugees in the Middle East and East Africa who meet the requirements of Canada’s economic immigration programs.

This time, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada hopes to bring 500 skilled refugees to Canada.

“It’s a win-win scenario, both for the person who’s being resettled but also for the community who benefits from the resettlement,” Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said in an interview.

“We see these people who were not coming to take something from our communities, but to give immense talents that’s going to help to people who’ve called Canada home for generations. I see this as an extraordinary opportunity to do some good not just to help vulnerable people but to help the communities that they now call home.”

He said he saw the impact a program like this can have first hand, when a long-term care facility in his neighbourhood welcomed 32 trained health-care providers to small-town Nova Scotia.

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