Express Entry

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online system introduced by the Canadian government in 2015 which is used to manage Canadian permanent residency applications under three federal economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canadian Experience Class

Apart from these programs, provincial governments also select qualified candidates from the express entry pool through their respective Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to meet their local labour market shortages.

View of a SkyTrain from above

How does express entry work?

You can create an express entry profile by filling out information about your background, skills, work experience, education and language abilities. Profiles which meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs listed above are then accepted into the express entry pool of candidates.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) under express entry, ranks candidates in the pool based on their skills, job offer, provincial nomination, personal profile and language abilities. The highest ranked candidates are then invited to apply (ITA) for permanent residency. The points cut-off is decided by a CRS draw conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) almost every fortnight. An express entry candidate can stay in the pool for 12 months, if they are not issued an ITA within 12 months, they will be required to create a new profile and enter the pool again.

Once an ITA is issued, you have 90 days to submit your complete application for permanent residency which includes uploading of all supporting documents. An average of 80 per cent of applications are processed by IRCC within six months or less.

Calculate your express entry points by using CWC’s express entry points calculator now.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

To be eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent residency under Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, you must meet the following minimum requirements.

Work Experience

  • You must have at least one year of continuous, *full-time or equal amount of **part-time work experience within the last 10 years.
  • It must be paid work. Volunteer work or unpaid internships are invalid.
  • It must be under skill type 0, A or B in National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011 list, Canada.
  • You must carry and show the duties listed in the NOC category under which you are applying for and must meet the qualifying criteria for that particular NOC group.

Note: 

*Full time: 30 hours per week for 1 year / 1560 hours.

**Part-time work: 15 hours per week for 2 years / 1560 hours or

30 hours per week for 1 year at more than one job (total one year full time) / 1560 hours.

Education

To be eligible for FSW program,you must have completed a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.

OR

A completed foreign credential with an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. This report should show that the foreign credential is equal to a Canadian credential.

Language

You must show that they meet the minimum requirements in English or French by taking the respective test approved by IRCC which shows that they meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least seven in speaking, listening, reading and writing.The test results must not be more than two years old.

Selection Criteria

Once the minimum requirements are met, you are then awarded points based on the six selection criteria:

  • Work experience,
  • Education,
  • Language (English and/or French),
  • Age
  • Job offer in Canada
  • Adaptability

Points are earned based on the above six selection factors out of a total of 100 points. The current cut-off is 67.That means if you are able to score 67 points out of 100, you are eligible to apply for a Canadian Permanent Residency under the FSW program.

Calculate your points using CWC’s FSW points calculator now.

Proof of Funds

Unless the candidate is able to show that they have a valid job offer in Canada or is currently able to work in Canada on a work permit, they must show that they have enough money to support them and their family after their arrival in Canada.

Find out how much funds you need according to your family size using this chart.

Married or Common-Law

If you are married or live with a common-law partner who meets the above criteria, either of you (whoever can potentially score better points) can be the principal applicant. According to IRCC, a common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner includes both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Additional Requirements

Under all circumstances, in order to qualify, you must not be inadmissible to Canada by law. The above eligibility criteria is applicable for all provinces in Canada except Quebec.

Federal Skilled Trade Program

The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program is intended towards individuals who want to apply for a permanent residency based on their qualifications in skilled trade. The minimum requirements to qualify under this program are as follows:

Work Experience

You must have at least two years of *full-time or equal amount of **part-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five years.   

*Full time: 30 hours per week for 1 year / 1560 hours.

**Part-time work: 15 hours per week for 2 years / 1560 hours OR 30 hours per week for 1 year at more than one job (total one year full time) / 1560 hours.

Skilled Trades currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the NOC. These major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations which fall under NOC B.You must carry out the duties listed in the NOC category under which you are applying except for needing a certification of qualification:

  • 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.

You must have an offer of full-time employment or a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority. Provinces and territories in Canada  issue certificates of qualification in the skilled trades. To get a certificate, the provincial or territorial trades authority must assess your training, trade experience and skills to decide if you are eligible to write an exam to be certified.

Find out the NOC code, title and skill type or level for your job.

Education

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 with an educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. This report should show that the foreign credential is equal to a Canadian diploma or greater.

Language

You must show that they meet the minimum requirements in English or French by taking the respective test approved by IRCC which shows that they meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least five in speaking and listening and four for reading and writing.The test results must not be more than two years old.

Married or Common-Law

If you are married or live with a common-law partner who meets the above criteria, either of you (whoever can potentially score better points) can be the principal applicant. According to IRCC, a common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner includes both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Additional Requirements

Federal Skilled Trade workers might have to go to the province or territory to be assessed and an employer might be needed who can give you experience and training.

Under all circumstances, in order to qualify, you must not be inadmissible to Canada by law. The above eligibility criteria is applicable for all provinces in Canada except Quebec.

Canadian Experience Class

To be eligible under Canadian Experience Class you must have at least 12 months of full-time or an equal amount in part-time skilled work experience in Canada, three years before you apply.

Work Experience

  • You must have at least one year of continuous, full-time* or equal amount of part-time* work experience within the last 3 years within Canada.
  • Any work experience gained while being a full-time student is invalid under this program. For example, co-op or internship which is part of your school program.
  • Self-employment does not count.
  • Work experience must be must be under skill type 0, A or B (skilled work) in National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011 list, Canada.
  • You must carry and show the duties listed in the NOC category under which you are applying for and must meet the qualifying criteria for that particular NOC group.
  •  

Note: 

*Full time: 30 hours per week for 1 year / 1560 hours.

**Part-time work: 15 hours per week for 2 years / 1560 hours or

30 hours per week for 1 year at more than one job (total one year full time) / 1560 hours.

Education

There is no education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class. But, if you want to earn points for your education under Express Entry, you either need a Canadian secondary (high school)or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or a degree OR a completed foreign educational credential with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. This report should show that the foreign credential is equal to a Canadian secondary, post-secondary, diploma, degree or greater.

Language

You must show that they meet the minimum requirements in English or French by taking the respective test approved by IRCC which shows that they meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least seven for NOC 0 or A jobs or CLB 5 for NOC B jobs in speaking, listening, reading and writing.The test results must not be more than two years old.

Married or Common-Law

If you are married or live with a common-law partner who meets the above criteria, either of you (whoever can potentially score better points) can be the principal applicant. According to IRCC, a common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner includes both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Additional Requirements

Under all circumstances, in order to qualify, you must not be inadmissible to Canada by law. The above eligibility criteria is applicable for all provinces in Canada except Quebec.