At present, a thriving community of over 900,000 individuals of Filipino heritage calls Canada home. This remarkable demographic shift owes its momentum to Canada's robust economy, globally renowned education system, and advanced healthcare infrastructure.
Canada has set an ambitious goal of welcoming 465,000 new permanent residents by the conclusion of 2023, with a more ambitious target of 500,000 by 2025.
Filipinos are exceptionally well-positioned to secure entry as economic class immigrants, thanks to their exceptional English language proficiency, extensive educational backgrounds, and substantial professional work experience. Economic class immigration represents the preferred avenue for immigration to Canada, offering a diverse array of over 100 pathways for aspiring newcomers.
The Federal Skilled Worker ProgramTop of Form
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is a pivotal component of Canada's economic immigration framework, offering a pathway for individuals with foreign work experience to seek permanent residency, even without prior Canadian ties or a job offer.
FSWP primarily targets foreign skilled workers deemed highly likely to thrive in Canada due to their extensive work experience, educational qualifications, and language proficiency. Eligibility criteria for the program include:
- One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past decade within a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) categories 0, 1, 2, or 3.
- Language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in either English or French, encompassing all language facets (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
- Possession of a Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or a foreign credential, supported by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
- Scoring at least 67 points on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) six immigration selection factors.
- Demonstrating financial adequacy to support both personal and family settlement in Canada.
Notably, FSWP is one of the trio of programs managed through the Express Entry system. Express Entry serves as the federal government's application platform for the FSWP, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Within the Express Entry system, applicants undergo ranking based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which evaluates individual factors such as age, education, language proficiency, and work history. Each candidate is assigned a score out of 600. Subsequently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) extends invitations to those candidates boasting the highest CRS scores, inviting them to apply for permanent residence.
In recent developments, IRCC has introduced category-based draws for Express Entry candidates. These draws target individuals with strong French language proficiency or professional experience in specific fields, such as:
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions
- Skilled trades, including carpenters, plumbers, and contractors
- Agriculture and agri-food
IRCC has conducted draws in these categories, providing opportunities for individuals with relevant qualifications and expertise to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) stands as a highly sought-after avenue for individuals aspiring to immigrate to Canada from the Philippines. This program empowers each Canadian province and territory (excluding Nunavut and Quebec) to craft and execute their own immigration pathways, guided by their labor market demands, job openings, and demographic priorities.
Under the PNP, provinces and territories possess the authority to select foreign skilled workers who wish to make their homes within their respective regions. Each province establishes its distinct eligibility criteria that candidates must fulfill to gain nomination.
Candidates can directly submit their applications to the province of their choice. However, those already in the Express Entry pool may receive invitations to apply for nomination. An invitation through Express Entry affords candidates an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, practically guaranteeing an invitation to apply for permanent residency in a subsequent draw.
Caregiver Pilot Program
Dedicated pilot work permit initiatives are in place to support caregivers, namely the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and the Home Support Worker Pilot. These programs extend permanent residency opportunities to caregivers boasting at least 12 months of eligible work experience, language proficiency, and suitable Canadian or foreign education credentials.
The Home Child Care Provider Pilot requires individuals to provide care for children under the age of 18 in their own homes or their employers' residences. In contrast, the Home Support Worker Pilot necessitates caring for individuals in need of home support, either in one's own residence or the residence of the employer.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) outlines the following work experience criteria for these pilots:
- Starting from April 30, 2023, applicants must possess a minimum of 12 months of full-time work experience within the 36 months leading up to their pilot program application.
- The work experience must fall within National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 4411 or 4412.
- The work experience should align closely with the NOC job description, encompassing the majority of the primary duties.
- The 12 months of work experience need not be continuous; they can accumulate over time.
- Full-time work is defined as a minimum of 30 hours of paid work each week.
Regional Pilot Programs
Additional pilot programs, such as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), collaborate with small and remote communities in Ontario, Western Canada, and the three territories to attract and retain foreign workers.
To be eligible for the RNIP, candidates must meet federal criteria and adhere to the requirements set by the specific community they intend to settle in. Federal criteria include:
- A recommendation from one of the designated communities.
- A minimum of one year of continuous work experience in the past three years, equating to at least 1,560 hours.
- Graduation from a publicly funded post-secondary institution within the recommending community.
- A genuine job offer in one of the designated communities.
- Language proficiency corresponding to the NOC skill type/level of the offered job.
- Adequate settlement funds to support themselves and their family in the chosen community.
- A sincere intention to reside within the community.
The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) offers permanent residency pathways to skilled workers aspiring to settle in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island.
To qualify for the AIP, candidates must:
- have qualifying work experience, unless they are international students graduating from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
- Meet educational and language criteria.
- Demonstrate adequate settlement funds. No proof of settlement funds is required for individuals already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit.
- Satisfy all the aforementioned criteria, which enables them to seek employment with a designated Atlantic Canada employer.
Canada stands as a favored destination for international students due to its top-tier education system, affordability, the possibility of working while studying, and the opportunity to secure permanent residency upon graduation.
In 2022, Canada welcomed a record-high 551,405 international students from 184 countries, including 23,380 Filipino students. To study in Canada, prospective students must first gain admission to a designated Canadian learning institution and subsequently apply for a study permit. Upon graduation, international students may be eligible for up to three years of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
Canadian education and work experience can significantly enhance candidates' prospects of obtaining permanent residency, as numerous immigration programs value applicants with a Canadian educational background and relevant work experience.
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) expedites the study permit application process, catering to residents of 14 countries, including the Philippines. Canada aims to process all study permit applications through SDS within 20 calendar days.
Foreign workers looking to work in Canada typically require a work permit. Canada classifies work permits into two programs: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The key distinction between the two lies in the need for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the TFWP, whereas the IMP does not necessitate one.
An LMIA serves as evidence to the Canadian government that hiring a foreign worker will either have a neutral or positive impact on the Canadian job market. The responsibility for obtaining an LMIA rests with the employer.
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