Canada launches new PR pathway for skilled workers


Invitations will be sent out this summer to address labour shortage

By Charmaine Y. Rodriguez

To invite more skilled workers to Canada, the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced the first-ever launch of a category-based selection for Canada’s flagship economic immigration management system, Express Entry.

Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability. Further details on the timing of invitations for individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks, the IRCC said in a news release last May 31, 2023.

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages. 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,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

This year, category-based selection invitations will focus on candidates who have

  • a strong French language proficiency or
  • work experience in the following fields:
    • healthcare
    • science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
    • trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors
    • transport
    • agriculture and agri-food

With employers eagerly seeking to fill countless vacant positions across the country, the Government of Canada is building an immigration system that “acts as a catalyst for growth, empowering businesses, helping address their labour needs and strengthening French communities.”

The government sees that the combined efforts will bring economic and social prosperity for years to come for the benefit of Canadians.

“Additionally, by placing a special focus on Francophone immigration, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice,” it added.

The category-based selection will make Express Entry more responsive to Canada’s changing economic and labour market needs, while building on the high human capital approach. The first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent this summer.

Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for those seeking to immigrate permanently through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.

In June 2022, the Government of Canada made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for the selection of immigrants based on key attributes that support economic priorities, such as specific work experience or knowledge of French.

Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth, helping to addresses labour shortages in key sectors.

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