Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser says his government is working on a programme to help speed up the process of converting temporary residents in Canada to permanent residents.

In an interview that aired this weekend on CBC’s The House, he said, “We are looking right now at the best path forward to create a permanent pathway for temporary residents.”

After COVID-19 lockdowns closed the border to newcomers to prevent the spread of the virus, a previous programme called the “temporary resident to permanent resident pathway” — or TR to PR — was implemented for eight months last year.

The new programme, according to Fraser, will not be identical to the old one. He said he’s working under a strict 120-day deadline set by the Commons in a motion passed last month, due in September.

“That actually puts me on a clock to come up with a framework to establish this new permanent residency pathway, not just for international students, but also for temporary foreign workers,” he explained.

“We’re in the depths of planning the policy so we can have a policy that’s not driven by a need to respond urgently in the face of an emergency, but actually to have a permanent pathway that provides a clear path for those seeking permanent residency who can enter Canada.”

The exact details of the new program remain to be seen and, most importantly, how it will interact or affect the current backlog of IRCC applications, now hovering around the 2.5 million mark.

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