Healthcare & STEM in Express Entry Selection
In a groundbreaking move to align with Canada's economic goals and address labor market demands, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently introduced new selection categories for Express Entry candidates. These categories focus on specific occupations or work experience in high-demand fields. Among the six new categories—Healthcare, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Trade, Transport, Agriculture and Agri-Food, and French-language proficiency—Healthcare and STEM stand out as the primary drivers, comprising a significant number of eligible occupations. In this comprehensive blog, we explore the significance of Healthcare and STEM occupations and shed light on the extensive range of professions within each category.
Healthcare Occupations: Meeting the Aging Population's Needs:
Canada's population is rapidly aging, while the birth rate remains low compared to global standards. By 2030, approximately nine million Canadians will reach the age of 65. This demographic shift creates a pressing demand for healthcare services and a shortage of skilled professionals to address this growing need. In response, IRCC has prioritized healthcare occupations in their category-based selection draws, aiming to alleviate strain on the healthcare system.
Statistics Canada reports a staggering 144,500 vacant positions within the healthcare and social assistance sector as of March 2023, accounting for 17.7% of all unfilled positions. The new selection draws focus on an extensive range of healthcare occupations, including audiologists, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, and more. By attracting skilled healthcare workers, Canada aims to strengthen its healthcare system and ensure quality care for its citizens.
The following is a comprehensive list of eligible healthcare occupations for Express Entry category-based selection draws:
- Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
- Dieticians and nutritionists
- Education counsellors
- General practitioners and family physicians
- Instructors of persons with disabilities
- Kinesiologists and other professionals in therapy and assessment
- Licensed practical nurses
- Massage therapists
- Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
- Medical laboratory technologists
- Medical radiation technologists
- Medical sonographers
- Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates
- Nurse practitioners
- Nursing coordinators and supervisors
- Occupational therapists
- Other assisting occupations in support of health services
- Other practitioners of natural healing
- Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
- Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
- Paramedical occupations
- Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
- Physician assistants, midwives, and allied health professionals
- Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
- Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists, and cardiopulmonary technologists
- Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
- Specialists in surgery
- Therapists in counseling and related specialized therapies
- Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists
STEM Occupations: Fueling Canada's Innovation Hub:
In addition to healthcare, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations play a crucial role in driving Canada's innovation and economic growth. Canada has emerged as a global hub for AI (artificial intelligence), with 1,032 AI and machine learning companies. Notably, the Information, Communications, and Technology industry generated an estimated $242 billion in revenues in 2021.
However, the rapid pace of technological advancements and the high retirement rate have created a skills gap within Canada's labor force. Employers are increasingly hiring less-qualified candidates, hindering business growth. To address this gap, IRCC has included 23 eligible STEM occupations in the category-based selection draws, attracting skilled professionals to contribute to Canada's thriving technology landscape.
Here is a comprehensive list of eligible STEM occupations for Express Entry category-based selection draws:
- Architecture and science managers
- Business systems specialists
- Civil engineers
- Computer and information systems managers
- Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
- Computer systems developers and programmers
- Cybersecurity specialists
- Data scientists
- Database analysts and data administrators
- Electrical and electronics engineers
- Engineering managers
- Industrial and manufacturing engineers
- Information systems specialists
- Land surveyors
- Landscape architects
- Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries
- Metallurgical and materials engineers
- Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants, and program officers
- Software developers and programmers
- Software engineers and designers
- Urban and land use planners
- Web designers
- Web developers and programmers
Eligibility for the New Categories:
While having the required work experience is crucial for Express Entry eligibility, candidates must also meet the criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. Each program has specific requirements related to work experience, education, and language proficiency. Candidates must have at least six months of continuous work experience in an eligible occupation within the past three years, either in Canada or abroad.
IRCC will continue to rank candidates using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), with higher-scoring individuals having a greater chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
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