IRCC expanding Economic Mobility Pilot Program to include 2000 skilled refugees

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 The EMPP was designed to help skilled refugees immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that it will be providing funding through the Economic Mobility Pilot Program (EMPP) to several partner organizations.

Over the next few years, the program will admit 2,000 skilled refugees to Canada to help with shortages in specific, high demand sectors. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made the announcement today during a partner’s meeting in Ottawa.

The EMPP facilitates the hiring of skilled refugees by connecting them with employers who have urgent hiring needs.

The partner organizations receiving funding are Talent Beyond Boundaries, TalentLift and Jumpstart Refugee Talent. These organizations will soon be able to directly refer and support candidates. Each organization will receive training and quality assurance reviews.

“The Canadian economy is experiencing chronic talent shortages across multiple sectors,” says Bassel Ramli, Co-Founder and Global Programs Director at Jumpstart Refugee Talent. “Meanwhile, millions of refugees around the world are seeking durable solutions to secure better lives for their families. In partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Jumpstart is supporting employers across Canada in hiring and relocating people from displaced populations.”

Among the funding, the government has allocated $6.2 million to support EMPP partner organizations.

There are six separate projects receiving the funding. The money will help the organizations identify qualified candidates overseas and support the candidate and the employers through the interview, hiring and immigration processes.

Who is eligible for the EMPP?

As of October 2022, Canada has already welcomed over 100 skilled refugees and their family members under the EMPP.

A refugee who settles in Canada under the EMPP has less difficulty applying for permanent residency in the long term.

Refugees who wish to immigrate under the EMPP must be able to prove that they are both refugees and eligible under an existing economic immigration pilot program such as the:

  • Atlantic Immigration Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

What is the EMPP?

The EMPP was launched as a research project in 2018 and has had two phases. The first phase proved that, given targeted help, there are skilled refugees who can meet the eligibility criteria of existing economic immigration programs. This phase helped shed light on a large, untapped pool of potential skilled candidates who can fill the gaps in Canada’s workforce.

The current phase involves IRCC targeting to settle 500 refugees and their families. The outcome of these settlements will help IRCC further understand how to maximize the potential of skilled refugees and expand the EMPP.