Canada has announced that it will grant its initial occupation-specific Express Entry invitations exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) candidates in July.
These invitations, scheduled to be issued during the week of July 5, follow the recent issuance of the first 500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to healthcare workers in the history of the selection system.
The upcoming invitations will be extended to Express Entry candidates who possess experience in 24 occupations, including data scientists, software developers, programmers, mathematicians, statisticians, actuaries, as well as electrical and electronics engineers. STEM job seekers are highly sought after in Canada due to their expertise and skill sets.
Why Canada needs immigrants
Canada has been facing labour shortages in various key sectors, prompting the country to implement several measures to facilitate immigration and address the gaps in the workforce.
These changes aim to fulfil labour requirements that align with specific economic objectives and enhance Francophone immigration by inviting candidates with specific work experience or language proficiency to apply for permanent residency.
The growth of Canada’s labour force is primarily driven by immigration, which plays a crucial role in mitigating labour shortages in critical sectors.
This announcement represents a significant achievement in Canada’s dedication to attracting top talent from around the world and reinforcing its position as a frontrunner in research, development, and innovation.
It aligns with the Canadian government’s endeavours to retain and attract exceptional candidates to address labour challenges in STEM fields, complementing the recent introduction of the Tech Talent Attraction Strategy.
Who is it for?
Express Entry is the primary application management system in Canada for individuals who wish to immigrate permanently through various immigration programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a segment of the Provincial Nominee Program.
The Express Entry program is a widely sought-after points-based pathway for Indian nationals seeking permanent residency in Canada. In 2020, Indian citizens received 50,841 invitations to apply for permanent residency, representing 47 percent of the total invites issued by the Canadian immigration agency.
Application process for Express entry
In addition to the regular invitation rounds, category-based selection rounds will be conducted throughout the year, and further information regarding these rounds will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
To qualify, applicants must have acquired a minimum of six months of consecutive work experience (either in Canada or internationally) within the past three years in one of the specific occupations by the government.
The objective is to enhance the responsiveness of Express Entry, which oversees applications for federal immigration streams like the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and certain sections of the Provincial Nominee Program, to meet the demands of the labor market.
The inclusion of francophone candidates is an additional effort to provide assistance to French-speaking communities across Canada.
Changes made to Canada’s Immigration, Refugee protection act
In June of the previous year, Canada initially indicated its plan to introduce occupation-specific draws within the Express Entry system.
To enable invitations based on occupations and other factors like language proficiency, amendments were made to the Immigration, Refugee, and Protection Act. Many provinces in Canada have already been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.
The updated legislation mandates the Immigration Minister to consult with provinces, territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, as well as immigration researchers and practitioners, prior to announcing new categories.