Note: We have made some changes to Express Entry, including the number of CRS points awarded for valid job offers, changing the time period for a valid job offer from permanent to one year, and giving LMIA exemptions for certain jobs. Find out more about these changes.
Skilled workers are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to contribute to the Canadian economy.
Express Entry is a system used to manage applications for:
- the Federal Skilled Worker Program
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program
- the Canadian Experience Class
- a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program
People interested in these programs first have to complete an online Express Entry profile and meet the criteria to get into the pool of candidates.
If you would like to hire a new worker from abroad, or support one of your current workers in getting permanent residence, they must apply through Express Entry.
Note: Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.
As an employer, you can improve their chances of being invited to apply by making a qualifying job offer in a skilled job.
Federal Skilled Worker Program selection criteria
To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), candidates must:
- have at least one year of qualifying skilled work experience in the last 10 years
- have valid third-party language test results (that show they meet the minimum language threshold)
- have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree or a an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report showing their foreign education is equal to a Canadian one
- meet the pass mark of 67 out of 100 points.
When we assess an application for the FSWP, we use a grid of 100 points to assess how well an applicant will adapt to Canada's labour market. The grid looks at six selection factors including:
- English and/or French skills,
- work experience,
- arranged employment, and
Federal Skilled Trades Program selection criteria
To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), candidates must have either:
- a full-time job offer for a total period of at least one year OR
- a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial or territorial body
They must also:
- have valid third-party language test results (that show they meet a minimum language standard)
- have at least two years of full-time experience in a skilled trade within the five years before they apply and
- meet all job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
The job offer can be from up to two employers. (The candidate would work an agreed amount of part-time hours for each employer.)
Canadian Experience Class selection criteria
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) lets those with Canadian work experience apply for permanent residence.
To qualify for the CEC, candidates must:
- have at least 12 months of full-time (or the equivalent in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada with the proper authorization in the three years before they apply and
- have valid third-party language test results (that show they meet a minimum language standard).
Note: CEC applicants may work in Canada while their application is being processed, as long as they have a valid work permit.
How employers can access Express Entry pool candidates
You can hire skilled foreign workers when you can’t find Canadians or permanent residents to fill jobs. You can use your current recruiting and hiring practices.
Invitations to apply
Candidates are assessed against others in the pool. They are then ranked based on criteria that are known to contribute to economic success once in Canada.
Candidates with a valid job offer can earn 50 or 200 points based on the type of job. This can increase their chances of being invited to apply. Only the highest-ranked candidates, including those with provincial nominations, are invited to apply for permanent residence.
Once invited, candidates have 90 days to apply for permanent residence online.
We process the majority of complete permanent residence applications (those that include all supporting documents) in six months or less.
Note: As of January 1 2015, under the new Express Entry system there are no occupation lists or caps.
Employers' RoadmapThis roadmap is a guide for employers in small to medium-sized enterprises interested in hiring foreign workers.
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