Skilled worker program, Canada
In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will launch a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs. Canada needs high levels of immigration to meet current and future labour market needs, which will ensure our economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Express Entry will allow us to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants under the following federal economic immigration programs:
- the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
- the Canadian Experience Class.
Provinces and territories will also be able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs. Under this new system, employers will also have a key role in selecting economic immigrants. Employers will access candidates through Canada’s new and improved Job Bank and through provinces and territories where applicable.
The Express Entry system involves two steps:
Step 1) Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile
Potential candidates will complete an online Express Entry profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry will be placed in a pool of candidates.
Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool. Only the highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success), and those with qualifying offers of arranged employment or provincial/territorial nominations, will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
If a candidate does not already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial/territorial nomination, he or she must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank which will connect him or her with eligible Canadian employers.
Where applicable, employers will be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. There will be no fee for Labour Market Impact Assessments for permanent residence applications under the Express Entry system.
Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
Step 2) Citizenship and Immigration Canada will invite certain candidates to apply for permanent residence and process their electronic applications within six months.
Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool, based on their skills and experience. Candidates who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time) or have been nominated by a province or territory will be given high scores in the ranking system.
Candidates will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence through one of the following programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP);
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC); or,
- A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete applications (i.e. applications including all the necessary supporting documents) within six months or less.
Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria. This provision will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.
Express Entry will result in faster and more efficient service to potential skilled immigrants. It will also allow the Government of Canada to be more flexible and responsive to Canada’s changing economic conditions and priorities.
Gearing up for the launch of Express Entry
Minister Alexander meets with key employers on Canada’s economic immigration system
July 14, 2014 —Toronto — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander met with stakeholders and business leaders today about the January 2015 launch of Express Entry: a faster and more effective way for Canada to welcome skilled economic immigrants.
The Government of Canada, in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, has hosted a number of information sessions on Express Entry with employers across the country in recent months.
The Express Entry electronic application management system will apply to four existing economic programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program. Through Express Entry, foreign nationals who meet the criteria for one of the federal immigration programs will be placed into a pool, from which employers will be able to consider candidates who meet their needs when they cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for the job. The Government of Canada’s new and improved Job Bank will help facilitate matches between Canadian employers and Express Entry candidates.
Express Entry candidates who receive a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program will be invited to apply for permanent residence soon after – a key distinction between the Express Entry system and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is only used to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. Job offers will be subject to Employment and Social Development Canada’s Labour Market Impact Assessment in place at that time.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest an initial $14 million over two years, followed by $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensure the successful implementation of Express Entry.
Express Entry will transform Canada’s immigration system into one that is faster and more responsive to economic and labour market needs.
Express Entry will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada to select the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically in Canada, rather than passively process all applicants in a queue.
Express Entry candidates who are invited to apply for permanent residence can expect faster processing times of six months or less.
Preparing for the launch of “Express Entry”
New caps for Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades Programs, and Canadian Experience Class
April 23, 2014 — Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced new measures in key economic immigration programs to prepare for next year’s launch of Express Entry, Canada’s new active recruitment model. Express Entry will lead to a faster and more flexible economic immigration system that will address Canada’s economic and labour market needs.
To prepare for the launch of Express Entry in 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting May 1, 2014. These measures will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers who are settling in Canada permanently and helping to supplement the Canadian workforce in areas where there are skills shortages.
With the FSWP backlog on track for elimination this year, a new cap of 25,000 applications will provide the appropriate number of applications to support expected admissions in 2015. The list of eligible occupations – reflecting the latest labour market needs – will be more than doubled, from 24 to 50 occupations.
To support Canada’s need for skilled trades people, the FSTP cap will be increased to 5,000 applications. All 90 skilled trades designated under the program regulations will now be eligible for consideration, although sub-caps remain in order to ensure appropriate representation of occupations.
The CEC cap will be re-set at 8,000 applications, as of May 1, 2014, to cover the transition period leading up to Express Entry.
Offering “Express Entry” to Qualified Economic Immigrants
Actively Recruiting Talented Newcomers For the Benefit of Canada’s Economy
April 8, 2014 — Ottawa — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced that Canada’s active recruitment model for economic immigration will officially be called “Express Entry.” Set to launch in January 2015, “Express Entry” is a major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs.
“Express Entry” will allow for greater flexibility and better responsiveness to deal with regional labour shortages, and help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers. “Express Entry” candidates who receive a valid job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be quickly invited to apply for permanent residency – a key distinction between “Express Entry” and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is only used to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.
Formerly referred to as “Expression of Interest”, “Express Entry” will be open to skilled immigrants and allow the government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line. It will also prevent backlogs and allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to better coordinate application volume with the annual immigration levels plan.
Qualified applicants can expect faster processing times of six months or less when invited to come to Canada in four key economic streams: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the PNP.
With “Express Entry,” employers will have a key role in selecting economic immigrants and providing advice to the Government of Canada. To this end, Alexander also announced that over the course of spring 2014, CIC will work with provincial and territorial governments to hold a series of cross-Canada information sessions to provide employers with more information about this exciting new system.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensuring the successful implementation of Express Entry.
With Express Entry, Canada will be able to select the best candidates who are most likely to achieve success in Canada, rather than the first person in line.
The Government of Canada’s new and improved Job Bank will help facilitate matches between Canadian employers and Express Entry candidates.
Having a valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination will guarantee Express Entry candidates an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Who Qualifies for Canadian Permanent Residence/Skilled Worker Immigration??
