Over the years, the Canadian government has developed a variety of immigration programs that have been designed for people who want to come to Canada and make it their permanent home. Canada offers both Federal and Provincial immigration programs and chooses skilled immigrants as permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. The following programs are available:
EXPRESS ENTRY (EE)
Express Entry applicants receive priority processing and increased accessibility for candidates from a broader range of occupations. There are three separate categories under this program whose main focus is on skilled workers. Under the Express Entry system, each category has different eligibility criteria. These categories are:
1. Federal Skilled Worker Class
2. Federal Skilled Trades Class
3. Canadian Experience Class
How does it work?
The Express Entry program has two separate steps:
1. The creation of an online Express Entry profile to be placed in a pool of candidates; and
2. Receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence from IRCC.
Candidates in the pool are raked using a point-based system (CSR). Getting into one of the categories of the Express Entry does not guarantee an invitation to apply as candidates have to meet all eligibility and admissibility requirements. Upon entering the pool, candidates are assigned a CRS score based on factors including education, work experience, language ability, age, and other criteria. The highest-ranking candidates are regularly selected from the draw and are invited to apply for permanent residence.
PROVINCIAL NOMINEE (PNP)
The PNPs allow provinces to select immigrants destined to their province due to their skills, education and work experience required by the province that nominates them. In this way, the provinces can attract and retain the candidates most likely to settle permanently in a particular province and to contribute to its economy. There are variations in each PNP but most have similar components. Among them are:
Employer-driven skilled or semi-skilled worker stream
International student graduate/post-graduate stream
Self-employed farmer stream
Similar to how the Express Entry works, applicants to the PNP need to complete two separate steps (create an online profile and receive an invitation). They will also be ranked using a point-based system and only people with the highest scores will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
This program enables Canadian employers to recruit applicants to live and work in their homes providing childcare or home support for seniors or people with disabilities. There are currently two streams under the Caregiver program:
1. Home Child Care Provider Pilot
2. Home Support Worker Pilot
Candidates will need to meet eligibility requirements and have a job offer to work in one of the two occupations. The benefits of applying under one of the pilots are:
Applicants will obtain an open work permit to come to Canada and work permanently
Spouses and dependants of caregivers can come to Canada to work or study
Applicants will accumulate the work experience necessary to be eligible for permanent residence
Both streams are currently set as 5-year Pilot programs, beginning on June 18, 2019.
ATLANTIC IMMIGRATION PILOT (AIP)
Launched in March 2017, this pilot program has been extended for two more years. The purpose of the program is to help employers in Atlantic Canada hire qualified candidates, either skilled workers or international graduates, who want to work and settle in one of Canada's four Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador). These applicants can be overseas or living in Canada temporarily.
There are three categories to this program:
1. Atlantic International Graduate program
2. Atlantic High-skilled program
3. Atlantic Intermediate-skilled program
As with other immigration categories, candidates must show that they meet language, education and work experience requirements. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient money to support themselves and their families in order to live in Canada and obtain a valid job offer from an employer that has been designated by the provincial government of the Atlantic province where the candidate will be working.
RURAL AND NORTHERN IMMIGRATION PILOT (NEW)
The purpose of this program will help smaller rural and northern communities to attract and retain candidates in order to meet a particular community's development and labour market needs. Applicants will need to apply under one of the two categories:
1. Skilled workers
2. International students
Participating communities are:
In Ontario: North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay
In Manitoba: Brandon and Altona/Rhineland
In Saskatchewan: Moose Jaw
In Alberta: Claresholm
In British Columbia: Vernon and West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, and Nelson)
This pilot program will start receiving applications in the fall of 2019; however, the application process is not yet open. Nonetheless, the eligibility criteria for candidates will include:
Obtain a recommendation from one of the designated communities
Have qualifying work experience or have graduated from a public-funded post-secondary institution
Have a qualifying job offer
Meet or exceed language and education requirements
Demonstrate enough money in order to support the transition into the community
Intend to live in the designated community
More information will be posted as IRCC makes it available.
AGRI-FOOD IMMIGRATION PILOT (NEW)
This program has been announced by IRCC and complete details on how to apply will be available in March 2020. The pilot will last for three years. However, the main focus of this pilot is to attract experienced, non-seasonal workers who can establish themselves in Canada and support the labour needs of the agri-food sector, particularly in the meat processing and mushroom production.
Eligible positions will be the following:
Meat production: retail and industrial butchers, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers, food processing labourers.
Greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production, including mushroom production: farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers, general farmworkers, and harvesting labourers.
Animal production, including aquaculture: farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers and general farmworkers.
Eligibility criteria will include qualifying work experience and a job offer, minimum language and education requirements, and proof of sufficient money to support the transition into the community.