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Is the two-step migration system serving Canada and newcomers as it is intended?

April 12, 2022
12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Online via Zoom

Join CERC Migration for a webinar to discuss the impact of Canada’s two-step immigration system on the transition experiences and challenges facing different groups of temporary migrants, and what proactive approaches could address these challenges.

More often today, migrants to Canada experience a two-step immigration process where they are first admitted with temporary status and then have the potential to transition to permanent status through federal and provincial immigration programs. While the transition rate of temporary migrants has increased over time, it is not consistent across various groups of temporary migrants. Canada’s two-step system offers varied and unequal transition pathways to different groups of migrants without considering their specific social and economic circumstances.

During the pandemic, several policy initiatives were undertaken in 2020-2021 to address this issue, including the intake of a record number of applications for the Canadian Experience Class program from within Canada and introduction of an immigration program for international students and essential (low-skilled) workers. Still, Canada faces significant labour shortages in key areas of the economy. 

Given this backdrop, it is critical that we understand fully the implications of our current system and how it can be refined to best serve Canada and tomorrow’s newcomers. Our webinar seeks to address:

  • How do different degrees of access to transition for different groups of temporary migrants (e.g., agricultural workers, caregivers, low-skilled workers, high-skilled workers and international students) affect their lived experiences? 
  • What social and economic factors influence the transition of high- and low-skilled migrants?
  • What are the implications of the recent policy initiatives that were taken to facilitate the transition of essential workers and international students during the pandemic?
  • What new policy thinking would address the specific circumstances and needs of different groups of temporary migrants to enable their transition? 


Amrita Hari, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Delphine Nakache, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Marshia Akbar, Senior Research Associate, CERC Migration, Ryerson University

Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Ryerson University