Everything you should know about Canada’s New Immigration Streams

Canada has introduced the most popular immigration streams to allow 90,000 additional international graduates and essential workers to apply for permanent residence. The quota for the two English-speaking essential worker streams is 50,000 applications whereas; English-speaking International Graduate stream has a quota of 40,000 applications.

1. Update information about graduates and workers streams

The travel restrictions in Canada due to the spread of COVID-19 has had major impacts on the labour market. Canada typically depends on immigrants coming in from abroad to make up for the labour shortages. IRCC looking to welcome 401,000 new immigrants by the end of 2021.


In order to reach this target, Canada introduced new immigration streams and the full guide on how to apply for the pathways to help those who already live in the country get permanent residence. Check out the guide on the government website.

Considering the volume of international graduates in Canada, the English-speaking international graduate students stream reached its quota quickly, 25 hours after the stream went live. 

IRCC will review 40,000 applications and refuse applications that do not meet IRCC’s criteria. If IRCC falls short of achieving its 50,000 quotas under the English-speaking essential worker streams, it may shift those spots over to the graduate stream. IRCC may accept more applications under the International Graduate stream. If IRCC opens the door again and welcomes more application for this stream, students should have all documents in hand. To know what documents you need to submit, check the application guide on the IRCC website


The Essential Worker Streams surprisingly have a low intake so far, with only 5,000 applications over 50,000 quotas.

 2. Highlight in the application guide

Before you apply, please take note of these important points: 


– You must be working in Canada at the time of your application.


– You can be working in any occupation at the time you apply. If you are applying as an essential worker, you need the 1,560 work hours in an eligible occupation within the past three years, and graduate stream applicants need a Canadian credential.


– You must submit a completed application with all documents, including language tests, and pay the fees.


– You can apply to multiple streams if you wish, but you will have to pay fees for each application.


– The intake process will be first in, first out.


– If you are currently living in Quebec, you may still be eligible, as long as you can demonstrate to the officer that you intend to move to another province, or show a job offer in another province.


– Self-employed experience does not count for these streams.


– Wet signatures are not required on documents, except for the use of representative form. There will be an attestation at the end of the online application, which will act as a signature.


– You can pay fees online in advance and upload the receipt in your application, or pay through the online portal. If you overpay, IRCC will start processing your application and send you an automatic refund.

Find out if you are eligible for Canada’s new immigration streams by using this tool available here.

Questions about Canada's new immigration streams

3. FAQ on Canada’s New Immigration Streams for Essential Workers and Graduates

According to IRCC’s website:

Step 1: Find out if you are eligible

Step 2: Gather your documents

Step 3: Complete the application

Step 4: Pay the fees

Step 5: Submit your application

Here is a list of the mandatory forms principal applicants need to fill out:

  1. Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
  2. Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]
  3. Additional family information [IMM 5406]
  4. Schedule 3 – TR to PR pathway [IMM 0130]

Some of the other forms you may need to fill out if applicable include:

  • Additional Dependents/Declaration [IMM0008 DEP]
  • Declaration from Non-Accompanying Parent/Guardian for Minors Immigrating to Canada [IMM 5604]
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union [IMM 5604]
  • Use of a Representative [IMM 5476]

You can retain an immigration representative but you need to upload your application onto IRCC’s website yourself. IRCC has stated “Only applicants can access and upload their documents through the intake portal. Representatives cannot access the portal for their clients. This is because applications must be electronically signed in the intake portal.”

Yes, you can. You will need to pay the application fee twice.

You get to choose the stream. This option will be available to you when you submit your application.

No, it is listed in the eligibility criteria that you need to be currently employed in any job (the occupation and whether it is full or part-time does not matter as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements).

It is $1,050 for principal applicants. There may be other fees you also need to pay (e.g., if you are adding dependents to your application).

Yes, you can. You will need to pay the application fee twice.


Yes, as long as you meet all the other eligibility criteria of one of the streams.

Yes, you can apply, as long as you obtained at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in the last three years in an essential occupation.

No, you just need to show you got 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in the last three years in an essential occupation for one of the essential worker streams.

Those wishing to apply under a graduate stream do not need to demonstrate they have work experience in an essential occupation.

Any job is fine (in any occupation and whether it is full-time or part-time), as long as it is paid and salaried employment (unpaid work or self-employed work does not count).



Yes. You will need to pay the respective application fees for each option you pursue.

No. Foreign education is not assessed under these streams so you are not required to submit an ECA with your application.

No, self-employment does not count unless you are a medical doctor that fulfills other eligibility criteria. You must show you were working as an employee.

Candidates can show proof such as their plans to move outside of Quebec, their new place of residence, whether they have employment in another province or territory, etc.

Once you submit your application IRCC will conduct a completeness check to make sure:

  • - All required forms have been properly completed and submitted
  • -  The processing fee has been paid
  • - All required documents from the application guide have been submitted


After your application is received you will get an Acknowledgment of receipt via email that:

  • - Notifies you your application has been received and provides you with your IRCC application number
  • - Provides basic information for contact with the IRCC office that will process your file
  • - Gives you a short outline of future processing steps


IRCC recommends you link your application to your online account once you receive your application number so you can get the most up-to-date case status information, get online updates for your application, and change your Sign-In Partner or switch to a GCKey.


An IRCC officer will then conduct a detailed review of your application. If your application is successful, you (and your family members if applicable) will receive Canadian permanent resident status.

IRCC notes the following may delay processing:

  • - copies of documents that are not clear
  • IRCC needs to verify your information and documents
  • - a medical condition that requires you to complete more tests or consultations
  • - criminal or security problems
  • - IRCC needing to consult with other offices in Canada or abroad


You can check your application status by creating an online account.

IRCC advises you to:

  • - Send all documents and information requested in your application
  • - Pay your application fees and biometrics fees (if required)
  • - Provide your biometrics as soon as you - can (if required)
  • - Notify IRCC in the event your contact information changes

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