A Simple Guide to Canadian Express Entry Programs

Express Entry stands as Canada's primary immigration system, crafted to simplify the procedure for skilled workers and professionals aspiring to attain permanent residency. It serves as a route that emphasizes selection based on merit, rendering it an appealing choice for individuals possessing the expertise and qualifications required to strengthen Canada's labor force.

Express Entry stream for immigration initiated by the Canadian Federal Government may be one of the most popular immigration plans in the entire world. Yet, some aspirants lack a proper understanding of the different streams of programs offered by the federal and provincial governments.

This article aims to provide a simple guide to understanding various programs within express entry.

What is the Express Entry Program?

Every country has its programs to support immigration. Express Entry Program is a popular choice among them.

Express Entry is an online application process from the Canadian government to accept applications for permanent residence under three categories: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class. These programs have different eligibility criteria to initiate an application.

You may be eligible for one or more express entry streams based on your status. Let’s explore these streams in detail. Believe it or not, some people do not understand the primary differences between different programs. It makes them vulnerable to fraud and cheating.

Eligibility to Apply for PR Through Express Entry

Programs under Express Entry have different eligibility criteria. These are minimum criteria and the real-world benchmarks are higher due to high demand. Let’s begin with a snapshot and explore in detail thereafter:

ProgramLanguageProfession/Job TEERWork ExperienceJob OfferEducation
Federal Skilled WorkerEnglish/French CLB 7 or higherTeer-0, Teer-1, Teer-2, Teer-31 year in the last 10 yearsNot requiredSecondary Education
Federal Skilled TradesEnglish/French CLB 5 for speaking/listening and CLB 4 for writing/readingTeer-2, Teer-32 years in the last 5 yearsRequired (1 year) + CertificateNot Required
Canadian Experience ClassEnglish/French CLB 7 for Teer-0, Teer-1 and CLB 5 for Teer-2, Teer-3Teer-0, Teer-1, Teer-2, Teer-31 year Canadian experience in the last 3 yearsNot RequiredNot Required
Minimum eligibility criteria for express entry programs

Maybe you have done a quick filtering (We tried to keep it as simple as possible), but there may be some questions. Let’s deep dive into all of these different options and try to understand these programs better.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)

As the name implies, this program is initiated by the Federal government. Canada needs talented people in their workforce. Federal Skilled Worker program, also known as FSW helps the Canadian government to import the best workforce across the globe to Canada.

Who is a Skilled Worker?

A skilled worker, who is eligible to apply under Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Express Entry Program is/has :

  • A foreign national
  • Woring under a chosen NOC code (Teer 0, Teer 1, Teer 2). Check your National Occupation Classification (NOC) code here to find out if you are eligible
  • One or more years of paid work experience
  • Proven language (English/ French) and Educational Qualifications (Completed Educational Credential Evaluation)
  • enough funds to support the family.
  • approved medical test results.
  • Admissible to Canada (No criminal background that may cause a rejection)

If a person is qualified as per the above criteria (Bear in mind that the above list is a minimal level list and there are case-to-case challenges and situations in every application.), an application can be created. Usually, this application is called an Express Entry Application.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)

Federal Skilled Trades programs aim to skilled workers and open a pathway to permanent residency status

Eligibility Criteria for Express Entry Through Federal Skilled Trades Program

  • Minimum language ability in English or French.
  • 2 years full-time work experience in the last 5 years. Or corresponding part-time experience
    • Paid work experience with wages or commission.
    • Proof of work experience to show the above must be submitted
    • Please refer to Hours of Work to understand and assess your eligibility
  • National Occupation Classification for Skilled Trades has laid out eligibility to define the NOC code of an applicant. Refer to the NOC codes under Skilled Trades NOCs.
  • Have a valid job offer (full-time, 1 year) OR Certificate of qualification from Canada
  • Wherever applicable, show work experience as an independent worker in the same trade.
  • While it is not mandatory, education in Canada or credential assessment approved by Canada can be used to add additional points as an applicant.
  • Show enough funds in your account to use as a settlement fund. This need not be transferred to any other account and is not a fee. An applicant must show this in their bank account and proof must be submitted. An exception is when there is a valid job offer or working in Canada in a qualified job.

If you receive an invitation and approval, any of the provinces except Quebec can be selected as a place to live. Quebec has different regulations.

Canadian Experience Class

If a candidate has relevant experience in Canada and necessary language skills, it is an option to apply for the express entry program through the Canadian Experience Class.

It is also known as the Canadian Experience Class.

Canadian Experience Class is the favorite option for students and their spouses after completing their studies, and people who are on a work visa.

An eligible Canadian work experience and language ability are the main benchmarks to apply through this path.

Let us dive in deeper.

Eligibility Criteria for Express Entry Through Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • Minimum 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada (or an equal amount of part-time experience) within the last 3 years.
  • The above work experience should be from an authorized work
  • Obtain a letter from the Canadian employer stating
    • Essential duties.
    • Main duties

The letter should state that the candidate performed duties corresponding to the essential and main duties listed in NOC codes. The National Occupational Classification (NOC) of the applicant should fall under TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3 in order to be eligible. See the list of NOC codes here

Also, the candidate:

  • should not be a refugee claimant.
  • authorized to work in Canada at the time of obtaining the letter
  • has obtained experience in an authorized workplace.
  • has obtained experience with temporary resident status in Canada.

while these are the general guidelines, IRCC amends the policies and rules each year. Be sure to check if there are new rules or opportunities.

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