Canada is home to many foreign workers who are employed in different occupations and various skill levels. Right now, there are an estimated number of 300,000 individuals in Canada with temporary foreign worker status.
They are working in jobs classified by Canada’s National Occupation Classification into 0-level jobs (managerial), A- and B-level jobs (skilled), C-level jobs (semi-skilled), and D-level jobs (unskilled).
Of these, those in the O, A, and B levels enjoy more opportunities and are widely welcomed in Canada immigration programs. On the contrary, there aren’t much offer available for those classified in the lower level jobs (C and D).
However, what most people don’t know is that semi-skilled (and even unskilled) workers who are already in Canada still have a chance to apply for immigration and for permanent residency.
There are various options available via the different Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The various programs in different provinces often include a semi-skilled worker component, and all you need to do is to find the PNP to which you may be suited.
There are two streams under this program which include a semi-skilled category:
Employer Driven Stream/Semi-Skilled Worker Category
This stream accommodates semi-skilled workers in 5 fields: Food and Beverage Processing, Hotel and Lodging, Manufacturing, Trucking and Food Service.
This program is open to all semi-skilled workers, and there will be no cap in terms of applicants that will be entertained in the following occupations: front desk/clerk, room attendant, food and beverage processors, heavy haul truckers (all types), and food services. However, the no-cap policy is offered only until this year, so you better hurry if you plan to apply.
∎ Applicants should be currently residing in the province of Alberta.
∎ They should have been working in the province for a minimum of 6 months.
∎ Minimum length of work experience needed depends on the field (i.e. 6 months in the field of trucking and 3 years in the field of food and beverage).
Strategic Recruitment Stream/Compulsory and Optional Trades Category
This stream includes a long list of semi-skilled occupations; there are so many to choose from.
∎ Applicants should be currently residing in the province of Alberta with a valid work permit.
∎ They also should have the following:
—- Invitation from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training
—- Alberta Qualification Certificate
(More info on Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program: http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrating/ainp.aspx)
Strategic Occupations Stream/Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Worker Category
This stream accommodates both semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the following fields: Tourism and Hospitality, Long-Haul Trucking, and Food Processing.
Requirement: Applicants should be currently residing and working in the Northeastern British Columbia.
Employer Direct Stream
This stream also accommodates both semi-skilled and skilled workers with only 2 main requirements:
Applicants should have been residing and working in Manitoba for a minimum of 6 months prior to submitting their application.
They should have a job offer from an employer based within the province.
(More info on British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program: http://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate/About-the-BC-PNP.aspx)
Skilled Worker Applicants with Employer Support Stream
This stream accommodates both semi-skilled and unskilled applicants in the following fields: business, health, sales, trades/transportation, natural resources, and manufacturing.
A points scale is used in assessing applicants (passing points is 50), and the criteria being looked into are age, education, work experience, language ability, and overall adaptability.
∎ Applicants should have been working for more than a year with an employer in New Brunswick.
∎ They should also have a valid job offer.
(More info on New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program: http://www.welcomenb.ca/content/wel-bien/en/immigrating_and_settling/how_to_immigrate/new_brunswick_provincialnomineeprogram.html)
This program also includes 2 streams that accommodate semi-skilled workers:
Long Haul Truck Driver Stream
∎ Applicants should have a Saskatchewan Class 1A license.
∎ They should be able to drive to the United States.
∎ They should have been employed in a company in Saskatchewan for a minimum of 6 months.
∎ They should have a total experience of 2 years.
∎ They should have a valid job offer from an employer in the field.
Hospitality Sector Pilot Project
Occupations included in this stream are: Food/Beverage Servers, Food Counter Attendant/Kitchen Helpers, and Housekeeping/Cleaning Staff.
∎ Applicants should have lived and worked in the province for a minimum of 6 months in any of the industries included.
(More info on Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program: http://www.saskimmigrationcanada.ca/sinp)
Other than those mentioned here, there are many other programs available in the different Provinces of Canada. You can check the program that is offered in your chosen Canadian province and then apply.
Just remember that applicants to all PNP programs are now required to meet minimum requirements in either the English or French language. This requirement is lower than the one imposed on skilled workers, so you should have no problem meeting this.