Skilled Workers Are Immigrating To Canada

One of the categories in which a person can immigrate to Canada is known as the "skilled worker" category. These are people who can become Permanent Residents of Canada based on the fact that they are able to become economically established in Canada. 

To qualify as a skilled worker, a person must meet certain work experience requirements and have a minimum sum of money to be able to settle and live in Canada without the necessity of receiving welfare benefits while the person is looking for a job in Canada. He or she must also try to obtain as many points as possible in six selection factors used by Canada Immigration to assess the skilled worker. Although it is important to obtain as many points as possible in the process, many skilled workers may not receive a very high point total. Fortunately, candidates can be accepted into Canada even if their point total falls below the required number, if the applicant is able to convince the Canadian Government that he or she would likely become successfully established in Canada, despite not having the required number of points.

The minimum work experience required is one year of prior employment in an occupation which is in the group of immigration-eligible occupations set out in the Canadian National Occupational Classification matrix. There are hundreds of eligible occupations, ranging from electricians, carpenters, cooks, hairstylists, mechanics, to nurses, doctors, managers and engineers. Additional points can be earned if the person has more than one year of experience in his or her occupation. Language skills are also an important factor in the selection process. Points are given for one's ability in one or both of Canada’s official languages, English and French. The person's education level is also important, and a trade certificate earns the applicant nearly the same number of points as a university degree. Points are also given for the age of the principal applicant, with the maximum earned for ages between 21 - 49.

The required funds that a skilled worker must have to immigrate to Canada in order to support a family of four for six months, has been set by the the Canadian Government at $15,563. This amount must be available to the skilled worker and his or her family to bring with them to Canada at the time the application process is in the final stages and is not necessary at the beginning of the process. There is an exception to the requirement of having these settlement funds, in the event that the skilled worker has arranged employment in Canada prior to entering Canada, in which case the family need not have any settlement funds. The selection factors also include a determination of whether the skilled worker will be able to adapt in Canada, for instance because of having close relatives already living in Canada (eligible relatives must be one of the following: parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, niece, nephew, child or grandchild, spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada), and additional points are given if the person has previously worked or studied in Canada.

Near the end of the immigration process, the skilled worker and his or her family members, must undergo a medical examination performed by a doctor who is designated by Canada as a medical practitioner authorized to do so. In order to be able to enter Canada, the family must pass the medical examination, and none of the family members must have a medical condition that would be a danger to public health or safety, or one that would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.

The skilled worker and his or her family members must also provide police certificates issued by the authorities of each country in which each family member of the family has lived for six months or more since reaching the age of 18, showing that they do not have a criminal record.

When a skilled worker has been approved for immigrating to Canada and is entering Canada with his family, he or she will have to tell a Canadian official if the family is carrying more than $10,000 Canadian in cash funds. This cash could be in the form of money, securities, negotiable instruments, travellers' cheques, or money orders. Failure to disclose these can result in fines and imprisonment. These rules exist to prevent money-laundering of cash earned through criminal activities.

If a skilled worker does not have arranged employment prior to entering Canada, finding employment in Canada requires a certain amount of ingenuity, but there are many resources available for finding employment. Job opportunities and labour market conditions vary in each region of Canada. It is helpful for the skilled worker to research conditions in the Province in which he or she desires to settle so that after arrival in Canada the job search will be more focused.

There may also be credential assessment and licensing issues with respect to some occupations such as engineers, doctors and nurses. There are Provincial and Territorial regulatory bodies which are responsible for establishing requirements for individual occupations and for recognizing prior credentials, training and experience. In some cases a license will need to be issued in order to practice a particular occupation such as a Physician. It is therefore very important that the skilled worker bring to Canada with him or her documentation proving qualifications in his or her occupation. For non-regulated occupations, there are no set conditions and there are no legal requirements to obtain a licence. The employer will set the standards and will request additional documentation if deemed necessary.

As a successful Permanent Resident in Canada, the skilled worker and his or her family will enjoy most privileges of Canadian citizens, and will remain Permanent Residents until they become Canadian citizens, so long as they spend at least two years out of each five year period in Canada. They may leave and re-enter Canada as often as they wish, as long as they do not stay away from Canada for inordinate periods at any one time. As Permanent Residents, the skilled worker and his or her family have the right to live, study and work in Canada, and to receive most social benefits accorded to Canadian citizens. The few limitations include the fact that Permanent Residents cannot vote in certain elections, they may be ineligible for certain jobs requiring high-level security clearances, and if the skilled worker or any of his or her family members commit a serious crime, that family member risks being deported from Canada.
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