That means you could be invited to apply for permanent residence in this country if you have certain skills and work experience that the federal government is looking for right now.
It was announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on September 18, 2023, that the next round of invitations for category-based selection in Express Entry is starting this week.
This is the first-ever Express Entry category-based selection for newcomers who have work experience in transportation.
Focusing on candidates with experience in the transport sector — including commercial truck drivers, pilots and aircraft assembly workers — is meant to help the industry attract skilled talent that's needed across the country, according to IRCC.
To be eligible for the transport occupations category, you must:
- have accumulated at least six months of full-time, continuous work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) within the past three years
- in a single occupation that's part of the transport category
- in Canada or abroad
- meet all of the requirements set out in the instructions for that round
The occupations that are included in this transportation Express Entry round are:
- aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
- transport truck drivers
- railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators
- engineer officers, water transport
- deck officers, water transport
- air traffic controllers and related occupations
- air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors
- aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
- railway carmen/carwomen
- managers in transportation
"As Canada grows its economy, we're committed to improving transport and infrastructure to ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods and passengers across the country," Marc Miller, the federal minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, said.
"Category-based selection helps us invite newcomers with experience in transport occupations to fill significant labour gaps and ensure the future success of the Canadian transport sector," he continued.
If you're wondering what the Express Entry categories are for 2023, the federal government has selected:
- French-language proficiency
- healthcare occupations
- science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations
- trade occupations
- transport occupations
- agriculture and agri-food occupations
In August, the first round of category-based selection through the new Express Entry program opened for people with skills and work experience in the trades.
Occupations for that round included carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, contractors and supervisors, construction millwrights, industrial mechanics, heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, and more.
A few months before that, it was announced that changes were being made to the Express Entry program to allow category-based selection.
Those changes were implemented to help address labour shortages and support economic goals by inviting people to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
What is Canada's Express Entry program?
Express Entry is an online system that the federal government uses to manage immigration applications from skilled workers.
In the new category-based rounds of invitations, the government invites candidates in the Express Entry pool who are eligible for a specific category to apply for permanent residence based on criteria like:
- ability to communicate in an official language
- work experience in a specific occupation
When there is a category-based round of invitations, the federal government will:
- rank candidates in the pool who meet the category requirements
- invite the top-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residency
Category-based rounds are in addition to the general and program-specific rounds of the Express Entry system.
After changes were made to the program earlier in 2023, Express Entry in Canada is now tailored to provide a streamlined path for people with expertise in critical fields to become permanent residents.
By prioritizing invitations to skilled newcomers with work experience in certain occupations, the government is trying to meet the demand for workers and fill positions that contribute to economic growth and advancement, IRCC said.
How does Express Entry category-based selection work?
Canada's Express Entry category-based selection process starts when you create an online Express Entry profile in your IRCC Secure Account.
If you're eligible for one of the programs under Express Entry then the federal government will place you in the Express Entry pool.
While your profile is in the pool, the feds will assign you a score based on your points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). You can view your score in your IRCC account.
Now, with the category-based selections, the government will identify candidates in the pool based on their profile who are eligible for a specific category.
If you're identified as an eligible candidate, your Express Entry profile will be ranked based on your CRS score.
In all round types, eligible candidates with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply to an economic immigration program.
But in category-based rounds, candidates also need to be eligible for a given category to be invited.
If you get an invitation to apply, you have 60 days to submit an application for a specific program in Express Entry.
What happens after you apply for permanent residence through Express Entry?
After you apply to become a permanent resident through Express Entry, the federal government will make a decision based on program eligibility, the accuracy of the information in your profile, category eligibility and whether you're admissible to Canada.
Most of the Express Entry applications are processed within six months or less of the government receiving your complete application.
Your application will be delayed if the government needs to verify information or do additional background checks, there are criminal or security issues, your family situation isn't clear, you need to submit more documents or you need to do an interview.
You can use the federal government's application status tracker to get up-to-date information about the status of your application if you get an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
If your application is rejected or refused, you must fill out and submit a new Express Entry profile, meet the eligibility criteria, and be accepted into the pool again to be considered in future rounds of invitations.
The right of permanent residence fee for Express Entry is CA$515.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.