Recent developments effective May 1, 2014 provide qualified candidates with Canadian permanent residence who meet certain eliminatory conditions and assessment factors under a new Federal Skilled Worker selection grid.
To qualify for permanent residence under the new FSW program, applicants must meet the following essential/eliminatory conditions:
Possess one-year, within the previous 10 years, of work experience in one of 50 Fast Track High Demand occupations or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment; AND
The work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades) within the meaning of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system; AND
Demonstrate Intermediate proficiency in one of Canada’s two official languages;
Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising of six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points; AND
Possess suitable settlement funding; AND
Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
Under the new rules, qualified applicants are evaluated against six factors to determine their eligibility for immigration to Canada. Applicants must obtain a total of 67 points out of a possible 100 in order to qualify. The selection factors are:
- Employment experience;
- Arranged employment;
The new program seeks to select candidates with the highest probability of economic settlement success and contribution to Canada. It maintains previous criteria with modification to the relative importance and point structure for each selection factor.
To be selected under the FSW program, applicants who possess sufficient work experience and language proficiency must accumulate a minimum of 67 points on the skilled worker selection grid, which allocates points for education, language, employment experience, age, arranged Canadian employment and adaptability.
Education – Maximum of 25 points
The maximum number of points awarded for education is 25, with maximum points awarded to applicants with doctoral degrees. Foreign credentials will be evaluated by a designated third party to determine their Canadian equivalent and points will be awarded based on that equivalence. At this time, organizations designated for credential evaluation are:
Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies ;
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada ;
World Education Services ;
Medical Council of Canada .
Language – Minimum threshold of 16 points, Maximum of 28 points
Only applicants capable of demonstrating an intermediate to high level proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French, will be considered. Applicants who meet the minimum threshold must score at least 16 points under this selection factor. Higher language proficiency can lead to an allocation of up to 24 points.
The benefits of bilingualism are considered marginal to an individual’s successful economic establishment in Canada and the new point system limits points for a second official language to a maximum of 4.
Employment Experience – Minimum of 9 points, Maximum of 15 points
The new program requires a minimum of 1-year to qualify and the maximum consideration is 6-years.
Age – Maximum of 12 points
Up to 12 points will be allotted to candidates between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Each year above the age of 35 will reduce the allocation by 1, with no points being awarded as of age 47.
Arranged Employment – 0 or 10 points
Points are allotted to individuals with a validated offer of employment in Canada. In an effort to streamline labour market related processes and reduce processing times for employers and their potential employees, the Arranged Employment Opinion process will be replaced with the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) employment validation process which is generally used in processing applications for Canadian work permits.
In order to validate an employment offer and obtain points for this selection factor, a candidate’s proposed employer must demonstrate to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada that the hiring of a foreign worker will have neutral or positive economic effects on the local labour market.
Candidates with a validated employment offer will gain 10 points under this factor, and an additional 5 points in the Adaptability selection factor for a total of 15 points.
Adaptability – Maximum of 10 points
Applicants who have at least 1 year of full time Canadian work experience in a managerial, professional, technical or skilled trade occupation will be awarded maximum points. As mentioned above, a validated offer of employment will provide 5 adaptability points. Other considerations awarding points under this selection factor include: A close adult relative living in Canada; Applicant or spouse has studied in Canada; Spouse has previous Canadian work experience; Spouse has knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages.
Skilled Worker Selection Grid
|(Canadian equivalence established by a designated third party)|
|Master’s or professional degree||23|
|Two or more post-secondary degrees, of which one is three years or longer||22|
|A three year or longer post-secondary degree||21|
|A two-year post-secondary diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship||19|
|A one-year post-secondary diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship||15|
|Secondary School Educational Credential||5|
|LANGUAGE (Abilities: Speak, Read, Write, Listen)||Max. 28|
|1st Lang||Very high proficiency (per ability) (CLB 9)||6|
|High proficiency (per ability) (CLB 8)||5|
|Intermediate proficiency (per ability) (CLB 7)*
*Minimum threshold required to apply
|Basic or no proficiency||0|
|Possible maximum (all four abilities)||24|
|2ndLang||Basic proficiency or higher (per ability)||1|
|Possible maximum (all four abilities)||4|
|EXPERIENCE (NOC Skill Level O,A,B)||Max. 15|
*Minimum threshold required to apply
|Two to three years||11|
|Four to five years||13|
|Six years or more||15|
|18 to 35 years||12|
|Less one point per year until 47 years|
|ARRANGED EMPLOYMENT IN CANADA||Max. 10|
|HRSDC-confirmed permanent offer of employment||10|
|Applicants from within Canada holding a temporary work permit that is:|
|Validated by HRSDC, including sectoral confirmations||10|
|Exempt from HRSDC validation under international agreements (e.g., NAFTA)||10|
|Applicant has a minimum of 1 year skilled Work experience in Canada||10|
|Applicant has previously studied in Canada||5|
|Spouse has previously studied in Canada||5|
|Spouse has previously worked in Canada||5|
|Family relation over the age of 18 in Canada||5|
|Spouse is proficient in an official language||5|
CIC policy confirms that the Federal Skilled Worker Program, while well-tailored to select highly educated individuals, does not favour applications from the skilled trades. In an effort to ensure the Canadian labour market attracts sufficient trades workers, qualified trades’ candidates may now apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Persons interested in applying for permanent residence are invited to communicate with us at their convenience and/or to complete an assessment questionnaire. Upon receipt we will assess your options.