Cuban Professionals to Benefit from New Canadian Skilled Worker Program

By Cafe Fuerte

Canadian flag.  Foto:
Canadian flag. Foto:

HAVANA TIMES — This past January 1, a special program offering “express entry” to qualified individuals wishing to become permanent residents of Canada came into effect, affording new opportunities to Cuban professionals interested in options outside the island.

The Express Entry Program – now a priority of the Canadian government – will offer 25 thousand job positions to qualified applicants, who will be entitled to immigrate to Canada through an express mechanism that involves a 6-month or shorter process, instead of the two-year or longer waiting period for immigrants with the required qualifications to settle in Canada that had been in effect till now.

The system will be based on a visa lottery. The application will be valid before Canadian authorities for a period of 12 months.

Ninety-one Job Categories

Ottawa will invest CAD $ 14 million – some US $ 11.8 million – over the next two years to ensure the successful implementation of the Express Entry program, which seeks to fill professional positions for which there are not enough available qualified Canadians.

Canadian immigration authorities have issued an invitation to professionals around the world who are qualified in some 91 different categories, from medical engineering to computer programming to psychology and translation.

This initiative is part of Canada’s efforts to improve its immigration system to address the country’s workforce demands, and to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker program that has been in effect for years grants permanent residency to the most qualified applicants.

“Canada will be able to identify and select those who are most likely to succeed in Canada, based on work experience, education, language and other factors. Previously applications were processed on a first-come, first-served basis,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander declared before a commission of deputies at the beginning of June last year.

Internet Applications Available

In anticipation of the launching of the Express Entry program, the federal government began accepting applications over the Internet on May 1 last year as part of the existing qualified workers program. This time around, it received five times the 5 thousand applications accepted in 2013.

Professionals who have submitted their applications will be considered for the Express Entry program. Those who have not yet presented an application still have time to do so.

“The qualified workers program has been very beneficial and has given many people the opportunity to leave the country and pursue new prospects,” Cuban journalist Maria de Lourdes Torriente, who has lived in Canada since 2007, stated. “Of course, I know many fellow Cubans of diverse professions and trades who have used it to cross the border into the United States.”

express-entry-canada-2015According to Torriente, the increase in the number of professions and trades included in the list of work opportunities will make it possible for a greater number of people to submit an application and make the process easier for Cubans.

Following the migratory reforms implemented by Raul Castro’s government in January of 2013, Cubans are entitled to leave the country for up to 24 months without losing their residency and privileges as citizens of Cuba, such that traveling to Canada to live and work there would not deprive them of their legal status on the island.

Money Up Front

“However, applicants are required to have a considerable sum of money, without which the Canadian government feels the new immigrants will be unable to become established here, a sum not everyone can get their hands on,” the journalist added.

Usually, the sum is set at CAD $ 5,000 (US $ 4,200) for two people, and the sum goes up for couples with children. The money must be deposited in a bank account in Canada before the applicants arrive in the country.

The process is simple, but applicants must have an educational background recognized by Canada and included in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

All applicants must take a language exam (English and/or French). The process involves a point system which requires applicants to score a minimum to be considered. Points are awarded in dependence of the profession of the main applicants, their age, language proficiency, profession or educational level of their spouse and whether the applicants have relatives in Canada or not.

The process is hastened if applicants can offer proof of a work offer in Canada.

Residency Fees

A permanent residency application costs CAD $ 490 (US $ 415) per person. Applicants under 18 are not required to pay for the application.

The money must be paid after the application has been approved, but Canadian authorities recommend including the payment with the application to hasten the process. If the applicant is turned down or the immigrant worker ultimately does not make use of their visa, the money is reimbursed in its entirety.

The 50 job categories under which an Express Entry visa can be requested, as per Canada’s workforce needs, are the following:

NOC O Group Occupation List
Management occupations
(Skill level A)

011 Administrative services managers
012 Managers in financial and business services
013 Managers in communication (except broadcasting)
021 Managers in engineering, architecture, science and information systems
031 Managers in health care
041 Managers in public administration
042 Managers in education and social and community services
043 Managers in public protection services
051 Managers in art, culture, recreation and sport
060 Corporate sales managers
062 Retail and wholesale trade managers
063 Managers in food service and accommodation
065 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.
071 Managers in construction and facility operation and maintenance
073 Managers in transportation
081 Managers in natural resources production and fishing
082 Managers in agriculture, horticulture and aquacultureure
091 Managers in manufacturing and utilities

NOC A Group Occupation List
(Occupations usually require university education.)

