Since January 1st 2015, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) put a new system, Express Entry, in place in order to manage applications. The system targets candidates for economic immigration. This includes the following three programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Candidates wishing to obtain permanent residency by means of the Federal Skilled Worker Program must satisfy the criteria in order to be admitted into the Express Entry System’s pool of candidates.

Minimum requirements

Candidates wishing to immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker must satisfy several requirements regarding work experience, such as the following:

  • At least one continuous year of full-time work experience (1 560 hours total, 30 hours per week), or equivalent for part-time work;
  • Paid work (volunteer work, unpaid internships, etc., are not taken into account);
  • Experience acquired in one position;
  • Experience acquired in the last ten years;
  • Experience acquired in a position or level at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Language Ability

Candidates wishing to submit an application under the Federal Skilled Worker program must pass a language competency test approved by IRCC which demonstrates that they respect the minimum level required for the following skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

In addition, candidates must obtain the minimum score in order for their application to be deemed admissible. The results of the recognized language tests, whether it be in French or English, must demonstrate a minimum language level of 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

Academic Requirements

The candidate must possess a certificate, diploma, or a Canadian secondary or post-secondary certificate, or a completed foreign credential accompanied by an Educational Credential Assessment report (ECA) issued by an IRCC-approved agency.

Six selection criteria

If the candidate meets the minimum requirements, IRCC will evaluate the application in function of the selection criteria outlined in the grid applicable to a Federal Skilled Worker.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Competency in French or English;
  • Studies;
  • Work experience;
  • Age;
  • Possession of a valid job offer;
  • Adaptability (level to which the applicant is likely to be successful in establishing themselves in Canada).

The Federal Skilled Workers can obtain up to one hundred (100) points according to the selection grid for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Applicants must obtain at least sixty seven (67) points in order to be selected.

Proof of sufficient funds

The candidate must demonstrate that he/she has sufficient funds in order to support himself and his/her family, if applicable, following his/her arrival in Canada. However, the candidate will be exempted from this obligation if they are in possession of a valid authorization to work in Canada or a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

Since January 2015, candidates wishing to present an application for permanent residency by means of the Federal Skilled Trades Program must submit their application via the Express Entry system.

In order to qualify for this program, the candidate must demonstrate at least two (2) years of full-time professional work experience, or the equivalent part-time, in a specialized trade. The candidate’s experience must have been acquired during the five (5) years preceding the submission of the application. The candidate must also satisfy the professional requirements relating to the trade in question, which are listed by the National Occupational Classification, unless they require a competency certificate. The candidate must possess an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one (1) year or a competency certificate for the trade declared. Finally, the applicant must have the intention to establish themselves in Quebec and must respect IRCC’s language requirements in either French or English.

Canadian Experience Class

Since January 2015, applicants wishing to submit an application in the Canadian Experience Class must do so via IRCC’s Express Entry system.

In order to qualify for this program, the candidate must prove twelve (12) months of full-time qualified work experience, or the equivalent part time, in Canada. The work experience must have been acquired within three (3) years of the submission of the application. The candidate must also respect the language requirements imposed by IRCC and prove their intention to reside in Canada, outside of the province of Quebec.

To find out more about the Express Entry system, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class, we invite you to contact us.

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