Options Beyond Federal Skilled Worker

CIC News
Published: May 31, 2013

For individuals whose professions were included on the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) list of 24 eligible occupations, the time has never been better to apply for Canadian immigration. However, many people whose skills and experience did not match up with jobs on the list, or who are otherwise ineligible, were disappointed to learn that they could not apply for now.

Individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada should know that the FSWP is just one of many currently open options for Canadian immigration. In fact, Canada has over 60 immigration programs, each of which results in Canadian Permanent Residency for successful applicants. Interested individuals may assess themselves to learn of their options today.

While the FSWP is the most well-known of Canada’s immigration programs, it is not necessarily the best fit for all applicants. An individual’s path to Canada can vary greatly depending on experience, education, and personal goals. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular paths people have taken to achieve Canadian Permanent Residency:

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

The Province of Quebec has an agreement with the Federal government that allows it to independently select its own immigrants. Because of this, the province sets its own unique set of eligibility rules and regulations.

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is the largest source of immigrants for this province. Workers are assessed on a points system similar to the FSWP, but points are allocated differently, to reflect the province’s needs. In addition, in order to be eligible to the QSWP at this time, applicants must have experience in one of 110 areas of training/fields of study.

Because Quebec is a predominantly French-speaking province, applicants to the QSWP often benefit from possessing some level of French knowledge before submitting an application. However, lack of French, in itself, is not a reason for refusal.

Provincial Nomination Programs

Aside from Quebec, most provinces in Canada have agreements with the Federal government which allow them to nominate candidates for immigration. These candidates are usually chosen because they have skills that are in high demand in a specific province. Because of this, individuals nominated through a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) have the added security of knowing their employment prospects in the province are very high.

Each PNP has a different list of streams under which individuals can apply. These can at times be very specific, for example: self-employed farmers (Alberta), designated health professionals (British Columbia), long-haul truck drivers (Saskatchewan), and family business workers (Nova Scotia). Individuals who are keen to immigrate to a specific province should find out if the province operates a PNP.

Assess yourself for FSWP, QSWP, and PNPs today.

Transition from a Temporary Work Permit

Every year, Canada welcomes tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers across the country. After working in Canada for a period of time, many of these workers are able to leverage their experience into a successful permanent residency application.

Temporary foreign workers generally need to find a job in Canada before coming to the country.

Two programs were created to streamline the permanent residency process for workers already in Canada. They are the Canadian Experience Class and, for individuals living in Quebec, the Quebec Experience Class.

Learn more about working in Canada.

Transition from a Study Permit

Studying in Canada is a great way to build skills that will strengthen an immigration application, and a Canadian study permit itself can be a stepping stone towards permanent residency.

In most cases, after completion of studies international students in Canada receive a temporary Open Work Permit. The length of the permit varies depending on the length of the completed program of study. With an Open Work Permit, graduates can gain crucial work experience that may eventually be used in an application to the Canadian or Quebec Experience Class programs.

Learn more about studying in Canada.

The above paths to permanent residency are all part of economic-driven immigration to Canada. There are still more categories of immigration including family sponsorship and refugee resettlement. Every individual is unique, and this is reflected in the path they follow to achieve Canadian Permanent Residency. At the end of the day, regardless of how the come here, permanent residents in Canada are able to enjoy living in one of the most peaceful, prosperous, and welcoming countries in the world.

To find out if you are eligible for one of the over 60 Canadian immigration programs, fill out a free online assessment today.

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