Emigrating for skilled workers: Canada

Canada has long been regarded as one of the most desirable places to emigrate to. The country is home to a fantastic health service, education system and regularly appears in the United Nations top places to live lists, but how do you go about it?

The Canadian federal skilled worker scheme

The Canadian federal skilled worker scheme allows highly skilled migrants to obtain a permanent residence visa for themselves and their family if they can score enough points on a points test similar in some respects to those used by other countries such as Australia and Denmark.

However, since the global financial crisis began to bite the Canadian government began to limit the number of immigrants allowed entry into the country, currently its yearly quota for federal skilled workers stands at 10,000. Skilled workers are selected as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada.

A new period of accepting applicants begins every year on the 1st of July and these places are taken up very quickly. If you’re hoping to emigrate soon then it’s a good idea to get your application in as soon as possible after that date.

Every year the Canadian government produces a list of the most demanded occupations giving immigrants the chance to see what jobs are plentiful and to see if they have the skills that the country’s businesses want. The full list can be found here.

Applicants must have experience in an occupation listed on the National Occupation Classification list; No more than 500 applications per year can be lodged for any one occupation out of the 10,000 visas available each year.

Canada decided to limit the number of federal skilled worker applications in an attempt to clear the vast backlog of immigrant applications.

This makes applying for Canadian skilled immigration a double-edged sword for many applicants; While fewer people can apply due to the small quota, the new rules should allow Canada‘s immigration services to reduce the backlog that causes some migrants to wait a long time before obtaining their visa.

General points system

An alternative method is to apply via the basic points based system. From 2003 the required number of points was reduced from 75 to 67 allowing a greater number of people eligible to enter via this system.
You can check to see if you qualify here.

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