111 Auditors, accountants and investment professionals
112 Human resources and business service professionals
211 Physical science professionals
212 Life science professionals
213 Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers
214 Other engineers
215 Architects, urban planners and land surveyors
216 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries
217 Computer and information systems professionals
311 Physicians, dentists and veterinarians
312 Optometrists, chiropractors and other health diagnosing and treating professionals
313 Pharmacists, dietitians and nutritionists
314 Therapy and assessment professionals
411 Judges, lawyers and Quebec notaries
415 Social and community service professionals
416 Policy and program researchers, consultants and officers
511 Librarians, archivists, conservators and curators
512 Writing, translating and related communications professionals
513 Creative and performing artists

NOC B Group Occupation List
(Occupations usually require college education or apprenticeship training.)

121 Administrative services supervisors
122 Administrative and regulatory occupations
124 Office administrative assistants – general, legal and medical
125 Court reporters, transcriptionists, records management technicians and statistical officers
131 Finance, insurance and related business administrative occupations
221 Technical occupations in physical sciences
222 Technical occupations in life sciences
223 Technical occupations in civil, mechanical and industrial engineering
224 Technical occupations in electronics and electrical engineering
225 Technical occupations in architecture, drafting, surveying, geomatics and meteorology
226 Other technical inspectors and regulatory officers
227 Transportation officers and controllers
228 Technical occupations in computer and information systems
321 Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
322 Technical occupations in dental health care
323 Other technical occupations in health care
421 Parapro- fessional occupations in legal, social, community and education services
431 Occupations in front-line public protection services
521 Technical occupations in libraries, public archives, museums and art galleries
522 Photographers, graphic arts technicians and technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts
523 Announcers and other performers, n.e.c.
524 Creative designers and craftspersons
525 Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations
621 Retail sales supervisors
622 Technical sales specialists in wholesale trade and retail and wholesale buyers
623 Insurance, real estate and financial sales occupations
631 Service supervisors
632 Chefs and cooks
633 Butchers and bakers
634 Specialized occupations in personal and customer services
720 Contractors and supervisors, industrial, electrical and construction trades and related workers
723 Machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades
724 Electrical trades and electrical power line and telecommunications workers
725 Plumbers, pipefitters and gas fitters
727 Carpenters and cabinetmakers
728 Masonry and plastering trades
729 Other construction trades
730 Contractors and supervisors, maintenance trades and heavy equipment and transport operators
731 Machinery and transportation equipment mechanics (except motor vehicle)
732 Automotive service technicians
733 Other mechanics and related repairers
736 Train crew operating occupations
737 Crane operators, drillers and blasters
738 Printing press operators and other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.
821 Supervisors, logging and forestry
822 Contractors and supervisors, mining, oil and gas
823 Underground miners, oil and gas drillers and related occupations
824 Logging machinery operators
825 Contractors and supervisors, agriculture, horticulture and related operations and services
826 Fishing vessel masters and fishermen/women
921 Supervisors, processing and manufacturing occupations
922 Supervisors, assembly and fabrication
923 Central control and process operators in processing and manufacturing
924 Utilities equipment operators and controllers

Those interested in the Express Entry program can submit their initial application here

Professionals invited to take part in the program must fill out an application here

23 thoughts on “Cuban Professionals to Benefit from New Canadian Skilled Worker Program

  • I live here since 2003, came from an European country as Telecom profesional and never ever found a job other than warehouse one. Canada is a trap, like in Cuba the press is mostly controlled by the government “everything is Ok here” and that’s not true. I was lucky and got a push in a trade skilled job, built my own company and it helped me to bring food on the table otherwise forget it! You better use the opportunity to jump to south border. There despite all problems and critics you get a much more better chance to get

  • Was really nice to here you.
    For the people like me to hope fine a job in Canada but no sure yet to star that project. Maybe we need someone to explain better the reality there and avoid false perspectives.

  • Oh! The village idiot crack, that’s so clever, and so original. You don’t agree with somebody else’s opinion, so you call him an idiot.

    Protectionism is a failed economic strategy. In the long run, it ruins the economy.

    Again, I point to the article I linked to below: Canada has a shortage of skilled workers and professionals. If we can attract more, they will add to the economy. You seem to think immigrants who come here and work take something from the economy. You got it backwards.

