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New Canada Immigration Update: Truck Drivers Are Now Eligible to Apply for Express Entry

Mon Dec 05, 2022

New Canada Immigration Update: Truck Drivers Are Now Eligible to Apply for Express Entry

Truck drivers in Canada have been in great demand in Canada due to the layoffs related to the pandemic and ageing current drivers

In a surprising move, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has published the National Occupation Classification 2021, making as many as 16 new professions and occupations eligible for PR application via Express Entry. Many were surprised to find truck driving among them, although the sector was reeling under the growing shortage of truck drivers.

The considerable labour shortages in the sector have put the transpiration industry under further strain. The NOC 2021 is a revised version of the country’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.

The new revision is expected to help the industry sooner rather than later.

Scarcity of truck drivers in Canada like never before

In Canada, the shortage of truck drivers is worsened by the following reasons:

1. Covid-related layoffs during the pandemic

2. All-time high rate of retirement

As per Trucking HR, the number of vacant positions in the truck driving industry was 18,000 in the second quarter of 2021.

It is a worrying situation for Canada because truck transportation is the backbone of the country’s supply chain. Therefore, any changes affecting the smooth operations of the industry affect the national economy. The labor shortage and related industry disruptions have a huge impact on the economic well-being of the country, no doubt.

According to the report, the trucking and logistics sector of the country is responsible for moving products worth CAD 850 billion every year in the export and import markets. However, what is more interesting is that the Forest Products Association of Canada projected, even before the pandemic hit the world, that CAD 450 million was lost due to the truck driver scarcity in Canada, in productivity.

Express Entry to Enter Canada

Skill workers aspiring to enter Canada find Express Entry as the most important and significant pathway for immigration. In a nutshell, Express Entry is a system for managing the application, and it works well with all three types of economic immigration programs in Canada:

1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

2. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Express Entry pathway allows quicker processing of skilled workers' PR applications.

The impact of an NOC on Express Entry applications

With the support of the NOC, IRCC can understand an individual’s occupation and the experience of the level of skill needed. In the NOC 2016, the focus was managerial to skilled trades, while the NOC 2021 did away with the old practice by introducing a new system based on the candidates’ TEER (Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities)

Canada Express Entry

Unlike other programs, when a candidate wants to apply for PR via the Express Entry system, they must evaluate themselves to see if they are eligible to apply for the PR via the Express Entry system.

Once the evaluation is done, and if they are eligible for the application, the second step can be taken. This is to complete a valid language test and obtain the certification for the same. The candidate must secure adequate scores on the language assessment test.

After securing the test scores and certificate, the candidate can now create a profile on the IRCC website and wait for a decision to come from the IRCC.

In Express Entry, candidates are ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS according to their profile. Every profile created on the website will be given a rank and listed along with the profiles of the other candidates in the pool.

The candidates with the highest scores are sent the Invitation to Apply or ITA. When the candidates receive the invitation, they can move their application for PR. After the ITA, the candidate must send their finalized application for process within 60 days.

In most cases, about 80% of all Express Entry applications are processed by the IRCC within six months of receiving the application.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The most popular Express Entry program for applicants from abroad is the Federal Skilled Worker Program. This program has been designed for skilled workers meeting the requirements of language, professional experience, and academic qualifications from abroad.

The following are the minimum requirements expected from the candidates under the FSWP:

  • 1 year of work experience

  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7

  • Proof of funds and education

  • At least 67/100 on the FSWP points grid

Canadian Experience Class

This program is designed specifically for candidates who have at least one year of professional experience in the last three years. In addition to this, they must also meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply via this program:

  • CLB of 5 for Category 2 or 3 jobs in the NOC TEER 

  • CLB 7 for Category 0 or 1 jobs in the NOC TEER 

Changes expected for the Express Entry program

In 2021, Bill C-19 was passed in Canada’s parliament with the Royal Assent. This will further help the IRCC gain more authority to invite candidates in the Express Entry category based on the candidate’s experience and language capabilities, as the IRCC is working to fill as many as one million vacancies in various jobs in the country.

However, the process to identify these candidates and select them is not formulated yet. Let’s hope that the process is being worked on and the same will see the light sooner rather than later.