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Category Archives: Immigration Visa

October 21, 2021

The new way Canada classifies occupations will affect some economic class and temporary foreign worker applicants.

Canada’s immigration system will overhaul the way it classifies occupations in fall 2022.

The changes will affect some economic class and foreign worker applicants, although the federal government has yet to communicate which sorts of applicants will be affected.

Canada’s system for categorizing occupations is called the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The NOC is reviewed every year, and updated every five years to ensure it reflects Canada’s changing labour market. It gets overhauled about every 10 years, making the new edition the biggest upgrade since 2011. Statistics Canada released its new NOC 2021 publication last month.

The NOC is important for Canadian immigration since it is used by federal and provincial governments to manage skilled worker immigration programs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). An immigrant or temporary foreign worker must meet the NOC eligibility criteria of the program they are applying to.

For instance, under Express Entry, skilled worker immigration applicants must demonstrate they have work experience in a NOC that falls under one of the following codes:

  • NOC 0: Skill type 0 jobs are usually managerial in nature;
  • NOC A: Skill type A jobs are professional in nature and usually require a university degree; or
  • NOC B: Skill type B jobs are skilled trades occupations that usually require a college diploma or training as an apprentice.

The department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Canada’s provinces and territories, currently use NOC 2016 to assess eligibility for skilled worker immigration programs.

The department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has also been using NOC 2016 to evaluate Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications.

New TEER system replaces NOC skill levels

Rather than the current approach of categorizing jobs based on skill type, the Canadian government will now categorize jobs based on a new Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system.

Currently, NOC skill levels fall under four categories: A, B, C, and D.

NOC 2021 moves away from this approach and introduces the TEER system which has six categories: TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

  • Management occupations.
  • Completion of a university degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate); or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 2 (when applicable).
  • Completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
  • Completion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years; or
  • Occupations with supervisory or significant safety (police officers and firefighters) responsibilities; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 3 (when applicable).
  • Completion of a post-secondary education program of less than two years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
  • Apprenticeship training of less than 2 years; or
  • More than six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).
  • Completion of secondary school; or
  • Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 5 (when applicable).
  • Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.
September 15, 2021

Canada has now held 17 CEC draws since the start of 2021.

Canada invited 2,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence on September 14.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates with scores of at least 462. Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for permanent residency.

This draw comes later than expected, as this year IRCC has typically held a CEC draw after a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draw. Usually, IRCC holds a PNP draw on Wednesdays followed by a CEC draw on Thursday. However, the CEC draw expected on September 2 did not come.

IRCC has now held the draw one day before the next PNP-specific Express Entry draw is expected to occur.

Express Entry invitations almost double 2020 levels

IRCC has nearly doubled the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued year-over-year. With more invitations comes a higher chance that IRCC will admit its target of 108,500 newcomers through the Express Entry system in 2021.

The minimum score requirements have been up and down due to the nature of CEC- and PNP-only draws. CEC draws typically have lower cutoffs because the draws are concentrated in the one group of applicants. They are not competing with others in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, for example. So, with bigger draw sizes, IRCC can invite more candidates, thus bringing the score down.

PNP candidates automatically get 600 points with their provincial nomination, so PNP draws will always be higher than any other type of Express Entry draw. PNP draws since June have ranged from the low 740s to 760.

September 11, 2021
September 11, 2021

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey suggests Canada’s economy is continuing on an upward trajectory.

The number of people employed in Canada almost caught up to pre-pandemic levels in August, according to the newest Labour Force Survey.

Canada’s employment rose by 90,000. These gains from August and the months prior brought Canada’s employment up to just 156,000 employees short of February 2020 levels, which is the closest it has come to pre-pandemic levels.

Statistics Canada’s data reflect labour market conditions during the week of August 15 to 21. By this time, most regions in Canada had rolled back public health measures to near-final stages. Plus, the border had opened up to fully vaccinated tourists from the U.S. For the first time since March 2020, the tourism industry could expand to potential clientele from the States.

Employment increases were mainly in services-producing industries, mostly in accommodation and food services. The information, culture and recreation industry also saw significant gains. The number of people working in construction increased for the first time since this past March.

Employment was up in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. All other provinces had little or no change.

Unemployment was at its lowest rate since the onset of the pandemic at 7.1 per cent, though the rate for visible minorities was little changed for the second month in a row.

Long-term unemployment dropped almost 7 per cent in August, but still remained 120 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.


September 9, 2021

Immigration candidates were invited to apply for a provincial nomination under the Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand sub-categories.

Saskatchewan held a new round of invitations on September 8.

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) invited 528 candidates to apply for one of two immigration programs. Of those invited, 316 may be eligible for the SINP’s Express Entry subcategory, and 212 through the Occupations In-Demand sub-category.

