British Columbia Has Plenty Of Opportunities For Internationally Trained Truck Drivers

Quebec Trucking Companies Stymied By Canada’s Refusal To Give Some Work Permits
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British Columbia has tremendous opportunities for internationally trained truck drivers who want to immigrate or temporarily work there, as employers are in hiring mode.

At the end of May, the Job Bank federal job-hunting and career-planning website listed 636 job ads in British Columbia for truckers, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 with the code 73300, and many employers were seeking to fill multiple positions.

Lower Mainland-based employers accounted for the vast majority of those job offerings. There were then 553 job vacancies for truckers in that southwestern part of the province which includes British Columbia’s biggest city, Vancouver.

That means the Lower Mainland accounted for 86.9 per cent of all open trucking jobs in British Columbia as May drew to a close.

In British Columbia, the median hourly wage for trucking jobs is $27 but that varies from a low of $19 per hour right up to $38 per hour, reveals the Job Bank.

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Based on a standard 37.5-hour work week, that would be $74,100 at the upper end of the annual wage scale for truckers in British Columbia.

But truck drivers are also often paid bonuses by the kilometre, enabling them to earn significantly more.

With transportation companies desperately looking for truckers to replenish and grow their aging workforce, both the federal and provincial governments have been helping out with immigration policies to grant work permits and permanent residence to qualified foreign workers looking for these kinds of jobs in Canada. 

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British Columbia is one of the participants in the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) which is expected to start helping employers hire skilled refugees and other displaced individuals, including for trucking jobs, this summer.

That will allow refugees who are truckers to immigrate to British Columbia under the EMPP and get jobs in the transportation sector.

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“Canada is a global leader in helping skilled refugees connect with employers struggling to find workers in critical areas, while giving newcomers the opportunity to restart their careers and their lives here in Canada,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“Our government will continue to develop and scale innovative immigration measures to help employers address their critical labour shortages and provide refugees with the opportunity to live in safety while rebuilding their lives.”

Foreign nationals who are not refugees can also immigrate to British Columbia as truck drivers through the federal, Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program.

Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Is Now Open To Truckers

In mid-November last year, truck driver was one of 16 occupations added to the FSW’s list of eligible occupations when the IRCC updated to the NOC 2021 classification system.

Qualifying applicants under the FSW first fill out an Express Entry profile and it is awarded points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). When there is a draw, the government issues an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence to every qualified applicant.

Once nominated, the next step is to apply to the federal government through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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In Canada, foreign nationals can often come under a temporary work permit, through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), or a study visa, gain work experience and then apply for permanent residence under a federal Express Entry program.

The TFWP has been a primary avenue for trucking companies to hire workers from overseas but this requires the employer get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).  

Under the TFWP, qualified applicants receive a Canadian visa and, depending on the province, can transition to Canadian permanent residence through an Express Entry immigration program, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program.

The CEC requires that applicants have 12 months of Canadian work experience within the past three years.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.