Question [Holthe Tilleman LLP website]:
I am a foreign worker in Canada since 2008 and am currently working in Canada on a low-skill / low wage work permit. Can I qualify for the new Express Entry program when it is released in January of 2015?
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You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode, [spoiler]Welcome to Canadian Immigration Answers. My name is Mark Holthe, I’m an immigration lawyer with Holthe Tilleman in the beautiful province of Alberta Canada. Our first question today reads as follows, I’m a foreign worker in Canada since 2008, and I’m currently working in Canada on a low skill or low wage work permit. Can I qualify for the new express entry program when it is released in January of 2015? Well, the short answer is probably no. The express entry program has been reserved for foreign workers working in Canada on skilled work permits.
Now although the labor market impact assessment process now uses a high wage, low wage classification system for determining how work permits are going to be issued, when it comes to permanent residence, they still go by the old high skill low skill classification. So if your work permit is issued as say a food service supervisor, or some type of a supervisor within construction, or other industries, those occupations are still considered skilled. So in the case of this individual who has been in Canada since 2008, it is possible that maybe your employer might be able to promote you to a skilled position within the company.
And although your wage may still be classified as lower wage based on LMIA determination, you could still find yourself reaching the threshold to quality under express entry. Now what we know about express entry is that it’s going to follow a human capital model, in other words they will look at your education, your language ability, they will look at your work experience, and a number of other factors to give you a certain set of points. Now those who are on skilled labor market impact assessment work permits will be given a bunch of additional points to help you qualify.
In fact it’s our understanding that individuals on skilled work permits who have LMIAs will be given preference. And although it won’t be an automatic, for the most part those individuals would be able to benefit from fast processing of your permanent residence, and in fact even under six months. So the final answer unfortunately to this individual, if you are working in a low wage position, or a low skill position, you probably will not be able to successfully apply through the express entry program.
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