Philippine Daily Inquirer

Canadian policies favor 29 in-demand occupation­s

- By Wilson Bailon Contributo­r

VANCOUVER—There are about half a million Filipino immigrants in Canada, most of them living in the big cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal.

In 2008, the Philippine­s outpaced China and India as the top source country for permanent residents and foreign workers combined. That year, 69,893 Filipinos—24,887 permanent residents and 45,006 temporary workers—entered Canada.

The trend will likely continue in the foreseeabl­e future as Canada reshapes its immigratio­n policy to put a premium on quality skilled workers over other entrants. Thus, in 2008, Canadian policy-makers decided to fast-track the entry of socalled economic-class immigrants. The aim is to attract highly-skilled newcomers to man the computers, build skyscraper­s, and care for an aging populace.

This aggressive immigratio­n policy has greatly enhanced the chances of Filipino immigrant applicants. It has also reduced the processing time from about seven years to seven months.

Under revised regulation­s governing the Federal Skilled Worker Program starting June this year, only those who belong to one of the 29 in-demand occupation­s identified by the government are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

In-demand skills

The 29 in-demand occupation­s are:

Restaurant and food service managers; primary production managers (except agricultur­e); profession­al occupation­s in business services to management; insurance adjusters and claims examiners; biologists and related scientists; architects;

Specialist physicians; general practition­ers and family physicians; dentists; pharmacist­s; physiother­apists; registered nurses; medical radiation technologi­sts; dental hygienists and dental therapists; licensed practical nurses; psychologi­sts; social workers;

Chefs; cooks; contractor­s and supervisor­s in carpentry trades; contractor­s and supervisor­s in mechanic trades; electricia­ns (except industrial and power system); industrial electricia­ns; plumbers; welders and related machine operators; heavy-duty equipment mechanics; crane operators; drillers and blasters—surface mining, quarrying and constructi­on; and supervisor­s, oil and gas drilling and service.

Applicants are also assessed based on a set of criteria which include work experience, education, age, proficienc­y in English or French, and adaptabili­ty.

Under this selection process, immigrants from the Philip- pines have more than a fair chance of qualifying. For one, the country has an oversupply of skilled workers in many of the listed occupation­s. Filipinos also score high in English language proficienc­y.

According to recent government statistics, the Philippine­s has become the leading source of skilled workers (including temporary workers) in the past few years, followed by China and India.

Under Canadian immigratio­n laws, citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their spouses, dependent children, parents and grandparen­ts to join them here.

A longer route

Skilled workers who do not fall under any of the in-demand occupation­smay still enter Canada and eventually become permanent residents by going through the longer route of becoming a temporary worker first.

Temporary foreign workers are constantly needed to fill certain job vacancies in different Canadian provinces, ranging from caregivers or nannies and fast-food attendants to power lines installers and hotel housekeepi­ng staff.

But many of these jobs are classified as low-skilled and workers in this category are not eligible to apply for permanent residence. Only two kinds of temporary workers are eligible: Those who have job offers for a full-time position in a managerial, profession­al or technical capacity for an indetermin­ate period, and those who are livein caregivers with at least two years of work experience here.

The writer is a certified Canadian immigratio­n consultant. He can be reached at wgb.westbound@gmail.com.

(US immigratio­n columnist Lou Tancinco is attending an immigratio­n conference in Washington D.C. and will be back next week.)

 ??  ?? PHILIPPINE Independen­ce Day rites in Vancouver
PHILIPPINE Independen­ce Day rites in Vancouver

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