The time has come
In 2015, Express Entry was introduced as Canada’s comprehensive application management system for its three (3) major economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades (FSTP) Program, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Prior to the introduction of Express Entry, applications for permanent residency were processed on a first come, first serve basis. Today, applicants who are eligible for one (1) of the aforementioned immigration programs are placed in an Express Entry pool, and through a comprehensive scoring process the most qualified applicants are selected to apply for PR, based on the current minimum cut-off score for each respective draw. The government holds monthly draws based on predetermined quotas for the year.
Express Entry is a two (2) step process:
Step 1: Enter the Express Entry pool.
Applicants who enter the Express Entry pool are ranked against other applicants through the government's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Points are awarded based on what the Canadian government has deemed to be core attributes that are in the national interest. With total available points of 1,200 applicants primarily receive points based on their age, education, work experience and, more importantly, their English language proficiency. Additional points can be gained through a Provincial Nomination or a job offer from a Canadian employer.
Step two (2): Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
After entering the Express Entry pool through one of the three (3) federal economic programs or a PNP, candidates who are successfully selected out of each Express Entry draw will receive an Invitation to Apply, or “ITA.” This document is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and allows the successful applicants to officially apply for permanent residency, including their accompanying family members: spouse or common-law partner, as well as any dependent children. At this time applicants will be asked to submit a variety of supplementary information, such as police clearance certificates, medical documents and biometrics.
Federal Skilled Workers Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is Canada’s flagship immigration program for skilled professionals. FSWP has welcomed thousands of newcomers every year, based on their ability to become economically established in the country. Complete and competitive application can be processed in six (6) months.
The FSWP has its own points system, whereby an applicant must score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points in order to be eligible for the program. The minimum eligibility requirements are:
Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent foreign work experience (paid) in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill level 0, A or B);
Prove language ability in English and/or French by taking a standardized language test recognized by the federal government;
Have sufficient settlement funds as determined by the government.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have at least one (1) year of Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. The minimum eligibility requirements are:
Meet the required language levels needed for your job for each of the four (4) language ability requirements National Occupation Classification (NOC) :
NOC skill level | Minimum level for all four language abilities
NOC 0 or A CLB 7
NOC B CLB 5
Accumulated at least one (1) year of Canadian skilled work experience in the last three (3) years before applying.
Legally worked in Canada in either a NOC skilled work experience means: managerial jobs (NOC Skill Level 0), professional jobs (Skill Type A) or technical job and skilled trades (NOC Skill Type B)
The applicant must demonstrate that he or she performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description, based off the the National Occupational Classification (NOC) guide. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
Self-employment and work experience gained while a full-time student (such as a co-op work term) doesn’t count under this program.
Federal Skilled Trade Program
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is for those skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on their qualification in a skilled trade. The minimum eligibility requirements are:
Meet the required language levels for each of the four (4) language requirements ability;
Have at least two (2) years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the last five (5) years;
Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification, except for needing a certificate of qualification;
Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one (1) year or a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade that has been issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
Note, FSTP is organized under these groups based on the National Occupational Classification (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
Minor Group 633 - butchers and bakers
Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
The federal government allows each Canadian province and territory to "nominate" applicants based on the particular economic and labour requirements of the province. As such, the provinces can select individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada based on their eligibility for a specific provincial program, and on the condition that the individual will settle in the respective province.
The PNP programs are another option to immigrate to Canada, especially if you do not have enough points to be selected under Express Entry, or are not eligible for any other federal immigration category. Participating provinces and territories have signed agreements with the Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allow them to select immigrants who meet the requirements that they have set forth. If an individual qualifies for a PNP, the province will nominate them through Express Entry by awarding them 600 additional points as part of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Provinces with PNP programs each have their own selection criteria to find immigrants with skills that the province needs which they cannot hire locally. The selection criteria and occupations vary across provinces, from information technology, medicine, agriculture, trades, business, investors, and people who have ties to Canada.
Click on the provincial links below to learn more about each province's PNP or contact Beaver for more information.