The lowest-scoring candidate from each sub-category had 66 points Saskatchewan’s Expression of Interest (EOI) ranking system.

In this draw, there were 16 eligible occupations for each category. The full list of eligible occupations can be found on Saskatchewan’s government website.

Both groups also needed Educational Credential Assessments to demonstrate their foreign education was comparable to the Canadian standard.

About Saskatchewan’s Express Entry sub-category

The Express Entry sub-category is an enhanced Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), meaning it is linked to the federal Express Entry system.

Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main economic-class immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker ProgramFederal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates with Express Entry profiles must also create EOI profiles for Saskatchewan in order to be considered for an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination.

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination from the province of Saskatchewan are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System score. This award effectively guarantees them a chance to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

About the Occupations In-Demand subcategory

The Occupations In-Demand sub-category is a base PNP, meaning it is open to immigration candidates who do not have an Express Entry profile.

This sub-category is for highly skilled workers with experience in an in-demand occupation in Saskatchewan, who do not yet have a job offer in the province.

In order to apply for Canadian immigration through this sub-category, foreign nationals need to create an EOI profile through the SINP’s online application system.

Saskatchewan’s EOI system allows the province to select immigration candidates that have the potential to thrive in the prairie province. Candidates will be assessed on how their work experience, education, language ability, age, and connections to the province demonstrate their ability to settle in Saskatchewan.

September 3, 2021

A new non-partisan group of Canadians is coming together to support Afghan refugees.

A new organization has just launched to help Canada achieve its goal of resettling 20,000 Afghan refugees.


Lifeline Afghanistan features a group of non-partisan Canadians who are looking to raise awareness on Afghan refugee resettlement, play a coordinating role, and bring Afghans to safety in Canada.

While the Canadian government has pledged to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees, comments made by various parties amid the current federal election campaign suggest this target could end up higher.

Private Canadians have played a prominent role in helping refugees move to Canada since the 1970s. Back in 1978, Canada became the first country in the world to launch the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSRP). The PSRP enables private Canadians to sponsor the arrival of refugees and has contributed to the resettlement of some 400,000 refugees since its launch. Shortly after its launch, private Canadians undertook the Operation Lifeline initiative which harnessed the PSRP to contribute to the total resettlement of some 70,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

The “lifeline” tradition continued in 2015 when private Canadians formed Lifeline Syria. Since then, Canada has resettled nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees.

Lifeline Afghanistan will build on the success of Lifeline Syria to pursue five objectives:

  1. Build awareness and engagement of civil society in the sponsorship of Afghan refugees;
  2. Curate resources and connect to organizations supporting Afghan refugees through humanitarian relief, advocacy, settlement, service provision, research and others;
  3. Work with Sponsorship Agreement Holders and others to engage Canadians in private sponsorship and to provide practical support to facilitate the process;
  4. Support skills assessment and trauma informed approaches to skills development and work with employers and service providers to create pathways to economic and social inclusion;
  5. Promote evidence based, innovative and collaborative approaches to supporting refugees.

Lifeline Afghanistan’s website notes there are currently some 3.5 million internally displaced people in Afghanistan and 2.2 million refugees and asylum seekers in neighboring countries.

Lifeline Afghanistan will continue to provide information on how Canadians can volunteer and donate to support this effort.

September 2, 2021

The pandemic has increased demand in certain occupations in Saskatchewan.

A Canadian government study about how the pandemic is affecting the labour in each province, highlights some occupations that increased in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan.

It is true that many industries were negatively affected by pandemic-related shutdowns, such as the tourism and hospitality sectors. Many individuals lost their jobs or saw their hours reduced. However, other sectors saw a rise in job vacancies.

Here are nine of the jobs that increased in demand. The jobs are listed alongside their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.

1. Real estate agents and salespersons (NOC 6232)
2. Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
3. Cleaning supervisors (NOC 6315)
4. Heavy equipment operators (NOC 7521)
5.Power engineers and power systems operators (NOC 9241)
6.  Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers (NOC 6622)
7. Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)
8. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
9.User support technicians (NOC 2282)
September 2, 2021

Canada has now held 17 Express Entry draws just for PNP candidates since the start of 2021.

Another 635 Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) candidates in the Express Entry system have been invited to apply for permanent residence.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held its latest draw on September 1. The minimum score cutoff was 764, since all candidates had a provincial nomination worth 600 points in the Express Entry system. The maximum number of points one can possibly receive is 1,200.

The cutoff time for those who had the minimum score was April 12, 2021 at 12:21:45 UTC. IRCC publishes the tie-breaker for every draw regardless of whether or not there was an actual tie.

Invited candidates now have 60 days to apply for permanent residency.