  • You are depriving a village of an idiot. How can you get a job if there is none? How can you retrain for a job that does not exist??? I actually love Canada… I just do not like the way that the government is letting jobs be taken away and outsourced to foreign countries. Just how is this me being negative in any way? Target and Sony just pulled out of Canada. Do you think that those people now out of work will be able to retrain for any of these jobs that the government listed? Our own university students graduate with degrees yet are unable to find jobs that they studied hard to do. How can they gain work experience when no one will hire them? Yet Canada will bring people in from another country to do these same jobs. We bring in foreign workers so that these employers can pay them less… Yes these immigrants you speak of love Canada and we do have it good. When we were making $30 an hour. These immigrants will work for 1/2 that. And yes still think that they have things real good. Yes compared to where they came from. My old company outsourced its whole call center to India, our customers complained that the service was terrible. Yet the employer loved it for now they could run the call center in India and pay 1/4 the price that they were paying in Canada to do the same job. When you are new to this country it is easy to set up in any town that you can find work in. Yet if you have lived your whole life in say Toronto. And all of your friends and family are here and now your job gets outsourced how would you feel? Would you want to have to sell everything and move? Some of our call center people were offered jobs in other cities… Would you pull your children out of school and take them away from their friends sell a house that you have all grown in and move to another city? Think about this… Anyways Griffin all the best. Topic closed…

  • “Canada already has many qualified people who cannot find a good job in their field. … My point is lets put CANADIANS to work first…”

    That’s not how an economy works. The economy grows were there is demand. If Canada has a surplus of unemployed workers whose skills are no longer required in our economy, it makes no sense to think we can put them back to work doing outdated jobs.

    The Canadian gov’t also offers job retraining programs to help unemployed update their skills and get new jobs. At the same time, we have a shortage of skilled workers and professionals (see the link in my post below). Our economy benefits when we attract the best and the brightest from around the world. I know many immigrants here in Toronto and a common observation the make is that Canadians have no idea how good they got it here. They shake their heads at the spoiled Canadians who refuse to move to another town to take a job, or who think an entry-level position is beneath them.

    The “whiner” comment was in reference to your very negative tone, complaining about everything in Canada. If the shoe fits…

  • 2010

  • Whatever you say. Yes the local Wal-Mart was looking for a passport/children’s photographer a while back. I just looked at Workopolis and there was one job for a photography stylist, that is not a photographer. This is the person that sets the product up for the photographer to photograph.That was the only one in Ontario on that whole site. I actually worked for an airline for 33 years and I did photography on the side. I got paid but it was more for fun.

    And Griffin you write like you know everything. Though you can you not even tell tongue and cheek sarcasim when you read it?
    OK sorry. A transportation coordinator is the guy back at the taxi office who radios the cab driver to tell him where to pick up his next passenger… Like DUH… (get it this time Griffin?)
    And you tell the boys in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that Canada is looking for immigrant fishermen…LOL
    A leftist whiner… nice insult though I am not sure what that is. Though my point was to look at the governments list. And this list mentioned just about every job imaginable short of Pope. And where I now live 3hrs north of Toronto KFC and Tims are the only companies hiring. Though I retired and moved out of the city and bought a beautiful old house that I could have not even looked at in Toronto. I do not need to work and I am quite happy.
    Though all of these great jobs that you talk about, good luck getting one. Just list one position for a chemical engineer and you will get over 2000 people apply for it. And that is just from China… Canada already has many qualified people who cannot find a good job in their field. And yes there are trade jobs to be had but they are also not as plentiful as you think. And many of these jobs are seasonal. My point is lets put CANADIANS to work first…
    Anyways you have a great day, and get back to flipping burgers…

  • Actually I have posted photos in (I believe it was) HT’s 2nd photo contest. And received honorable mentions in a few categories. Look for Michael Roy and you will find me. And HT usually does not just post photos just because someone wants their favourite snap posted. Or I am sure the site would be flooded with all kinds of touristy snaps…

  • JAJAJAJAJ… you must be a photographer!, you should post some of your work

  • I don’t know what these Canadian Castro fans would have to complain of. Canada chucked the U.S. embargo decades ago, we are the largest source of tourists to Cuba and the Canadian govt funds development projects in Cuba through CIDA. We don’t even complain about the Castro regime goons beating up on Cuban ladies in white. What’s not to like?

  • Griffin is quite right. This program is not directed at Cubans in particular. And it is true that most Cubans would find the fees prohibitive. Those who already have family and friends here may be able to use it.
    Moses says, “Pro-Castro Canadians pride themselves on how FAIR Canadian relations toward Cuba are.” Actually, the pro-Çastro Canadians that I know would be reluctant to say anything good about Canadian policy toward Cuba, even if they support trade and diplomatic recognition between Canada and Cuba.

