Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Immigration Corner | Chemical engineer interested in Canada

Published:Tuesday | September 26, 2023 | 12:06 AM

Dear Mrs Powell,

I just read an article relating to foreign nationals who wish to migrate to Canada. I am a chemical engineer and have been working in an alumina refinery for over six years. I am interested in applying but not sure of the process or if I would qualify. Can you please tell me how to qualify? Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Dear JH

The most popular pathway to becoming a permanent resident of Canada is via the Express Entry System. It manages programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programmes, Federal Skilled Trade Programme, the Canadian Experience Class and some Provincial Nominee Programmes. Each candidate will be ranked in the pool based on their scores. Individuals are selected based on either overall score or on their work experience.


Canada uses a points-based system. Individuals will get scores based on their personal skills, language and experience factors, their spouse or common-law factors and skills transferability factors such as education and work experience. Additional points will be given if an individual has Canadian education and work experience, a valid job, nomination from a province, a sibling in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident, and strong French language skills.

Individuals who are qualified are placed in a pool and then are selected based on the comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score and, recently, based on their work experience in select categories.

The government of Canada has recently been selecting individuals from the pool, based on categories such as French language proficiency, work experience in the fields of healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, work experience in the transport, agriculture, and agri-food sectors. Once an individual is invited to apply for permanent residence, then proof is required that your work experience falls within the required training, education, experience and responsibilities of the named category of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) that is being targeted.

For example, on July 25, 2023, there was an express entry draw targeting STEM occupation. Five hundred persons received an invitation to apply for permanent residence and the lowest CRS was 486. The persons selected are expected to now prove that they have the required education and work experience to be granted permanent resident status.


To be eligible under the STEM category, an individual must have a minimum of a three-year college or university certification and meet the following requirements:

(a) within the last three years must have accumulated, over a continuous period, at least six months of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work, in one of the occupations referred to under the STEM table;

(b) during that period of work experience, they must have performed the actions described in the lead statement for the occupation, as set out in the occupational descriptions of the Canadian NOC; and, during that period of work experience, they performed a substantial number of the main duties of the occupation, as set out in the occupational descriptions of the NOC, including all of the essential duties.

If you have education and work experience in science, technology, engineering, or maths, then your position would fall under this category. Individuals are being selected based on their work experience within the last three years of being selected as: architects, architecture and science managers, civil engineers, computer and information system managers, business systems specialists, computer and information systems managers, computer engineers (except software engineers and designers), computer systems developers and programmers, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, databased analysts and data administrators, engineering managers, industrial and manufacturing engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, mathematicians, statisticians, actuaries, software developers and programmers, urban and land-use planners, web designers and web developers and programmers, natural and applied science policy researchers, and consultant and programme officers.

The key is to first have documents to prove your education and language skills and a reference letter detailing your work experience. The next step is to express an interest in being selected for permanent residence by applying to enter the pool of eligible candidates on the government of Canada’s website.

If you would like assistance with your application, you may request a Zoom/telephone consultation, to receive additional information on how to qualify and to gain additional information on how to maximise your comprehensive ranking score, so that your application is successful.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public in Canada. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You may call or WhatsApp 613-695-8777.