Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)
Updated: Aug 9
The Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) is an immigration program launched by the Canadian government on March 27, 2023. It aims to provide a new pathway for skilled refugees to immigrate to Canada, focusing on their professional qualifications and skills, rather than their status as refugees. This program allows refugees to apply for permanent residency in Canada based on their ability to contribute to the Canadian economy.
The EMPP program focuses on the economic integration of refugees and works in collaboration with private sector employers, provinces, territories, and service provider organizations to support the applicants throughout the process. This program complements existing Canadian immigration programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program, Provincial Nominee Program, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).
Key features of the EMPP program include:
Collaboration: The Canadian government partners with businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders to identify skilled refugees and assist them throughout the application process.
Expediting the process: EMPP applicants receive streamlined processing of their applications, ensuring a faster and more efficient pathway to permanent residency.
Comprehensive support: Refugees selected under the EMPP receive support to help them integrate into Canadian society, including language training, employment services, and assistance with credential recognition.
Expanding the pool of candidates: The EMPP is designed to complement existing Canadian immigration programs by targeting skilled refugees who might not have had the opportunity to access other pathways, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Provincial Nominee Programs.
Focus on economic integration: The primary goal of the EMPP is to enhance the economic mobility of refugees and help them successfully integrate into the Canadian labor market.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)?
To be eligible for the Economic Mobility Pathways pilot, candidates must:
Be a refugee recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or a foreign national who has been privately sponsored by a group in Canada.
Meet the criteria of one of the existing economic immigration programs (Federal Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee, or Federal Skilled Trades).
Have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
What is the application process for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)?
The application process for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) involves several steps for both candidates and employers. Here is an overview of the process:
Assessment of eligibility: To be eligible for the EMPP, candidates must be skilled refugees recognized by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or another referral organization. They should also meet the criteria for one of the existing Canadian economic immigration programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program, Provincial Nominee Program, and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP).
Referral: Skilled refugees may be identified and referred to the EMPP by referral organizations, such as the UNHCR, or by Canadian employers seeking to fill labor shortages. There are seven non-government partner organizations that can assist you in connecting with employers in Canada and preparing for a job offer under the Employment in Canada program (EMPP). Some partners can issue a referral letter, which simplifies the application process by reducing the number of forms and documents required. To use a partner that can issue a referral letter, you must still have a job offer from a Canadian employer. Examples of these partners include TalentLift, Talent Beyond Boundaries, and Jumpstart Refugee Talent. If you choose to use another partner or apply on your own, you must provide proof of your current refugee status, such as a positive Refugee Status Determination from the UNHCR or proof of being an asylum seeker. You will also need to complete the Schedule 20 form. Examples of these partners include RefugePoint, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, and the International Rescue Committee.
Expression of Interest: Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria and have been referred to the EMPP should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Invitation to Apply: If a candidate's EOI is accepted, they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence under the EMPP.
Application for permanent residence: Upon receiving an ITA, candidates should prepare and submit their application for permanent residence, along with supporting documentation, within the specified time frame.
Processing: IRCC will review the application and may request additional information or documentation as needed. Applications under the EMPP benefit from expedited processing.
Decision: Once the application has been reviewed, IRCC will make a decision on the candidate's eligibility for permanent residence under the EMPP. Approved candidates will receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and can begin making arrangements to move to Canada.
Before starting your EMPP application, make sure that you have completed the application process for one of the three eligible economic immigration streams.
To apply for the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, you need to complete and submit two forms:
Schedule 20 – Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot
Document Checklist (IMM 0137)
The first form, Schedule 20, is the primary application form for the EMPP. It requires you to provide information such as your personal details and those of your family members, your refugee status, and your travel history.
The second form, IMM 0137, is a checklist of the supporting documents you must include with your EMPP application.
After completing both forms, you should submit them along with your economic immigration program application.
To submit your application, including all supporting documents, you must email them to IRCC. The email subject should be written as "EMPP application for [principal applicant's family name, first name]."
If the size of your attachments requires you to send more than one email, indicate the total number of emails in the subject line. For example: "Part 1 of 2 – EMPP application for [principal applicant's family name, first name]."
There are 2 applications you must complete for the EMPP:
One application for the economic immigration program:
Atlantic Immigration Program
Provincial Nominee Program
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
A second application for the EMPP.
You must submit both applications together.
There are now 2 ways you can apply:
Online in the Permanent residence portal
If you choose to apply online, you’ll complete and submit both online applications together.
If you choose to apply by email, you must
complete all forms for both applications and
follow the EMPP instructions to submit them together
You can complete your applications yourself. If you decide to use an immigration representative, make sure you know how to choose one. Click here to book an appointment with a legal representative.
Identifying skilled refugees: Employers may work with referral organizations, such as the UNHCR, to identify skilled refugees who are suitable for available job opportunities in their company.
Offering employment: If an employer identifies a skilled refugee candidate, they can offer them a job, subject to the candidate meeting the eligibility criteria for the relevant immigration program.
Supporting the application: Employers play a crucial role in supporting the candidate's application for permanent residence under the EMPP. They may assist with gathering required documentation and providing information to IRCC as needed.
Integration support: Once a candidate is approved for permanent residence, employers should be prepared to provide support to help them integrate into the Canadian labor market and adapt to their new environment. This may include language training, assistance with credential recognition, and other settlement services.
How the Pilot Works for Candidates
The pilot involves a streamlined application process, which includes:
Identification of skilled refugees by the Canadian government, in partnership with employers, provinces, territories, and service provider organizations.
Assistance throughout the application process, including language training, employment services, and help with credential recognition.
Expedited processing of applications, ensuring a faster and more efficient pathway to permanent residency.
After You Apply
After submitting your application, you can expect the following:
Receive a confirmation that your application has been received.
Benefit from expedited processing, which may lead to a faster decision on your application.
If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa, if applicable.
How the Pilot Works for Employers
Employers play a crucial role in the success of the EMPP program. They can:
Partner with the Canadian government, provinces, territories, and service provider organizations to identify skilled refugees.
Offer job opportunities to refugees who meet the eligibility criteria for one of the existing economic immigration programs.
Support successful candidates in their integration into the Canadian labor market and society.
What the EMPP aims to achieve.
The EMPP is a pilot program designed to support eligible applicants, particularly refugees, in applying for specific economic immigration programs. The EMPP aims to make the application process more accessible and efficient for applicants, while providing additional support and resources. Key features of the EMPP include:
Enhanced eligibility and application support: The EMPP will simplify the eligibility requirements and application process for selected economic immigration programs, making it easier for applicants to apply and qualify.
Waived fees: Application and biometric fees for applicants and their dependents will be waived under the EMPP.
Expedited processing: The pilot program aims to review and process applications in six months or less in most cases.
Medical cost coverage: Pre-departure medical services and medical exams will be covered by the Interim Federal Health Program.
Financial support: EMPP applicants can use a loan to meet the financial requirements for settlement funds. Additionally, approved applicants can access the Immigration Loans Program (ILP) to help with travel costs, pre-arrival travel services, start-up costs after arrival in Canada, and the right of permanent residence fee.
Integration support: The Canadian Orientation Abroad Program will be available to EMPP applicants, providing resources and guidance to help them integrate and settle in Canada.
Overall, the EMPP aims to streamline the economic immigration process for eligible applicants, particularly refugees, by providing support and resources to help them successfully integrate into Canadian society and contribute to the economy.