  • Like a typical leftist whiner, you sneer at the jobs actual working people do. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, crane operators, pipe-fitters & etc are all well paying unionized jobs. Civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers make a damn good living in this country.

    And a transportation co-ordinator is not a taxi-driver.

    By the way, I just checked Workopolis & JobRapido: they have several positions for photographers listed.

    You misunderstand the report. The required $5000 deposit to a Canadian bank account is in the applicant’s name and remains their property. It is not a fee. The $490 fee to process the permanent resident application is 100% refunded if the applicant is unsuccessful.

  • The processing fee(application fee) is actually $550 and must be paid with the application. The $490 is the Right of Permanet Residence Fee (RPRF) which must be paid before your application is approved.

  • Yes, I have. Many times. Vancouver is very much like San Francisco. Very colonial and hilly. It rains a lot more.

  • Look at the list of professions… Fishermen/woman… what??? Transportation controllers??? Fancy name for a taxi driver… Retail sales supervisors… yes Wal-Mart is hiring… Customer service… ‘Would you like our combo special with fries’? Occupations in front line public protection services??? Like cops and firemen??? Photographers… Ya OK… This is one of my trades and I cannot find work for now with the digital age everyone is a photographer… Referees? Like Cubans better learn how to ice skate as a prerequisite… And little leagues refs for baseball really pay good too… How about brain surgeons, astronauts, double knot spies, and soda jerks too??? Jethro’s dreams come true… Looks like someone just tried to list every occupation that is imaginable… Read the tales of how many professionals have immigrated to this country only to find out that their credentials are worthless in Canada… Yes Canada will take your money, though that does not guarantee you a job… Yes some do manage to live the dream in Canada though many do not. Griffin I have looked at the site and I agree with Moses for most Cubans could never afford the fee just to get into this pool. And I have a good education and a few different skills though I am now retired with a 1/2 decent pension and benefits and I am just looking for something to do on the side… I guess selling crack is always an option…

  • Have you ever been up to Vancouver? Not so cold there, alot like San Francisco, but with a much lower crime rate. And better schools for your kids. (Real estate is bloody expensive, however.)

  • Would be good if the entry fee could be paid in long term loans .How many can afford this kind of entry fee ,coming from the poorer countries and /or economically sanctioned ?
    We do need skilled people to replace our baby booming class that is retiring soon.
    Bring some warm clothes. .LOL
    From a Canadian that is still working at 66 .

  • Indeed I did. Thank you for setting me straight. If Canada was not so damn cold…..

  • You misunderstood the program. It is not aimed specifically at Cuba or Cubans. The program invites potential immigrants from around the world. Canada want the best, skilled, educated workers and professionals the world has to offer. They will be paid well and live in a very nice country.

    This is why Canada is one of the top choices for immigrants.

  • Hahaha! It does not take a genius to see what this program is really saying: If you are a well-qualified Cuban professional with access to about 10 years worth of salary that you would earn in Cuba, the Canadian government will fast-track your visa application. At least the Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy in the US is available to ALL Cubans. The Canadian version is limited to just Cuba’s best and brightest and best-financed. Pro-Castro Canadians pride themselves on how FAIR Canadian relations toward Cuba are. Really?

  • It’s not BS at all, Michael. Here’s a link to the Canadian gov’t website describing the programme:

    In fact, Canada has a shortage of skilled workers and professionals in a number of fields. As this report shows:

    “Canada’s coming economic headache: A serious shortage of skilled workers”

    At the same time, we have a surplus of unskilled labour, and a surplus of university graduates in useless courses. I have also noticed a large number of Canadian-born recent college & university graduates refuse to consider job offers in remote locations or small towns.

    Can I ask what your training and/or education is in?

    I know a few Cubans in Toronto who work in computer programming, engineering, healthcare and other well paying fields. Aside from our cold winters, life is pretty good here for Cubans if they are willing to work.

  • This is BS… I live in Canada yet I cannot find a decent job… Unless I want to work in McDonalds or Wal-Mart for minimum wage… And I am experienced in many of these trades mentioned… Or I could learn quickly enough. And with many of these professional positions mentioned your (Cuban) credentials will not be recognized nor even valid in Canada… I hope that these people know how to drive for you will be qualified to drive a taxi… If you are lucky… This list would have been better listing the professions Canada is not looking for… Taxi drivers… Though oddly enough this initiative has not been mentioned in Canada… Canadians would laugh at this news.

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