Filipinos with temporary residency status in Canada – specifically those who are caregivers and essential workers – can now apply for permanent residency, according to the country’s embassy in the Philippines.

The Canadian embassy announced the changes on Tuesday (April 20). They note that applications will start on May 6.

In a tweet, the embassy highlighted that the changes will hasten the processing of applications for those who have already filed the paperwork. The agency also mentioned that the measures were put in place in recognition of Filipino workers patiently waiting to be reunited with their families.

According to the Canadian government, they’re ready to accept 90,000 Filipinos into their country – particularly international students and temporary workers – through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino acknowledged the delays they’ve suffered in processing permanent residency applications due to the pandemic – which they hope to make up for through digitizing the process.

“With today’s announcement, we’re getting caregiver immigration back on track which will help reunite front-line heroes with their loved ones,” Mendicino shared. 

Those eligible for permanent residency applications will include essential workers, who’ve worked at least 1 year in a healthcare profession in Canada. For students, the completion of an eligible Canadian post-secondary program within the last 4 years – no earlier than January 2017 – is required.

The deadline for application submission is on November 5. However, it may be extended if slots are still available. 

The Canadian government said the initiative is part of their 2021 Immigration Plan, which aims to address labor shortages in the country. 

“The pandemic has shone a bright light on the incredible contributions of newcomers. These new policies will help those with temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better,” Immigration Minister Mendicino said.

“Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting—and we want you to stay,” he added.

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Image credit: Canadian Embassy in the Philippines’ Official Facebook Page