Express Entry came into operation on January 1, 2015 where potential candidates make an expression of interest in Immigrating to Canada by creating an Express Entry profile and providing information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other personal information. If they are eligible for at least one of the mentioned programs, then they enter the Express Entry pool.

The federal government, provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool that suits their needs best to receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ (ITA) under one of the programs . The Express entry system purposefully issues invitations to apply only to candidates who are best positioned for economic success in Canada – not the first in line.

Express Entry covers Canada’s key economic immigration programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • the Canadian Experience Class, and
  • a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications are assessed based on an applicant’s ability to become economically established upon immigrating to Canada. Skilled workers usually apply through point-based system.

Eligible candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program must first make an expression of interest for immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile. In addition they also need to

  • Have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill level of 0, A or B)
  • Demonstrate that their job description from the primary occupation matches with the occupational description in the NOC.
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employe
  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English or French)
  • Have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependants upon arrival in Canada.

In addition, Federal Skilled Worker applicants must attain at least qualifying points based on IRCC’s selection factors.

The selection factors are summarized as follows:

  • Age: Applicants are awarded up to 100 points with a spouse and up to 110 without a spouse.
  • Education: Applicants are awarded up to 140 points with a spouse and up to 150 without a spouse.
  • Language Skills: Applicants are awarded up to 150 with a spouse and 160 without a spouse.
  • Canadian Work Experience: Applicants are awarded up to 70 points with a spouse and 80 without a spouse.
  • Adaptability: Applicants are awarded up to 50 points.
  • Foreign Work Experience: Applicants are awarded up to 50 points.
  • Arranged Employment or Provincial/Territorial Nomination: Applicants are awarded up to 600 points.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for people who want to become permanent residents of Canada based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec,
  • Meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • Have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply
  • Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), except for needing a certificate of qualification, and
  • Have a full-time job offer for a total period of at least one year in the trade you are applying for
  • Have a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

Skilled Trades currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the NOC:

  • Industrial, electrical and construction trades
  • Maintenance and equipment operation trades
  • Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
  • Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • Chefs and cooks
  • Butchers and bakers

There is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. But, if you want to earn points for your education under Express Entry, you either need to provide

Language ability:
You must take a language test approved by Immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that shows you meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and writing

The Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) allows provinces to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province. Provincial Nomination is an important fast-track option for Canadian Permanent Residency. Each PNP is tailored to the province’s/territory’s specific needs to select nominees who will be able to settle, work and positively contribute to the community in the province.

The most popular Provincial Nomination Programs are Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. But every province has their own streams and uses the Express entry pool to select candidates. The streams vary from province to province and can include streams such
PHD graduate stream, French speaking skilled workers, entrepreneurs, farm owners etc.

Remember, these programs keep changing as per the needs of the provinces from time to time and accordingly can be suspended or capped.

To know if you qualify for an express entry program, fill out our Express Entry assessment form

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