There are many different ways to immigrate to Canada; being a student, refugee or worker can potentially grant you permanent residency.
One of the ways skilled workers are able to apply is through the Express Entry available programs. While this gives the opportunity to demonstrate to Canada that you have the skills to help contribute to the Canadian economy, not every skilled worker is eligible. You need to have certain work experience in your field of expertise, language skills and sometimes a certain minimum level of education in order to be eligible for one of the programs available at the Express Entry system. Below is a breakdown of the different types of Express Entry programs available for Canadian immigration and what you usually need to have to be able to apply through one of these streams.
There are three different programs that skilled workers are able to apply for: Federal Skilled Worker program, Federal Skilled Trades program and Canadian Experience Class program. Before submitting your profile into the Express Entry system, you need to figure out which program you might reasonably qualify for.
Programs & Criteria
First, there are a few acronyms you need to become familiar with: CLB – Canadian Language Benchmark and NOC – National Occupational Classification Code. Below is a general list of criteria for each Express Entry program, as outlined on the Government of Canada website for all Canadian immigration matters.
The Federal Skilled Worker program:
- English or French Skills at CLB 7;
- you need Canadian or foreign work experience in one of the qualifying NOCs 0, A or B;
- your work experience must be for one year of continuous work within the last 10 years (it can be a combination of part-time or full-time or even more than one job in your primary occupation);
- you are not required to have a job offer in order to apply; however, you can get selection criteria points for having a valid job offer;
- secondary education is required, but you can receive more selection criteria points for your post-secondary education.
The Federal Skilled Trades program:
- English or French skills with CLB 5 for speaking and listening. CLB 4 for reading and writing;
- you need Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B;
- two years of work experience within the last five years (it can be a combination of full-time or part-time work);
- you must have a valid job offer for a full-time employment for at least one year, or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial of federal authority;
- no minimum education is usually
The Canadian Experience Class program:
- English or French skill with CLB 7, if your NOC is 0 or A, and CLB 5 or 6, if your NOC is B;
- you need at least one year of Canadian experience in one of the qualifying NOCs 0, A or B;
- one year of work experience in Canada in the last three years (this can be a combination of full-time or part-time);
- no job offer is required;
- no minimum education is usually required;
If you are a skilled worker who qualifies under one of the programs above and wish to become a permanent resident of Canada, then submitting your profile into the Express Entry system is one way of doing so. If you meet all the criteria for one of these programs, then you are eligible to submit your profile into the Express Entry system. However, that does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence under the program that you might reasonably qualify for. Canadian immigration process can be a long and stressful route, but there is always help available. An immigration lawyer will be able to walk you through this entire process and explain what you need to do in order to increase your chances and gain express entry to Canada.