Express Entry processes permanent resident applications based on the following categories: Federal Skilled Work (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
Become an Express Entry candidate
To enter Canada as a skilled immigrant, a foreign national must first become a candidate in the Express Entry pool.
If eligible to enter the Express Entry pool:
- create an online account;
- fill out your online Express Entry profile with your account and include your:
- work experience
- language test scores
- other information we ask in order to assess you
- education and educational credential assessment (if you need one)
- There is no fee to complete and submit a profile.
Once in the Express Entry pool, the foreign national's profile will remain in the pool for one year from the day the profile is submitted. Points will be awarded based on the information provided in the profile (skills and experience), and the foreign national will be ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
There will be regular rounds to invite the top-ranked candidates in the pool to apply for permanent residence. A candidate must receive an invitation to apply (ITA) before one can apply online for permanent residence.
If a foreign national is not invited to apply for permanent residence after a year of being in the pool, the Express Entry profile will expire. At that point, a foreign national may choose to complete and submit a new profile.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
To be eligible, you must:
- in the same type of job as your primary NOC
- within the last 10 years
- paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships don’t count)
- at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC)
- at least 1 year (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week), continuous:
- full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
- equal amount in part-time: 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
- full-time at more than 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than 1 job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
You must show that you did the duties set out in the occupational description in the NOC. This includes most of the main duties listed. If you can’t show that your work experience meets the description in the NOC, you aren’t eligible under this program.
Language ability. You must get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four abilities (writing, reading, listening, and speaking).
Education. If you went to school in Canada, you must have a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian: secondary (high school) or post-secondary school.
If you have foreign education, you must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an approved agency showing that your foreign education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian: secondary (high school) or post-secondary school
Selection factors. If you meet all the conditions set out in the minimum requirements, we’ll assess your application based on these selection factors:
- work experience
- whether you have a valid job offer
- English and/or French language skills
- adaptability (how well you’re likely to settle here)
These factors are part of a 100-point grid used to assess federal skilled workers. You earn points for how well you do in each of the six factors. Your total points will show if you qualify for the Express Entry pool. The current pass mark is 67 points.
Canadian Experience Class
To be eligible, you must:
- at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last three years (before you apply). The work was:
- full-time OR
- an equal amount in part-time
- gained your work experience in Canada with the proper authorization
- planned to live outside the province of Quebec
Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.
Language ability. You must meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability: NOC 0 or A CLB 7/NOC B CLB 5.
Skilled work experience. To be eligible for the CEC, you need to have Canadian skilled work experience within three years of applying. Skilled work experience means:
- Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
- Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
- Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)
Your experience must be at least
- 12 months of full-time work
- 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours), OR
- equal amount in part-time hours, such as:
- 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
- 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
You must show that you did the duties set out in the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the main duties listed. If you don’t show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we will not accept your application.
Education. There is no education requirement for Canadian Experience Class. But you can earn points for your education under Express Entry, if:
- you went to school in Canada, and have a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian: secondary (high school) or post-secondary school
- you have foreign education, and you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an approved agency showing that your foreign education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian: secondary (high school) or post-secondary school.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
To be eligible, you must:
- plan to live outside the province of Quebec,
- 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.
Language ability. You must get the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 for reading and writing, and take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.
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 (1) a completed foreign credential, and (2) an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC.
Skilled work experience. Skilled Trades currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the 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, and
- Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers.
These major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations. (All are NOC skill type B.) You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
Provincial Nominee Program
Each province and territory has different economic needs and thus offer different immigration categories or streams. Through Express Entry, provinces and territories can also find and nominate candidates in the Express Entry pool under their Provincial Nominee Program. These immigrants must have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of that province or territory, and must want to live there as well.
Determine your eligibility. Eligibility requirements for each province and territory may change without notice, so you must refer to their specific websites for the most up-to-date information:
If you are nominated under a non-Express Entry stream:
- you will have to apply through the paper-based process, and
- if the province or territory finds you eligible and nominates you, you will send an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
If you are nominated under a province or territory’s Express Entry stream, you must:
- meet their requirements, and
- meet the minimum criteria for Express Entry.
Proof of settlement funds
You must show that you have enough money to settle in Canada to meet the minimum requirements of:
- the Federal Skilled Worker Program or
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
You do not need to show proof of funds to meet the program requirements of the Canadian Experience Class (this includes provincial nominees who are part of the CEC stream). Furthermore, you do not need proof of funds if you are currently authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer.
How much money you will need? The amount of money you need to support your family is set by the size of your family. To calculate the size of your family you must include:
- your spouse or partner
- your dependent children and
- your spouse’s dependent children
This includes your spouse or dependent children who are permanent residents or Canadian citizens.
Evidence of Proof of Funds. Funds must be readily available to you. You may not use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds. As proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you are keeping money. A letter must:
- be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
- include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
- include your name
- list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
- include, for each current bank and investment account:
- account numbers
- the date each account was opened
- the current balance of each account
- the average balance for the past six months