Immigrate to Canada? Occupation determines Express Entry eligibility

Canada’s most well-known immigration program, the point-based Express Entry system, which grants permanent status to candidates chosen in lottery draws, is about to undergo a major overhaul.

The bill’s changes will allow Express Entry draws to focus on specific National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes. It may, for example, be targeted towards persons working in the technology sector (occupation-based) in order to further stimulate this burgeoning industry.  

Alternatively, the criteria could be based on certain educational qualifications or even language skills — for example, English/French proficiency. The specifics and timeframe of the revised methodology’s implementation have yet to be published

In recent meetings with stakeholders and public forums, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has stated that the Express Entry program as it currently exists is being examined along these lines.

Express Entry immigration to Canada is currently divided into three categories: Canadian Experience Class (those with at least a year of experience in Canada), Federal Skilled Workers (qualified workers with experience), and Federal Skilled Traders (those having work experience).

At the moment, the Express Entry system puts candidates from a general pool against one another in each draw, based on variables such as age, education, work experience, job offer, and language skills (including in French). Applicants who meet the Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) cut-off are asked to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Canada is poised to begin its Express Entry draws for all three classes in early July, according to TOI. In the latter half of 2021, Canada discontinued Express Entry lotteries for the CEC category, and draws for FSWP candidates have been halted since December 2022.

Because of the large number of applications in the Express Entry pool, Canada’s immigration department – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – had said that when the program resumed in July, the CRS cut-off would likely be very high – above 500.

“The proposed reform will allow policymakers to very specifically target company needs across the country,” Ken Nickel-Lane, founder of an immigration services firm located in Alberta, told TOI. If properly managed and in close consultation with a wide range of business sectors, the program should have a significant beneficial impact on the Canadian economy in the short term.”

Other advantages, according to Nickel-Lane “By focusing on NOC codes that employers have designated as vital, the goal of lowering application backlog (inventory) is still met, as is the goal of keeping a greater potential diversity of new immigrants who can rapidly settle into a new life with gainful employment.”

For numerous years, Indians have topped the charts in terms of both the number of permanent resident invitations given and the number of permanent residents admitted. To give you an example: India received 50,841 invitations to apply for permanent residency in 2020.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada are in charge of the NOC, which is updated every ten years. NEW TERMINOLOGY AND A REVISED CLASSIFICATION STRUCTURE WILL BE INTRODUCED IN NOC 2021, AFFECTING IRCC PROGRAMS.

The following 16 occupations will be eligible for Express Entry as a result of these changes:

  • Payroll administrators;
  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants;
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants;
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants;
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs;
  • Correctional service officers;
  • By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers;
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations;
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers;
  • Pest controllers and fumigators;
  • Other repairers and servicers;
  • Transport truck drivers;
  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators;
  • Heavy equipment operators; and
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.

There will also be three occupations that will become ineligible, including:

  • other performers;
  • program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness; and
  • tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners.




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