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Ottawa seeking French speaking immigrants, specific labour skills under new Express Entry program

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May 31, 2023
By Talent Canada

Photo: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Ottawa is launching a new, category-based selection system for immigration as Canada targets immigrants with specific skills, training or language ability.

The Express Entry program is designed to address labour needs for employers and strengthen French communities, according to Sean Fraser, the federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said Fraser. “These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”

Category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to apply to prospective permanent residents. Further details on the timing of invitations for individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks, the government said.


Targeted areas

This year, category-based selection invitations will focus on candidates who have a strong French language proficiency or work experience in the following fields:

  • healthcare
  • science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
  • trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors
  • transport
  • agriculture and agri-food

By allowing us to invite more skilled workers in these professions, category-based selection supports Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country. Additionally, by placing a special focus on Francophone immigration, the Government of Canada is ensuring that French communities can continue to live their life in Canada in the official language of their choice.

Category-based selection will make Express Entry more responsive to Canada’s changing economic and labour market needs, while building on the “high human capital approach that has been a hallmark of Canada’s successful economic immigration system,” the government said in a press release. “These priorities maintain the focus on bringing in skilled workers with the potential to integrate and contribute to Canada’s future.”

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