Understanding Canada Express Entry Program

Express Entry is a pathway for skilled workers to get permanent residency in Canada. The application process is fast and takes 6 months or less to be processed. The applicants are score under the Comprehensive Rating System (CRS) which takes into account their educational qualification, work experience and other criteria.

Canada has become popular among jobseekers, especially for those from the following industries:

  1. Hospitality
  2. Health and Social care
  3. Information Technology
  4. Engineering
  5. Finance and Insurance
  6. Trade

The Express Entry manages it application through the Federal Economic Immigration Program such as:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  2. Federal Skilled Trades program (FSTP)
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Applicants interested in availing the PR need to fulfil the conditions set by at least one of the above programs. There are two steps to fulfil your Canada PR.

Step 1: Creating your Express Entry Profile:

Interested applicants need to create their profile on the Government of Canada website. They need to provide their basic details, educational qualification, work experience, language ability and other relevant information.

All the Federal Economic Immigration Programs have different set of criteria to be eligible for the entry pool.

Federal Skilled Worker Program:

This program is applicable for people from with work experience from outside Canada, who would like to settle in Canada.

In order to be eligible, the applicants need to meet:

  • Score points for work experience: At least one year full time paid work experience or 2 years part time work experience in the National Occupation Classification (NOC) { O A B}
    O=Managerial Level Occupation
    A=Technical Level Occupation such as Engineers, Dentist, MBBS, Architects
    B=Professional Level occupation such as Chefs, Plumbers, Electricians
  • Language ability: Obtain minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four abilities [reading, writing, speaking, and listening] in English as a First Language and CLB 5 in all the four abilities [reading, writing, speaking, and listening] in French as a Second language.
  • Score points for education degree: Post-Secondary Degree or Diploma in Canada or Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved agency affirming that the Bachelors degree or Diploma obtained from outside Canada is equivalent to Canadian degree.
  • Selection factors: In addition to the factors mentioned above applications are assessed on Adaptability. Adaptability includes Siblings in Canada, Valid Job offer in Canada, Spouse, English language score, etc.

The above factors are part of a 100-point grid used to assess federal skilled workers. Applicants are awarded points for how well the applicant scores in each of the six factors. If the applicant scores more than or equal to the set marks, they can qualify for the Express Entry pool. The current pass mark is 67 points.

Proof of funds: it is mandatory for the applicants to show that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members without recourse to public funds.

Exception is given to the applicants who can legally work in Canada or have a valid job offer.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

This program is for people who want to become permanent residents based on their skilled trade.

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

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades,
  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades,
  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production,
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators,
  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks, and
  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers.

Apart from this, the applicant will need to provide evidence of having met:

  • Score points for work experience: At least one year of full time paid work experience in the National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  • Language ability: Obtain minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening and (CLB) 4 for reading and writing in English or French
  • Score points for education degree: Secondary or Post secondary education in Canada or Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved agency affirming that the degree obtained from outside Canada is equivalent to Canadian degree.

Selection factors: In addition to the above factors, applications are assessed on Age, Adaptability. They will need to go to the specific Canadian province or territory to be assessed.

The process is changes as per the location the applicant wants to live in and their chosen field of work.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

In order to qualify for the CEC through Express Entry, applicants must have:

  • At least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last three years (before the application).

The work must be:

  • full-time OR
  • an equal amount in part-time
  • gained your work experience in Canada with the proper authorization
  • meet the required language levels needed for job in each language ability
  • planned to live outside the province of Quebec

Note: Self-employment and the work experience gained by the applicant as a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) doesn’t count under this program.

Step 2 – Invitation to apply

The eligible applicants will be invited to apply if they are:

  • nominated by a province or territory or
  • are among the top ranked in the Express Entry pool based on skills and experience.

Once the applicant receives an invitation to apply, they have 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence in one of these programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Express Entry streams of the Provincial Nominee Program

The Express Entry profiles are valid for one year. For those applicants, who do not receive an invite can apply for permanent residence after 12 months, by re-submitting their profile and re-entering the pool (as long as they still meet the criteria).