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Important immigration changes in Canada

Important immigration changes in Canada

For professions all doors are now open, and who will have to work hard to get permanent residency?

In November, Canada not only shared a new immigration plan but also made changes to some programs.

The last few weeks have been very busy for everyone interested in this. I've already talked about the new immigration plan, which again has record immigration targets. But following the federal Minister of Immigration, officials from regions of Canada, the so-called provincial departments, have pulled up. I have good news on three programs at once — but first things first.

New occupations for immigration

Let's start with Saskatchewan. They decided to expand the immigration program, namely the stream for professionals with work experience in the province. Previously, to apply under it, you had to be a highly skilled professional — meaning you had to have a job that required a university or college degree or an internship. There were 34 such professions in total. Now Saskatchewan is ready to consider low— and medium-skilled candidates, i.e. those who do not need any special education or short-term training is enough. This innovation opens the way to Canada for almost 280 professions.

To find out if your profession is one of them, you need to look it up in the National Occupational Classification and see which category it belongs to. It is important to check this because healthcare workers, waiters, and truckers need to apply to a separate immigration stream in Saskatchewan.

Pilot stream for healthcare workers

Nova Scotia is next in line. That province is actively inviting healthcare workers. For that, it has sent out a batch of invitations through its new pilot stream for healthcare workers. Candidates who receive invitations under it can have a simplified path to obtain permanent residency. They must have an invitation to work in the province, a valid language test, a high school diploma, and a recommendation letter.

Changes for truckers

I'll interrupt the flow of good news with some not-so-good ones — and then get back to immigration program updates. The bad news came in November for truckers. They are no longer eligible for the Certificate of Qualification.

This is a document that certifies that a person can work in Canada in a specific profession. This does not mean that the way to Canada is now closed. It's just that the Certificate of Qualification gave an additional 50 points in the Express Entry system, and now truckers won't be able to get them. It's not that critical, but if you don't have enough points for an invitation, the 50 points could be crucial. Otherwise, truck drivers are still very welcome in Canada. By the way, if you already have an Express Entry profile and are a trucker, don't forget to update it.

Moving with French proficiency

As always, contradictory news comes from the province of Quebec. The authorities there continue to insist on the importance of their official language. Amendments to the province's immigration legislation have come into force which make mastery of French strictly compulsory for all economic migrants in general. But the province is favorable to those who pass this filter. Three pilot programs have already been launched for those wishing to settle in Quebec: applications are being accepted from food workers, sanitation workers, and specialists in artificial intelligence, information technology, and visual effects. In general, you're welcome to come, as long as you speak French.

Simplification for refugees

Canada continues to accept not only economic migrants: workers, students, entrepreneurs. The country's immigration plan also has a quota for refugees, and special sponsorship groups traditionally assist them. Previously, documents through these organizations were submitted by mail, but now it is done through a special portal. The process has become much simpler and the likelihood of errors is lower. In general, the Ministry of Immigration is slowly but surely moving towards digital optimization.

Work permits for up to 2 years

Lastly, I will please everyone who is considering one of Canada's Atlantic provinces to live in: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Prince Edward Island. There is a special Atlantic Immigration Program for moving here, the main requirement of which is an invitation from an employer in one of the provinces. This may be easier to obtain than for other regions of Canada because many employers there have a simplified system for hiring foreigners.

So, starting in November 2023, candidates going through the Atlantic program can apply for extended work permits — up to 2 years. That means newcomers will now have even more time to establish themselves in the province. Also, the time limit for submitting documents has been lifted. Previously, you had to send them in within 90 days of receiving your work permit, but now you can take your time and prepare all the paperwork at your own pace.

Alex Pavlenko, founder of Immigrant.Today

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