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First year anniversary of occupation lists for the "category-based selection" system under Express Entry

Published: Jun 14, 2024

I have in my office a list of the preferred occupations under the category-based selection system dated May 31, 2023. People who have worked full-time six months in the last three years in one of these occupations are given priority under the Express Entry system. The occupations are broken down into different categories including 3 occupations under the "agriculture" category, 10 under the "trades" category, 10 under the "transport" category, 20 under the "science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" category, and 35 "healthcare" occupations.

I compared the May 31, 2023 list of occupations with the current list of occupations. There is no change. It is still the same list of occupations as on May 31, 2023. When the category-based selection system was imposed, IRCC promised that it would be revising the lists on a regular basis. The first such revision was promised for December, 2023 or January, 2024. The purpose of a "category-based selection" system is to give priority to applications ostensibly to people who have skills and education in demand in Canada.

I have been practising Immigration Law since 1988. I have seen occupation lists before. They never work. What always happens is what is happening in this case. The government does not refresh the lists. The same lists remain in place for months or years. One would think that because we are giving preference to these occupations, the labour shortages would disappear and new lists would be created as new labour shortages are identified. Of course, the skills shortages have not disappeared. Further, I think the government overrates its ability to truly identify what skills and education are in demand in Canada. Why are there only 10 trades occupations listed yet under "healthcare" there is a perceived need for "other practitioners of natural healing" (NOC 32209)?

 

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