- Express Entry
- Who is eligible to apply under Express Entry
- What is Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
- Skilled Immigration
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- FSWP Program Requirements
- Official Language Proficiency
- First Official Language
- Second Official Language Proficiency
- Applicant’s Age
- Arranged Employment
Express Entry is an application intake management system which was implemented by the Government of Canada in January 2015. Most applications under Express Entry are processed by IRCC within six months or less, which means the processing of applications under this system is significantly fast. Only the following immigration programs are managed under Express Entry:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class
- Some Provincial Nominee Programs
Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements under one of the programs listed above are eligible to apply under Express Entry. Those who meet the requirements of at-least one of the programs managed under Express Entry i.e. FSWP, FSTP or CEC must create their profile using IRCC’s online system and should receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
All applicants who meet the criteria of one or more of the above listed program(s) and meet other applicable requirements to create their profile under Express Entry using IRCC online web platform are placed in a pool of candidates and are assigned a score under Comprehensive Ranking System of Express Entry. IRCC periodically conducts a draw and selects the highest-ranking applicants to make an application for Permanent Residence. Once an applicant receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA), they are required to submit a complete Application for Permanent Residence within 60 days and must provide all required documents to substantiate the information provided online at the time of their profile creation. If they do not submit their complete Application for Permanent Residence within the required time-frame i.e. 60 days, their ITA will expire and they will be required to submit a fresh profile starting the whole process again.
Once an applicant submits their complete application for Permanent Residence within the required time and pays the required application fees, their application is usually processed by IRCC within six months or less. If successful, they may land in Canada as Permanent Resident(s) along with their dependents (if any, like spouse and children).
Applicants who create their profile under Express Entry and did not receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), will stay in the pool of Express Entry candidates for 12 months (1 year) from the date of their profile creation. If their CRS score in enough and they fall under the program (stream) for which the draw is conducted in future, they may receive an ITA later. If an ITA is not received in 12 months, their Express Entry profile will expire and they will be required to create a new Express Entry profile, if they are still interested in immigrating to Canada.
The CRS is a points-based system adopted by IRCC which they use to score various potential applicants under Express Entry who create their profile(s) under Express Entry and enter the pool of candidates.
Under Express Entry CRS, the potential applicants/ candidates are ranked based on the answers they provide in their Express Entry profile. The areas which affect a candidate’s score under Express Entry are:
- Level of Education
- Study in Canada
- Official Language Skills (English or French)
- Additional Language Skills (e.g. if you know both English and French and can provide language test results for both official languages like IELTS and TEF)
- Canadian Work Experience
- Foreign Work Experience
- Skills (Have a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian Province or Territory)
Additional points are awarded for:
- Valid job offer in Canada which is supported by a positive or neutral LMIA
- Nomination from a Canadian Province or Territory
- Sibling(s) in Canada who are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents
A potential applicant may also get additional score under CRS if his/her spouse has Canadian work experience, has a Canadian education (or equivalent), and can provide language test results for one of Canada’s official languages i.e. English or French.
Canada selects skilled immigrants based on their ability to establish themselves economically in Canada and actively participate in the Economy. There are three separate programs which falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government i.e. Federal Skilled Worker Program, Fereral Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.
In January 2015, the Canadian Government launched a new Application Intake Management System called Express Entry to manage how applicants with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada. The above noted programs along with some Provincial Nominee Programs are now managed under the Express Entry System:
(Note: The Province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. It has its own Skilled Worker program and people who intend to live in Quebec must apply to the Province following its own criteria. They may not be eligible to apply to the Federal Government under any of these Skilled Worker Program categories)
This program has traditionally been one of the most popular categories for economic immigration. Through the FSWP, Canada accepts skilled immigrants who possess skilled work experience which is required to actively take part and contribute to the Canadian economy. The selection of skilled workers under this program is points based and it evaluates official language proficiency, education, work experience, age, arranged employment in Canada and adaptability factors.
This program is now managed by IRCC under the Express Entry system. Most complete applications submitted under Express Entry are processed by IRCC within six months or less.
