Ottawa—In the tumultuous journey of life, no one should have to toss their hard-earned skills, training, and education into oblivion simply because they’ve been displaced from their homeland. The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) by Canada is transforming this narrative, carving out opportunities for talented refugees and other displaced individuals to transplant their skills and careers into fertile Canadian soil.
The Dawn of New EMPP Streams
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, unveiled today that two new streams have been launched under the EMPP, keeping the promise made on March 27, 2023. These add to the existing regional EMPP economic channels through which candidates can still apply.
A New Horizon for Skilled Refugees
Canadian employers now have the advantage of tapping into a reservoir of talent, hailing from displaced and refugee communities across the globe. This not only expands Canada’s economic immigration but also fills in-demand roles, thereby reciprocating the country’s humanitarian commitments.
With lessons gleaned from the initial EMPP rollout, the immigration process has been expedited, enabling newcomers to transition to Canada and kick-start their careers at a faster pace. Additionally, these new streams shatter accessibility barriers, with Canadian work experience no longer being a prerequisite for application.
Two Pathways, Infinite Opportunities
The two pathways introduced have been meticulously designed keeping in mind the diverse circumstances of applicants. One caters to individuals with a job offer from a Canadian employer, and the other to highly-skilled refugees sans job offers.
EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream
With the EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream, Canadian employers can recruit qualified candidates to plug a wide spectrum of in-demand jobs. The list includes nurse aides, personal support workers, long-term care aides, software engineers, web designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and technicians, logistics and warehouse workers, tourism and hospitality workers, and truck and delivery service drivers.
EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream
The EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream understands that certain candidates possess skills that are in such high demand that they are likely to secure employment upon arrival in Canada.
Through these pathways, the EMPP empowers refugees and other displaced individuals, enabling them to leverage their skills to enhance their lives, their families, and the welcoming communities and workplaces in Canada.
Canada’s Global Leadership in Economic Mobility
The expansion of the EMPP is a testament to Canada’s ongoing efforts to model labour mobility programs for like-minded nations and to tailor Canada’s immigration system to fulfil its economic and humanitarian commitments, aligning with its role as Chair of the Global Taskforce on Labour Mobility.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, remarked, “Our immigration system is not just about embracing more vulnerable people; it’s a potent tool to mitigate labour shortages. Recognizing and capitalizing on the skilled workforce amongst displaced individuals is our uniquely Canadian solution to this global challenge.”
Lara Dyer, Canada Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries, commended the Canadian Government, saying, “The new federal pathway for EMPP will not only combat labour shortages in key sectors across Canada but will also catalyze transformation in the lives of displaced people.”
Veronica Wilson, Co-Founder and Legal Director, TalentLift, highlighted the pivotal role of the new EMPP immigration pathway, stating, “It opens new avenues for displaced talents globally to find rewarding opportunities in Canada and enrich their new communities.”
Bassel Ramli, Cofounder and Director, Economic Mobility, Jumpstart Refugee Talent, celebrated the introduction of Canada’s new EMPP federal streams, calling it an “exciting opportunity for businesses and refugees alike.”
- Canada remains a global torchbearer in refugee resettlement and labour mobility, having resettled more than 46,500 refugees from over 80 countries last year.
- The EMPP, as a complementary pathway, allows Canada to welcome more people in need of protection. Those coming through the pilot enter as economic immigrants, thereby leaving the resettlement spaces for those with higher vulnerability.
- Canadian employers can hire refugees and other displaced people who qualify under any National Occupation Classification 2021 category (TEER 0–5) using the EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream.
- NGO partners assist employers throughout the process of hiring and supporting the immigration process of candidates, and also help in welcoming newcomers to their new communities and workplaces.
- Eligibility for the new economic streams under EMPP is based on a candidate’s work experience, education, and language skills.
- Candidates applying for the EMPP through the job offer stream must meet minimum requirements for language, past work experience, and education but do not need to show proof of an education credential assessment or proof of settlement funds.
- Those applying for the EMPP through the EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream must meet higher requirements for language, past work experience, and education, and they need to show proof of an education credential assessment and possess a certain amount of funds.
- The EMPP includes measures that waive some fees, simplify the validation of work experience, and allow candidates to use loans to cover travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs, and fees that can’t be waived.
1. What is the EMPP? The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) is an innovative immigration pathway designed by Canada to offer skilled refugees and displaced individuals opportunities to continue their careers in Canada.
2. What are the new streams under the EMPP? The two new streams are the EMPP Federal Skills Job Offer Stream for candidates with a job offer from a Canadian employer, and the EMPP Federal Skills Without a Job Offer Stream for highly-skilled refugees without job offers.
3. Do candidates need Canadian work experience to apply? No, the new streams eliminate the necessity of Canadian work experience, making the program more accessible.
4. How is the EMPP benefiting Canadian employers? The EMPP opens up a talent pool of skilled refugees and displaced individuals worldwide, helping Canadian employers fill in-demand jobs.
5. What is the role of NGO partners in the EMPP process? NGO partners help employers in finding and hiring qualified candidates, support them through the immigration process, and welcome newcomers to their communities and workplaces.
6. Who can apply for the EMPP? Eligibility to apply for the EMPP under the new economic streams is based on a candidate’s work experience, education, and language skills.
In Conclusion: Canada’s Vision for an Inclusive Future
Canada’s pioneering initiatives like the EMPP are a testament to the country’s commitment to promoting an inclusive society. By tapping into the overlooked potential of refugees and displaced individuals, Canada is not just offering them a lifeline but is also injecting fresh vitality into its economy. Truly, Canada’s Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) immigration pathway is a shining beacon of hope in a world grappling with displacement and economic challenges.