Individuals with work experience in one of many skilled professions can be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the country’s Express Entry stream, and can also take advantage of one of many provincial immigration streams which target skilled workers in in-demand professions.
Canada has federal and provincial immigration streams, each targeting specific skilled workers.
Express Entry uses the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) scoring system, and helps determines whether candidates have the appropriate occupation and experience.
Occupations are rated under 3 categories, type 0 (manaerial), skill level A (professional) and skill level B (technical) under the NOC system (National Occupational Classification).
Provincial Nominee Programs
Work experience is required by most provincial nominee streams, some of which are linked to the Express Entry system.
These streams allowed provinces or territories to nominate foreign workers for with the appropriate work experience for Canadian permanent residence.
Most of them operate using the Expressing of Interest system (EOI), which requires all candidates to create a profile with the provincial nomination program of their choosing.
Express Entry candidates who have a provincial nomination can guarantee themselves an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (from an Express Entry draw), as a nomination gives them 600 additional CRS points.
Almost all provinces have one immigration stream that uses a list of in-demand occupation to determine eligibility.
The list is based on what jobs are in-demand in each of the provinces or territories, which can change without warning.
Some popular provincial streams that require specific work experience are:
- British Columbia: Tech Pilot
- Alberta: Alberta Opportunity Stream
- Saskatchewan: International Skilled Worker — Express Entry and Occupation In-Demand sub-categories
- Manitoba: Skilled Worker Overseas
- Ontario: Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream
- New Brunswick: Express Entry Labour Market Stream (sometimes, not always)
- Nova Scotia: Demand — Express Entry (Category B)
Most commonly targeted occupations include:
- Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311)
- Administrative assistants (NOC 1241)
- Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
- Social and community service workers (NOC 4212)
- Early childhood educators (NOC 4214)
British Columbia (B.C.) has been known for prioritizing immigrants with experience in tech-related occupation, through its Tech Pilot.
It targets 29 in-demand tech occupations that reflect the province’s labour demands, and provides a fast-tracked route to permanent residency for foreign workers and international students.
Manitoba also has an In-Demand Occupations List which features tech-related professions.
Ontario is also set to create a dedicated immigration stream for tech workers. Details have not been released yet.
A number of provincial streams have held draws targeting specific occupations.
One of them is Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities Stream, which was launched in August 2018 and targets early childhood educators, financial auditors, and accountants.