Please note that FSWP is also points based and the points grid for FSWP is different than Express Entry CRS. In order to qualify under FSWP, a potential applicant must meet the minimum requirements of this program:
- Have at-least one year of continuous full-time skilled work experience (no gap in employment) or the equivalent experience in continuous part-time position within the past 10 years. This work experience must be paid and must fall under an occupation listed under National Occupational Classification (NOC).
- Provide official language test results (IELTS, CELPIP or TEF) and meet the minimum language threshold of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) level 7, or equivalent in all four language skill areas i.e. Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening.
- A Canadian degree, diploma or a certificate or if the education was obtained outside of Canada, provide an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an IRCC approved agency.
- Prove that the applicant has settlement funds available to support themselves and their family members for six months post their arrival in Canada or must have an offer of arranged employment in Canada which is supported by a positive or neutral LMIA.
The potential applicants are required to obtain a score of 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP selection score grid to be eligible to create a profile under Express Entry. Please refer to the score chart here:
Maximum points awarded for Official Language(s) Proficiency are 28. The most important factor for predicting if a prospective immigrant is going to be successfully integrate and economically establish in Canada is their proficiency to communicate in either one or both official languages of Canada i.e. English and/or French. Applicants who qualify under the FSWP must provide proof that they have scored CLB level 7 in four language skill areas i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing. IRCC presently accepts language test reports issued by International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Canadian Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and the Test d’evaluation du Francais (TEF). Applicants must take the general test, not the academic version of the test administered by the above listed third parties. The points awarded for Language proficiency are as follows:
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level||Speaking||Listening||Reading||Writing|
|CLB level 9 or above||6 points||6 points||6 points||6 points|
|CLB level 8||5 Points||5 points||5 points||5 points|
|CLB Level 7||4 points||4 points||4 points||4 points|
|Less than CLB Level 7||Applicant is not eligible to apply under FSWP.|
Maximum 24 points can be awarded for the First Official Language Proficiency.
If a prospective applicant scores CLB level 5 or high in all four language skill areas, they are eligible for 4 points. If they applicant scores CLB level 4 or less in any or all of the four areas, then they are not eligible to for any points for the second official language.
Note: Taking a test to assess second language proficiency is optional. However, the prospective applicants are required to take an exam in order to assess their first official language proficiency i.e. either English or French.
Maximum points awarded for Education are 25. The education must have either been obtained in Canada or the applicants must provide educational credential assessment (ECA) report from an IRCC approved agency. The breakdown of the points is provided below:
Level of Education
|Doctoral level University Degree. PhD or equivalent||25 Points|
|Master’s level university degree or a University degree which allows entry in a regulated profession (like Chartered Accountants) The occupation allowed by the degree must fall under:
|Two or more Canadian or equivalent post-secondary degrees or diplomas. One of these programs must be from a program which is of three years of study or more.||22 points|
|Canadian or equivalent post-secondary degree or diploma which has been awarded for three years of study or more||21 points|
|Canadian or equivalent post-secondary degree or diploma which has been awarded for two years of study||19 points|
|Canadian or equivalent post-secondary degree or diploma which has been awarded for one year of study||15 points|
|Canadian or equivalent high school education (12th grade or equivalent)||5 points|
Work Experience: Maximum points which may be awarded for Foreign work experience are 15. Having work experience is considered important if a prospective applicant is going to economically establish themselves in Canada post arrival. Most employers in Canada seek to hire experienced people. The points awarded foreign work experience are:
|Work Experience within last 10 years||Points awarded|
|1 Year||9 points|
|2 – 3 Years||11 Points|
|4 – 5 Years||13 points|
|6 Years or more||15 Points|
All potential applicants must have at least one year of continuous and full-time or equivalent in part-time work experience in order to be eligible and to make an application under FSWP. Only full-time skilled work experience is considered as eligible and at this time there is no restriction on categories. IRCC uses National Occupational Classification (NOC) to determine an applicant’s work experience. The applicants whose work experience falls under NOC 0, A or B are considered eligible under FSWP.
