Of all the five (5) countries with permanent migration programs – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America – Canada has the smallest number of residency visas allowed for priority professionals and skilled workers. Last year, Canada assigned 20,000 visas for priority occupations. This year the figure was reduced by half: only 10,000 slots for residency are allocated and there is a limit of 500 per occupation.
Australia allocated 113,850 places for skilled migrants who gain entry essentially because of their work or business skills; New Zealand issued 18,428 residency visas to professionals, skilled workers and business persons for the period July 2010 to April 2011. The UK has a 20,700 visa places for skilled workers who could subsequently apply for indefinite leave to remain and the US allots 140,000 visas to employment-based immigrant visa applicants including professionals and skilled workers.
The good news is that the 2010 list remains the same: 29 occupations for professionals and skilled workers. However, the overall cap and cap per occupation had been reduced by 50%. For the 2010-11, the overall cap was 20,000 and per occupation limit was 1,000. To qualify an applicant must have at least one year experience in the occupation on the list; provide proof of language proficiency (English and/or French); and get 67 points based on age, education, experience. Spouses, partners, and certain relatives add bonus points. A spouse of partner's educational attainment or qualifications also add points.
Applications received after the cap is reached or after the application period is over will not be accepted and would not be queued for automatic inclusion in the following year’s visa allocation. It is, therefore, crucial that complete applications are sent soonest.
Applications received toward the overall cap: 1,979 of 10,000 as of September 13, 2011
(by National Occupational Classification [NOC] code)
|Number of Complete Applications Received*|
|0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers||151|
|0811 Primary Production Managers (except Agriculture)||16|
|1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management||(Cap reached)**|
|1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners||23|
|2121 Biologists and Related Scientists||93|
|3111 Specialist Physicians||63|
|3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians||67|
|3152 Registered Nurses||473|
|3215 Medical Radiation Technologists||11|
|3222 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists||6|
|3233 Licensed Practical Nurses||31|
|4152 Social Workers||54|
|7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades||17|
|7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades||28|
|7241 Electricians (except Industrial and Power System)||15|
|7242 Industrial Electricians||14|
|7265 Welders and Related Machine Operators||5|
|7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics||8|
|7371 Crane Operators||1|
|7372 Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction||1|
|8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service||13|