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April 5, 2016

Food talent a hot commodity for immigration to Canada in 2015

Canada’s new economic immigration selection system has lived up to its “just-in-time” billing by processing most applications from start to finish within the government’s target of six months.

According to the one-year report card on the Express Entry system, 80 per cent of cases were processed within that time frame — from the day a complete application was received until a final decision was made by an immigration officer.

“Over 31,000 invitations to apply to permanent residence have been issued to a diverse range of highly skilled immigrants and almost 10,000 individuals (principal applicants and their family) have already landed in Canada as permanent residents,” said the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada review.

“Key findings indicate that professors were in the top 10 occupations list and that many international students fare well in Express Entry.”

Some 2,356 applicants invited to immigrate last year were “food service supervisors,” followed by 2,295 cooks. Together the two occupations accounted for 16 per cent of those who got a pass for permanent resident status in Canada.

Information systems analysts, software engineers, computer programmers and interactive media developers, university professors and lecturers, retail sales supervisors, graphic designers and illustrators, financial auditors and accountants, and financial investment analysts rounded up the top ten.

Under the Express Entry system, implemented in January 2015, each applicant completes a profile that is then added to a pool of candidates, where they are ranked against one another based on points awarded for personal attributes such as education, language skills and work experience.

A positive labour market impact assessment — a government certification that shows a candidate’s skills are in short supply in Canada — automatically boosts an applicant’s score by 600 points.

There were a total of 23 draws, each with a different cutoff ranging from a low of 450 points to a high of 886. As of this January, there were 60,042 profiles in the pool, with 22.5 per cent of them having a score between 400 and 449, and 36.4 per cent of a score between 350 and 399.

In 2015, 191,279 profiles were created in the pool, but 88,048 of them were removed because the applicant did not meet the criteria for any of the four economic immigration classes: provincial nominees, federal skilled workers, federal skilled trades and Canadian experience class.

Of the remaining candidates, only 31,000, or 30 per cent, received an invitation to immigrate here. Their top three destination provinces were Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Only eight cases were headed to Nunavut.

More than 78 per cent, or 22,111, of the successful candidates were already living in Canada when they applied — a sign of the advantage the new system awards those already working here, who have a positive labour market impact assessment in their line of work, or have graduated from a post-secondary program in Canada.

However, the number of French-speaking applicants is still small, representing just 1 per cent of all profiles in the pool and just 2 per cent of those invited to become permanent residents.

As in 2014, India, China and the Philippines remained the top three immigrant source countries, accounting for 41 per cent of successful candidates.

However, in 2015, people from the United Kingdom (5.8%), Ireland (4.3%) and United States (3.4%) also made the top six, while Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Egypt were bumped out of the top 10.

Occupations that will get you in

The best job categories to gain entry to Canada under the Express Entry system seem to be food service supervisors and cooks. Both represent 8% of some 31,000 invitations issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in 2015.

8% — 2,256 food service supervisors

8% — 2,295 cooks

4% — 1,255 information systems analysts

3% — 940 software engineers

3% — 935 computer programmers and interactive media developers

3% — 745 university professors and lecturers

2% — 669 retail sales supervisors

2% — 550 graphic designers and illustrators

2% — 494 financial auditors and accountants

2% — 446 financial investment analysts

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada