The Canadian Government encourages foreign skilled workers and professionals to apply for permanent residence via one of several skilled worker programs. If successful, applicants will benefit from a Canadian Immigration Permanent Resident Visa. This allows them and their family to settle in Canada.
Canada currently has a multi-year immigration levels plan and needs many skilled immigrants. There are three main programs for skilled workers who intent to immigrate to Canada, these being:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Quebec Skilled Worker Program
- Provincial Nomination Program
There may be further programs that apply as each individual case is unique. Below, we have a brief look at each of the above and who may be eligible.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWD) is for individuals who possess certain skills and experience considered valuable to Canada’s economy and the community. It applies throughout Canada apart from the French speaking province of Quebec (see below).
To be eligible, the candidate needs to meet certain requirements. These include work experience of at least one year in a skilled occupation classified within the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) to an acceptable level of ability. Also required is an acceptable foreign education credential or one from education within Canada. Applicants also need to meet Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in either English or French.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program
The Quebec Skilled Worker Program broadly follows the requirements of the FSWD but is for applicants who wish to take up residence and work in the province of Quebec. Successful applicants are awarded a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) and there are different requirements for eligibility. The federal government makes the final decision.
Provincial Nominee Programs
Most provinces in Canada have their own provincial programs for immigrants (PNP’s). Eligible applicants are those who have credentials that make them of interest to the province in terms of helping the economy and community. Although they are given a nomination by the government of the province, the federal government has the last word. The advantage of a PNP is that it may fast-track the immigration process for eligible applicants.
Canada has a fast-growing economy and, as such, needs immigrants with skills that are in demand. Many Canadian companies are actively seeking foreign skilled workers and professionals, and a job offer from a Canadian business will further accelerate the application process.
The application process for most routes to Canadian immigration begins with a profile of the applicant being presented to IRCC, who then apply points as per the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If successful, the candidate is then put into the Express Entry pool. The highest-ranking candidates are pulled from the pool and sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) which is the first step in the actual application.
Begin by taking an online assessment test that will advise as to an individual’s eligibility to apply for permanent residence in Canada.