The Canadian government has launched a category-based selection in its express entry draws for highly skilled immigrants.
Last year, the government announced plans to resume the programme.
The category of fields includes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations, healthcare occupations, trade, agriculture, agri-food, among others.
In a recent statement, Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, said the job selection would favour applicants with strong proficiency in the French Language.
“Everywhere I go, I have heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” Fraser said.
“These changes to the express entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.
“Put simply, Canada’s immigration system has never been more responsive to the country’s social or economic needs.”
Based on the arrangement, candidates applying for express entry who have strong French language proficiency or work experience in the aforementioned fields will be prioritised by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
According to the minister, the new category draws are expected to begin later this summer to fill open positions across Canada.
Fraser said allowing IRCC to invite more skilled workers in these targeted professions would support Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country.
“Following amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act made in June 2022, category-based draws were planned to start this year. The modifications give the minister the power to choose immigrants in support of Canada’s economic priorities based on key characteristics,” he said.
“The categories were chosen by legislative mandates which the minister engages in public consultation with provinces and territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organisations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.”
He added that interested candidates to be given an invitation through a category-based round must meet all of the requirements in the instructions for that round.