Cooking in Canada


The recently announced changes to Canadian immigration have altered the way workers in several occupations can go about immigrating to Canada. These changes are of special importance for cooks, inside and outside of Canada, looking to work temporarily or obtain Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada.

Currently Unable to Apply Under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) allows an individual to obtain Canadian PR if they have worked in Canada for ONE year out of the last three. After working, adapting and contributing to the Canadian work force, the individual can be particularly beneficial to Canadian society. The latest changes have declared that several occupations that were previously commonly applied for under the CEC are no longer eligible; cooks (6322) are one of them.

New Immigration Option for Cooks: Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program

In the same day, cooks received some good news when they were added as an eligible occupation for application under the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program. This program will allow individuals under this occupation to become permanent residents if they have a Canadian job offer. The FST program will now serve as the alternative method of acquiring permanent Canadian residency for cooks. As of May 1st, 2014, the FST Program will be accepting a maximum of 5,000 applications for review.

Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program:

While these programs have altered the method of receiving permanent residency in Canada, new policy changes have been made to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, limiting immigration possibilities in all realms for those in the food service sector. These changes affect occupations that under the list of 0600—0699 and any 6000+ occupations, encompassing Restaurant Managers, Cooks, and Chefs. 

Employment minister, Jason Kenney tweeted out to his followers about the new changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program stating: “We have placed a moratorium on Temporary Foreign Worker Program applications in the food-service industry, pending our ongoing policy review”.

While these changes also affect a wider degree of occupations in the food industry, it will certainly have repercussions on cooks looking to immigrate to Canada.

Future Impact:

It is uncertain when the programs will fill or how long these measures will be in effect for. For cooks, these changes bring both the good news and bad news.

Good news:

These changes provide a new Permanent Residency Option (the FST program) for Cooks with a job offer.

Bad news:

Cooks are still not eligible for the CEC, and there is a Temporary Foreign Worker program moratorium.

Cooks with Canadian job offers are encouraged to explore their Canadian permanent residency options as soon as possible before caps or limits are reached or additional changes occur.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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