Express Entry

Express Entry

As of January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under federal economic immigration programs.

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (include link that takes you to them)

  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program

  3. Canadian Experience Class

The new Express Entry program involves many improvements to Canadian immigration, including quicker processing times, greater accessibility to applicants from a wider variety of employment, and a greater focus on the quality of applications. The new Express Entry program also allows people from all occupations to apply.

How it works:

Potential candidates for Express Entry will be ranked using a points system. This process begins by completing an online Express Entry profile where applicants will be ranked on a variety of factors, which include: skills, work experience, language ability, and education along with a host of other information.

Once the application is complete, the potential candidate will be accepted into a pool of candidates where your profile will be entered into a pool or database of all other candidates for review and potential selection. Your profile remains active for one year, during which you may be invited to apply for permanent residency at any time.

It is very important to note that after being offered an invitation to apply under the Express Entry, applicants will still be required to meet the criteria of the program they are applying under.

If your application is selected you will be issued an “Invitation to Apply,” and will have 90 days to apply for permanent residence under one of the following programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program –

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) has changed significantly in the past few years, and continues to change each year. Applications are now being processed under the criteria of the Express Entry system. In its current form, you must be “Invited to Apply” under the Express Entry system before being considered under this category. The FSW program allows those that have at least one year of skilled work experience to apply for permanent residence in Canada, provided that they obtain sufficient points under the points score system which consists of 6 selection factors.


Skilled work experience

Your work experience must be:

  • At least one year, continuous full-time or an equal amount in part-time,
  • Paid work,
  • In the same NOC skill type (0, A or B),
  • Within the last 10 years, and
  • At skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011
Language ability

Your language ability must be:

  • Meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7, and
  • Take a language test

You must have:

  • A Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • A complete foreign credential, and
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC.
Proof of funds

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada, unless you are currently able to legally work in Canada, and have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades Program –


  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec
  • Meet the minimum language level in English and French for each language ability
  • 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.

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


  • A completed foreign credential, and
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC.

You will likely have to go to the province or territory you plan to reside in to be assessed. You may also need an employer in Canada to give you experience and training. Each province details whether you need a certificate of qualification to work in that province or territory in a specific skilled trade, and what you have to do to get one.

Canadian Experience Class –

Canada recognizes that individuals who have obtained Canadian work experience have already settled into Canadian society and have established important networks in their communities and their careers, and therefore have a greater chance of success as an immigrant.

Temporary foreign workers and foreign students that have skilled work experience in Canada may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class under the Express Entry system.


  • Have at least 12 months of full-time (or equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply.
  • Have gained your experience in Canada with the proper authorization,
  • Meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
Skilled work experience

To be considered for the Canadian Express Class, the candidate needs to have Canadian skilled work experience within 3 years of applying. According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • Managerial jobs
  • Professional jobs
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades
Language ability

You must:

  • meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs OR CLB 5 for NOC B jobs, and
  • take a language test approved by CIC that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

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