The Immigration Minister of Canada, Sean Fraser, has recently unveiled a new initiative aimed at enhancing the selection process for Express Entry candidates. This innovative approach, known as category-based selection draws, will prioritize individuals with exceptional French language skills or substantial work experience in specific sectors. The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will primarily target candidates in the following fields:
Healthcare: Professionals in the healthcare industry will be given special consideration during the selection draws. This includes doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and other healthcare practitioners.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Professions: Individuals with expertise in STEM fields, such as computer science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, will be among the preferred candidates. This ensures that Canada continues to attract and retain top talent in these crucial sectors.
Trades: Skilled tradespeople, including carpenters, plumbers, and contractors, will also be prioritized. Recognizing the importance of these professions in various infrastructure projects and the economy, the IRCC aims to facilitate the immigration of individuals with practical skills.
Transportation: Candidates with experience in transportation-related occupations, such as drivers, logistics professionals, and airline staff, will have an advantage in the selection draws. This acknowledges the significance of the transportation sector in supporting Canada's economic growth and connectivity.
Agriculture and Agri-food: The IRCC recognizes the vital role played by the agriculture and agri-food industry in Canada's economy. As a result, individuals with work experience in farming, agricultural research, food processing, and related fields will receive special consideration.
In line with Canada's dedication to welcoming sought-after professionals into its communities, the minister emphasizes that expanding the invitation pool for skilled workers in these specific occupations will further support this commitment.
To access a comprehensive list of eligible occupations falling under these new categories, please refer to the provided link.
Anticipated to commence during the upcoming summer months, the selection draws under these newly established categories are poised to attract and facilitate the entry of highly qualified individuals who can make valuable contributions to Canada's diverse communities.
Why are there new Express Entry categories?
The introduction of these new categories aims to address workforce shortages across Canada, while also fostering the growth and presence of the French language in French minority communities outside of Quebec.
Sean Fraser, the Immigration Minister, acknowledges the resounding concerns voiced by employers nationwide regarding persistent labor shortages. He emphasizes that the modifications to the Express Entry system will ensure that these employers have access to the highly skilled workforce they require for their growth and success. This approach not only stimulates economic development and alleviates labor shortages but also increases the representation of French-proficient candidates, contributing to the vitality of French-speaking communities. In essence, Canada's immigration system has never been more attuned to the social and economic needs of the country.
The implementation of category-based draws was expected to commence this year following the amendments made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022. These changes have empowered the minister with the authority to select immigrants based on essential attributes that align with Canada's economic priorities.
How were the categories chosen?
The selection of these categories was determined in compliance with legislative obligations, which mandate the Minister to engage in public consultations with provinces, territories, industry representatives, labor unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, as well as immigration researchers and practitioners.
Annually, the IRCC will provide a report to Parliament covering the following:
- The categories selected in the previous year.
- The rationale behind the selection and the methodology employed.
- The guidelines established to establish each category.
- The total number of invitations issued for each category.