The Government of Canada announced on Wednesday a new category-based selection process for its Express Entry immigration system, giving preference to immigrants trained in in-demand vocations.

Applicants skilled in trades, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, contractors, and residential and commercial installers, are among those being given preference, alongside healthcare workers, STEM professionals, transport workers, and agriculture and agri-food workers.

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages," said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser. "These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed."

Express Entry was previously used for those looking to immigrate permanently through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. However, in June 2022, the federal government made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act so that immigrants can be selected based on attributes that support economic priorities.

The chosen categories were selected "following extensive consultations with provincial and territorial partners, stakeholders and the public, as well as a review of labour market needs," the government says.

Each year, IRCC will be required to report to Parliament on the categories chosen during the previous year and the selection process, including the rationale for choosing the categories.

The first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent this summer.

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