Immigrate through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)

Immigrate through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP)

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in his Keynote address on March 27, 2023 has announced a new pilot program starting this summer of 2023 which is more focused on Convention Refugees and Refugees abroad class. It’s a pathway that:

  1. helps skilled refugees immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs.
  2. gives employers access to a new pool of qualified candidates to fill job openings.

With the increasing displacement and insufficient resettlement facilities worldwide, the United Nations Refugee Agency with other countries now focusing on complementary pathways for refugees which are more focused on durable solutions outside of traditional refugee resettlement.

In alignment with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Refugee Affairs Branch (RAB) in late 2018 planned to expand the immigration pathways to refugees as immigrants for which they are selected based on their human capital or ability to fill Canadian labour market needs rather than their vulnerability and need for protection.

The EMPP was launched in 2018 as a feasibility study and intended to provide evidence on the ability of refugees to access Canada’s economic immigration programs and to document the challenges they face in doing so.

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EMPP phase 2 will help settle up to 500 skilled refugees, and their families, in Canada.

The pilot combines refugee resettlement and economic immigration. Before you apply for the EMPP, you’ll apply for 1 of these immigration programs:

  1. Atlantic Immigration Program
  2. Provincial Nominee Program
  3. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The selection criteria, including the ability to settle independently in Canada, is assessed using economic immigration requirements is tailored to refugees. EMPP will:

  • waive the application and biometric fees for you and any of your dependants
  • review and process your application in 6 months or less (in most cases)
  • cover the cost of your pre-departure medical services and medical exams through the Interim Federal Health Program
  • let you use a loan to meet the financial requirements to support yourself and your family when you come to Canada (your settlement funds)
  • give you access to the Immigration Loans Program (ILP), if your application is approved, to help with travel costs
  • some pre-arrival travel services from the International Organization for Migration that the ILP covers the fee for some start-up costs after you arrive in Canada (which is also available to other economic immigration applicants) the right of permanent residence fee
  • let you access the Canadian Orientation Abroad Programme to help you integrate and settle in Canada

Who is eligible?

apply to asses your profile

There are 2 sets of eligibility requirements you must meet to apply for the EMPP.

  1. You must be a refugee

To prove this

  • you must be a convention or country of asylum refugee.
  • be outside Canada and your country of persecution.
  • have no durable solution in the country you’re living in.
  • have one of these documents, if you don’t have a referral letter from one of our partners:

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  1. a valid, positive Refugee Status Determination (RSD) from the UNHCR or a refugee-hosting state
  2. proof you’re an asylum seeker abroad, registered or recorded by the hosting state
  3. proof you’re registered or recorded as a person of concern by the UNHCR, if you don’t have a positive RSD yet

2. Admissibility

You must be admissible to Canada.

  1. You must be eligible for an economic immigration program

You must be eligible for one of the following economic immigration programs:

  • Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)

To qualify for 1 of these, you must have:

  • English or French skills
  • education or job training, and work experience
  • a job offer from a Canadian employer for full-time work

As part of the EMPP, some of the eligibility requirements for AIP and RNIP may not be required.

We are here to assist in preparing and submitting your application. For further information, please contact us


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