Canada needs an estimated 1 million skilled immigrants and currently operates a comprehensive scheme encouraging Japanese and other nationalities to apply for permanent residence.
The main destination for Japanese and Asian skilled workers and their families is the welcoming province of British Columbia (BC). Over the years, Asian immigrants – who number more than 400,000 across the province – have transformed the city of Vancouver into a friendly, lively, and multicultural city, and there are plentiful job opportunities with local employers across BC.
Applicants with experience and credentials can apply via one of many immigration programs. These are split into six classes as follows:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Provincial Nominee Programs
- Quebec Skilled Worker Program
- Family Class Sponsorship
- Canadian Experience Class
- Investors and Entrepreneurs
The first step an interested candidate should take is to fill in the free online self-assessment form.
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
Japanese applicants for permanent residence who have skills or a profession required in Canada can apply using the FSWP pathway and need to meet the following criteria:
- Have at least one year of continuous work experience in a skilled role that is classified under the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC) to level 0, A or B.
- Language skills in English or French to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 across speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- A recognized Canadian certificate, diploma or degree or a foreign qualification and the required Education Credential Assessment (ECA) Report.
The FSWP is one of the application pathways subject to the Express Entry process as described later.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PSP)
Applicants who wish to live and work in a specific province – other than Quebec – may apply through that province’s PSP. Those wishing to settle and work in Quebec must apply to the government of Quebec using the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
The PSP is a fast-track route to permanent residence and usually takes less time to process than other pathways. The requirements for each province can differ. Immigrants from Japan should identify the province they wish to live and work in and apply for a Provincial Nomination Certificate from the province’s government. If accepted, such candidates gain priority for permanent residence.
Other categories include Family Class, whereby persons already resident in Canada can nominate Japanese relatives for permanent residence, and Canadian Experience Class in which the applicant must have worked continuously in full-time employment in Canada or have a current job offer for more than a year in a recognized role.
Japanese nationals of high net worth and entrepreneurs looking at starting a business in Canada are encouraged to apply using the Investors and Entrepreneurs class pathway.
Express Entry is a fast-track process that applies to applicants from Japan and elsewhere using the Federal Skilled Worker or Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class entry system. The applicant is required to submit an online profile. This will include details of their age, marital status, work experience, education, and other details. A rank will be determined using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Those who score highly on the CRS, which is a pass or fail assessment, will be put into the Express Entry Pool. From the pool, a draw is made regularly and those who are successful are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). At this stage, they can begin applying for permanent residence.
Canada makes no distinction between nationalities across the immigration program, and there are many opportunities for Japanese nationals and their families to take up permanent residence.