Canada has introduced a new initiative to attract skilled workers and grant them permanent residency. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced the launch of a category-based selection process within the country’s Express Entry system, which manages economic immigration.
This year’s invitations will prioritize candidates with strong proficiency in French or work experience in specific fields such as healthcare, science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), trades, transportation, agriculture, and agri-food.
This category-based selection process enables Canada to issue invitations to potential permanent residents who possess specific skills, training, or language abilities. More information about the timing of invitations for each category and the application process will be provided in the coming weeks.
The Canadian government recognizes the importance of immigration in addressing the numerous job vacancies nationwide. The IRCC stated that they are developing an immigration system that catalyzes growth, supports businesses, addresses labor needs, and strengthens French communities.
The implementation of category-based selection aims to make the Express Entry system more responsive to Canada’s evolving economic and labor market requirements.
It builds upon Canada’s successful economic immigration system, which has focused on attracting individuals with high human capital.
Express Entry serves as Canada’s primary application management system for individuals seeking permanent immigration through programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
In June 2022, amendments were made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the selection of immigrants based on specific attributes that support economic priorities, such as work experience or knowledge of French.
To utilize these new authorities, the Minister must engage in public consultations with various stakeholders, including provinces, territories, industry members, unions, employers, worker advocacy groups, settlement providers, and immigration researchers and practitioners.
The selection of categories was determined through extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders, and the public, as well as an assessment of labor market needs. A complete list of eligible jobs for the new categories can be found on the official website.
The first invitations to apply under the category-based selection process are expected to be sent out this summer.
Immigration is crucial in Canada’s labor force growth, accounting for nearly 100%. This helps address labor shortages in key sectors. According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the number of occupations facing shortages has doubled between 2019 and 2021.
Under the Quebec-Canada Accord, Quebec can establish its immigration levels. From 2018 to 2022, admissions under the Federal High-Skilled program accounted for 34% to 40% of French-speaking admissions outside Quebec.