The Yukon Community Pilot (YCP)

The Yukon Community Pilot (YCP) is an immigration program launched by Canada’s northern territory of the Yukon. Part of the Yukon Nominee Program, the YCP takes an innovative approach to immigration, helping those who have received provincial nomination to gain a special type of work permit allowing them to work for multiple employers in a participating community in the Yukon. The pilot is slated to run from January 2020 to June 2023.

After receiving a provincial nomination, often applicants have to wait more than a year to have their permanent residence application processed at the federal level. During this time, certain PNP streams enable candidates to apply for a closed work permit, enabling them to work for a single employer in the province while awaiting a decision on their PR.

The YCP gives Yukon nominees an added flexibility, as instead of having their work permit tied to a single employer, work permits are tied to a specific community. This way, nominees can work for multiple employers and take on multiple part-time jobs to support themselves and help fill the labour needs of the communities in question.

The innovative nature of this pilot is one of several innovative immigration pilot programs created in the past several years to support Canada’s rural and northern communities. This trend was spearheaded by the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, but has been expanded through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and the Ontario Regional Pilot.

Yukon Community Pilot (YCP) – Open work permits (LMIA exemption code A75)

The Yukon Community Pilot (YCP) is a federal–territorial permanent resident stream with a work permit component. The Pilot was opened by the Government of Yukon, in January 2020. The goal of this pilot is to attract and retain immigrants in Yukon communities by testing innovative approaches to permanent immigration.

Facilitating entry with the issuance of open work permits under the International Mobility Program (IMP) supports paragraph 3(1)(e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) by encouraging the settlement and retention of workers in Canadian communities.

A person who has a valid nomination from the Yukon for permanent residence and 2 or 3 job offers from up to 3 employers based in a participating Yukon Territory community may be issued a location-specific open work permit without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). For the purposes of this pilot, foreign nationals may be issued a work permit under paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (LMIA exemption code A75).

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Pilot parameters

The pilot will run for 3 years, from January 2020 to June 2023.

The Yukon, along with IRCC, will monitor and evaluate the pilot over time to assess the

  • effectiveness and efficiency of its implementation
  • overall impact on the Yukon’s labour market

The Yukon will undertake integrity activities to ensure the employers are meeting the terms of their job offers with the foreign national (that is, wages, duties, and working conditions).

The Yukon will report on a performance measurement strategy with a focus on retention.

Eligible work locations

The participating communities are

  • Carcross
  • Carmacks
  • Dawson City
  • Haines Junction
  • Watson Lake
  • Whitehorse

All of the job offers for each foreign national must be located within the same community, although they may be for either the same employer or different employers. Each job offer should reflect work in a single National Occupational Classification (NOC). For example, someone working part-time as a hotel receptionist and part-time as a server in the hotel bar should have 2 job offers, even though the employer is the same for both.

Officers may use discretion in determining if the work locations are reasonably within the community boundaries.

Interim measures for work permits

This is a pilot stream under the Provincial/Territorial Nominee Program, and it will be in place until the Territorial Annex is renegotiated and amended. Work permits under this stream must be issued under LMIA exemption code A75 with special program code YUKONCP.

Employer eligibility

The Yukon will provide a nomination to a foreign national with 2 to 3 part-time job offers from up to 3 employers ensuring the foreign national will accumulate 1,560 hours in a single year (equivalent to annual full-time work).

If an employer should leave the agreement because they can no longer provide adequate work, the Yukon will help the foreign national to find new employment to maintain full-time, yearround work.

Foreign worker eligibility

To be eligible for the YCP work permit stream, foreign nationals must

  • be destined to a job location in a participating community in the Yukon
  • have 2 to 3 job offers with up to 3 employers that will allow them to accumulate 1,560 hours in a single year (equivalent to annual full-time work), within the same participating Yukon community

Required documents

Foreign nationals destined to work in the Yukon must submit their work permit application online for a 2-year open work permit restricted by location under subsection R205(a), LMIA exemption code A75.

Applications must include the following documents:

  • a copy of the nomination letter from the Yukon that confirms that the foreign national has been nominated for permanent residence by the Yukon
    • Note: This letter does not have to be valid at the time of the work permit application, but if the nomination is expired, the application must include a copy of the acknowledgement letter confirming that IRCC received the permanent residence application while the nomination was still valid.
  • a copy of the nomination letter from the Yukon that confirms that the foreign national has been nominated for permanent residence by the Yukon
    • that the nominated individual is urgently required in the community by the employers who have made the foreign national a job offer
      Note: Self-employed persons are not eligible for this type of work permit, given the lack of employer–employee relationship
    • a list of the names of the employers, intended occupation for each employer, number of hours for each employer and location of work
    • that the job offers are all genuine and will create economic benefits or opportunities
    • that the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens

Applications that do not include the requested information will be refused.

Note: Officers are responsible for assessing the eligibility requirements and determining if the applicant meets all requirements of this program and general work permit requirements. The Yukon will assess applicants; however, officers must still be satisfied that an applicant meets the YCP eligibility requirements for the issuance of the work permit. Officers should not presume that an endorsement by the Yukon means that an applicant meets all the requirements of the pilot.

Work permit duration

Officers may issue an open work permit with a mandatory condition restricting the location to the participating community that is valid for 2 years from the date of decision or date of entry to Canada or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever comes first. If the passport expires before the end of the 2-year period, therefore limiting the initial YCP work permit validity, the foreign national may apply for the balance of the 2 years by submitting an application for a work permit extension after obtaining a new passport. The applicant must prove that they still meet the eligibility requirements.

Work permit processing

It is mandatory that the work permit application be submitted electronically. Foreign nationals may not apply for the YCP work permit at a port of entry.

Work permit extension

In some rare situations, the application for permanent residence may take more than 2 years to be processed. Applicants to the YCP are not eligible for a bridging open work permit (BOWP). Applicants who require additional time in Canada while their application for permanent residence is being processed may apply to extend their work permit. If the permanent residence application is refused or if the nomination is withdrawn, the applicant may not extend their work permit.

Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

Officers should ensure the information on the work permit is accurate and complete.

Both the principal applicant’s and the spouse’s or common-law partner’s work permit must indicate the location of work as one of the communities participating in this pilot.

Under the “Application” screen, officers must confirm the following:

  • Case type: 20
  • Special program code: YUKONCP (Description: Yukon Pilot). This is mandatory.
  • Province of destination: Yukon
  • City of destination: as per the Yukon support letter. This is mandatory.
  • LMIA exemption code: A75
  • Employer name: Open
  • Intended occupation: Open
  • NOC: 9999

User remarks

Officers must include the following condition in the work permit under user remarks:

  • “May not engage in employment outside of the community in the Yukon Territory as stated within the statement of support from the Yukon.”

Work permits for spouses or common-law partners

If the principal applicant is employed in at least one NOC skill type 0 or skill level A or B position, officers may issue a location-specific open work permit to their spouse or common-law partner under LMIA exemption code C41. This work permit should include a location restriction to the community where the principal applicant works. The spouse’s or common law partner’s work permit must always be restricted to the same community as the principal applicant’s job location and should not be amended.

The open work permit should have a validity that matches the principal applicant’s, up to a maximum of 2 years or until the expiry of the passport or travel document, whichever is earlier.

If the principal applicant is not employed in an NOC skill type 0 or skill level A or B position, their spouse or common-law partner cannot obtain an open work permit under LMIA exemption code C41.