Calling All Trades People

(well, maybe not all – but most)

The Canadian government has shifted its focus from looking for university trained professionals, to attracting experienced tradespeople.

If you're hoping to come to Canada (any province except Québec or any of the three territories) under the new Skilled Trades immigration category, you will be subject to strict quotas and deadlines. Only 3,000 completed applications will be accepted for processing in the first year. In some trades categories, as few as 100 applicants will be accepted. If there is a mistake on your application, it will be rejected without being processed. And you quite possibly won't be able to try again until next year. When it comes to your application, you not only have to do it fast, you have to do it right, since the slots will probably all be filled before you get a second chance.

There are 43 categories for which they are presently accepting applications from experienced trades people, including: Carpenters; electricians and electrical workers; telecommunications workers; plumbers; pipefitters; steamfitters; sheet metal workers; ironworkers; welders; machinists; and industrial and heavy-duty mechanics.

There are also opportunities for a wide range of operators, contractors and supervisors in:

electrical and telecommunications trades; carpentry and construction; mechanic and heavy equipment; mining and quarrying; oil and gas drilling and processing; chemical process operators; water and waste treatment; mineral and metal processing; logging and forestry; plastic and rubber products manufacturing; farming and livestock; aircraft and elevator mechanics; and railway car men and women.

Along with being required to meet specific English or French language standards, you must have at least two years of relevant work experience in your trade, meet all Canadian job requirements for that trade, and either have a job offer or be certified by one of the provincial licensing bodies for that trade. This process will vary depending on your intended destination. CIC recommends going "to the website of the body that governs trades for the province/territory where you would like to live and work." They also warn that "You will likely have to go to the province or territory to be assessed. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training."

The program may expand next year, but the job you want may not be on next year's list.

So go to the CIC website for the forms and all the details and/or go to an immigration lawyer like Gregory James Immigration Law Firm (whose e-mail post inspired this article) for guidance in getting your application in quickly and properly.

This story is part of the Canadian Opportunities for Skilled Tradespeople Infoblock. To read more stories on this topic, click here.