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Immigration Corner | Tradesman with an eye on Canada

Published:Monday | June 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Clipart graphic Worried

Dear Ms Powell,

I am a tradesman, and I would like the opportunity to live in Canada. My girlfriend said that she heard of another tradesman who just got papers to move to Canada. She is pushing me to see how we can get to live in Canada. Can you tell me how I can get to live in Canada as a qualified tradesman? My girlfriend is also an excellent chef with a HEART certificate.

- AV

Dear AV,

Recently, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited several tradesmen who fall in the category of Federal Skilled Trades Class to apply to become permanent residents of Canada. It is expected that these individuals could get confirmation of permanent residence in six months or less.

This has been welcome news for employers in Canada who are in need of workers to fill jobs such as chefs, cooks, butchers, bakers, machinists, plumbers, central control operators, industrial, electrical, construction, maintenance, plumbers, auto service technician. There is also demand for individuals with training and experience in processing, manufacturing, equipment operation, and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production, to name a few.

You and your girlfriend may apply directly to IRCC or retain an immigration lawyer to represent you with your application under the express entry system. The key is to ensure that you submit a properly completed application and to do so correctly the first time.

IRCC will require proof of your language ability in at least on of the two main languages. Therefore, you will need to sit a language examination and have a minimum of Canadian Level Bench Mark (CLB) five for speaking and listening and a minimum of CLB four for reading and writing.

There is the CELPIP Language Exam that is only offered in Canada; or you may contact the University of the West Indies (St Andrew or Montego Bay locations) to sit the IELTS General Training Examination.

A minimum of two years or more full-time or equivalent part-time employment in the particular trade within the past five years will be required.

Proof of your education, training, and skills is required. Generally speaking, the average tradesman job needs a minimum of the equivalent of a Canadian high school diploma and/or job-specific training. You will be required to show a diploma, degree, or trade or apprenticeship credential issued for completing a programme of study or training at a recognised educational or training institution.




Another critical factor is that you will need a valid job offer for full-time employment, for a minimum of one year, or a certificate of qualification in the particular skilled trade. That certificate must be issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

There are many different ways to get permanent residence of Canada. One option is to qualify through the express entry system if you have the qualifications. If you do not currently qualify under the express entry system and you have the means, you may apply to become a student in Canada to recertify and later apply for permanent residence.

Another popular option is to first come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker under the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme. If you chose this route, I recommend that while working, you get the Canadian certification in your particular skill. Once you have the Canadian experience and certification, then you apply to become a permanent resident.

To find out which programme suits you, I strongly recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to help you come up with an immigration plan.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Send your questions or comments to Find her on lawyer, or call 613.695.8777.