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Canada is prioritizing Express Entry invitations for skilled workers in healthcare, STEM fields

Canada is prioritizing Express Entry invitations for skilled workers in healthcare, STEM fields

A raft of changes have been made to Canada’s Express Entry immigration pathway, making it easier for skilled workers in the fields of healthcare and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to apply to migrate to the country. The changes mean that invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada can be issued to healthcare professionals in particular fields, or with specific skills, training and/or language ability. Among those fields to be targeted are doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and optometrists. 

The first round for category-based selection opened on June 28, targeting 500 health workers, while a second round, aiming to attract 1,500 workers, is scheduled for July 5, 2023. 

Focus on Express Entry candidates with healthcare expertise to address labour needs

In the context of healthcare, this latest update to Express Entry will make it easier for provinces and territories to retain and recruit healthcare workers to address the ongoing health workforce crisis. It is worth noting that between 2017 and 2022, 21,656 skilled newcomers arrived in Canada to work in health occupations. 

The announcement concerning the easier movement of healthcare professionals to Canada was made by Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and comes just weeks after steps were taken to issue permanent resident visas to physicians providing publicly-funded health services in the country.

“Health professionals have been working around the clock to provide world-class care to individuals in communities across Canada, but it’s no secret that our health system needs more workers to continue delivering the quality care that people in Canada deserve,” said Fraser. 

Duclos added: “We will also continue working with provinces, territories and stakeholders to address the health workers crisis by improving workforce planning, retention, and the streamlining of foreign credential recognition so that new health professionals arriving in Canada can apply their skills and expertise faster.”

Inviting newcomers with STEM experience will strengthen Canada’s science and technology sector

Meanwhile, the Express Entry system has also been tailored to provide a more efficient pathway for immigrants with STEM experience, to help meet the growing demand for talent and fill key positions that contribute to economic growth and technological advancement.

Coming just a day after the launch of the Tech Talent Strategy, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that the first STEM round for category-based selection would open on the week of July 5, with a specific focus on professionals such as data scientists, software developers and programmers, mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, and electrical and electronics engineers. 

By inviting more skilled workers in these professions, category-based selection supports Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country. Alongside general invitation rounds, these category-based selection rounds will continue throughout the year, and more details will be announced in the coming weeks.

“This new STEM-focused category-based selection round will support our science and technology sector and its workforce, by attracting even more of the skilled talent that companies need to drive innovation and realize their growth potential,” explained Champagne. “Combining its unparalleled ability to attract talent with the innovative capacity of its entrepreneurs, Canada is the best place in the world to start and scale a technology company.”

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