Primary or Principal applicant is awarded points for his/her age. The Government of Canada found in a recent research that young workers tend to be more successful and easily integrate in Canada post immigration. The maximum number of points awarded for age are 12. The breakdown of points awarded under this category are:
|Below 18 years||0 points|
|18-35 Years||12 points|
|36 Years||11 Points|
|37 Years||10 Points|
|38 Years||9 Points|
|39 Years||8 Points|
|40 Years||7 Points|
|41 Years||6 Points|
|42 Years||5 Points|
|43 Years||4 Points|
|44 Years||3 Points|
|45 Years||2 Points|
|46 Years||1 Points|
|47 Years or above||0 Points|
If a potential applicant has received a job offer in Canada which is full-time and is at least for a duration of one year which has been offered by a Canadian employer.
A job offer must usually be backed by a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment; however, there are certain exceptions to this. The points are awarded if:
For a job offer to be considered valid the following criteria must be met:
- The job offer is for full-time & paid work and is continuous for at-least one year. It must not be for any seasonal or contractual employment
- It is in an occupation which is identified under NOC 0, A or B
A job offer is considered valid under arranged employment and points may be awarded under this factor if:
- The Applicant is presently working in Canada while holding a valid work permit, and
- Applicant’s work permit is valid at both times when they apply for Permanent Residence (PR) and when PR is issued or if an applicant is authorized to work in Canada without requiring a work permit
- Applicant’s work permit was issued based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), proof of which must be provided with the application
- Applicant is working for an employer with whom the their work permit was issued (employer’s name must there on the work permit)
- The Applicant is presently working in Canada in a job which exempt from LMIA per:
- An international agreement (like North American Free Trade Agreement) or
- A federal-provincial agreement and
- The Applicant’s work permit is valid at both times when they apply for PR and when it is issued or if an applicant is authorized to work in Canada without requiring a work permit
- Applicant’s employer has made them a permanent job offer based on him/her being considered and accepted as a skilled worker
- If the Applicant do not:
- have a work permit, or
- plan to work in Canada before they are issued a Permanent Resident Visa (PR)
The Applicant’s presently working in Canada with a different employer and another employer has offered them a permanent and full-time employment (valid for at-least one year)
If an Applicant is presently working in Canada in a job which is exempt from LMIA requirement, but not under a provincial agreement or an international agreement
an employer has:
- made a offer of permanent employment based on him/her being accepted as a skilled worker and
- a positive LMIA was applied by the employer and was issued
Note: An applicant cannot apply for LMIA, an employer must apply for LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
Upto 10 points could be awarded to applicants for some factors under adaptability.
|Adaptability Factors||Points Eligibility|
|Applicant’s spouse or partner’s official language proficiency: If your spouse or common-law partner has taken a language test from an IRCC approved agency and have achieved a score of CLB level 4 or higher in all of the four language skill areas i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. (The language test scores should be less than two years old)||5 points|
Applicant’s past study in Canada. It is considered when an Applicant has successfully completed at-least two years of full-time study i.e. the program they completed was at-least of two years duration and was at secondary or post-secondary level in Canada.
Note: Distance learning programs are not considered by IRCC and to be considered full-time, the applicant must have attended school in Canada and attended at-least 15 hours of classes during each week in that duration
|Applicant’s spouse or common-law partner’s past study in Canada may also be considered, if he/she has also successfully completed at-least two years of full-time study i.e. the program they completed was at-least of two years duration and was at secondary or post-secondary level in Canada.||5 points|
|Applicant’s past skilled work experience in Canada is considered under this factor, if they:
Note: Work Permit issued to people who made a claim for refugee protection does not confer worker status to the holder and, as such, work performed while possessing those work permits is may not be considered for points under this factor.
|Applicant’s spouse or common-law partner’s previous work experience in Canada may also be considered and they are eligible to get points under this factor if:
|Points for Arranged Employment can be awarded if an applicant gained points for arranged employment under factor 5||5 points|
|Relatives in Canada: If an applicant or his/her spouse or common-law partner have a relative in Canada who are living in Canada: