Canada’s new International Graduate stream reaches cap

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Canada’s new International Graduate stream for English-speakers has reached its limit of 40,000 applications.

The quota was reached today, May 7, at 1:01 PM Eastern Standard Time. This and five other new streams for essential workers and French-speaking international graduates launched yesterday at around 12:00 PM EST.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced it would be launching the six streams on April 14. The purpose of the streams is to provide additional immigration pathways to international graduates and essential workers living in Canada during the pandemic. IRCC is aiming for some 90,000 individuals to gain permanent residence through the streams. The focus on offering more permanent residence pathway to those in Canada is a function of such individuals not facing the same level of coronavirus-related disruptions as immigration candidates overseas.

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CIC News has prepared a special FAQ on the immigration streams available here.

IRCC expects to process 40,000 of these applications this year. The department has set a goal of landing 401,000 new immigrants in 2021.

The quotas for the streams were set as follows:

Over 5,000 applications have been submitted under the English-speaking Workers in Canada streams (out of a total cap of 50,000 applications). Uptake for the French-speaking streams has been low so far, but this is partly a function of the streams not having caps and a generous deadline of November 5, 2021.

English-speaking streams will remain open until November 5, or when caps are met, whichever comes first.

Why such high demand for English-speaking International Graduate stream?

There was a large demand for the graduate stream due to a high number of temporary residents in Canada, and lower selection criteria.

There could be up to 1.5 million work and study permit holders currently in Canada. A large share of them are work permit holders, but there are also about 530,000 study permit holders.

The eligibility criteria allowed for candidates to have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5. To compare, most candidates under the popular Canadian Experience Class (CEC) need a CLB 7. In addition, graduates did not need one year of work experience to be eligible under the stream that hit its cap today. Generally speaking, at least one year of Canadian work experience is needed for such graduates to be eligible for other immigration programs, such as the CEC.

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