Express Entry came into operation on January 1, 2015. Applicants make an ‘expression of interest’ for immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, then they enter the Express Entry pool. The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool who will then receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ (ITA) under one of the programs. Express Entry moves Canada from a first come, first served (supply-driven) system to an invitation to apply (demand-driven) system. Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) aims to process applications within six months from the date of submission after being invited, hence the name Express Entry. Potential candidates make an expression of interest in coming to Canada by creating an Express Entry profile and providing information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other personal information. This profile is self-declared; that is to say that the material provided by the potential candidate is based on his or her own assessment. There are up to 600 points available under the system for a candidate’s core human capital and skills transferability factors. An additional 600 points will be awarded to anyone with a confirmed job offer (i.e. having received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment) in a skilled occupation or received a certificate for a provincial nomination.
This system purposefully issues invitations to apply only to candidates who are best positioned for economic success in Canada – not the first in line.
As of January 2015, skilled foreign workers have access to Express Entry, which 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
Contact us for more information about immigration to Canada as a Skilled Worker
Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) Immigration
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. From January 1, 2015, Federal Skilled Worker applications are being processed through the Express Entry selection system. Candidates eligible 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 order to qualify for Canadian Federal Skilled Worker applicants must:
- Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill level of 0, A or B); and/or
- Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer(s); or
- Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English or French)
In addition, Federal Skilled Worker applicants must attain at least qualifying points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration 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.
In addition to fulfilling eligibility and points requirements, applicants must show that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependants upon arrival in Canada.
As a skilled worker or professional, there are several options for you to consider. You can either apply under the federal program or, if you know which province/territory you plan to reside, you can make your application through one of the provincial programs.
Federal Skilled Worker: For skilled worker applicants who intend to reside in any province or territory.
Quebec Skilled Worker: For skilled worker applicants who wish to immigrate to the province of Quebec only.
Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP) Skilled Worker: Many Canadian provinces have created specific skilled worker programs for those intending to live and work in their particular province or territory. These are fast-track Canadian Immigration (Permanent Residency) programs.
Federal Skilled Trades
The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.
To be eligible, you must:
- Plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Note: The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information),
- 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 an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or 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, and
- 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:
- A Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree Or
- A completed foreign credential, and
- An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. [The report must show your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.]
- Meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing, and
- Take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.
You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence.
Contact us for more information about the Federal Skilled Trades Program
Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents. Temporary foreign workers are ideal candidates for Canadian immigration (permanent residency). Having obtained Canadian work experience, these individuals have already adapted the Canadian way of life and have established important networks in their communities and careers.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents.
Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the express entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile, and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence before they may make an application.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements.
They must have:
- Obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience in Canada within 36 months of the application date; and
- Met or surpassed a Canadian Language Benchmark threshold of 5 (“initial intermediate”) or 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”) depending on the level of the job; and
Applicants can remain in Canada throughout the application process. However, the Canadian Experience Class is also open to individuals who are no longer in Canada, provided that they submit their application within two years of leaving their job in Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model. If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant is eligible to enter the Express Entry pool.
A Popular Option for International Students
For many international graduates, the Canadian Experience Class offers the fastest and most simple path to achieving permanent residence.
After completing a program or course of study at a Canadian educational institution, many international graduates are able to remain in the country on post-graduate work permits. If, during this time, a graduate obtains at least one year of work experience in a skilled professional or technical field, they may then become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class.