Express Entry is a points-based online application system that caters to skilled foreign workers who want to immigrate to Canada. It is used to efficiently manage their applications for Canadian Permanent Residency through specific immigration programs that were designed for skilled foreign workers and their families. The Canadian immigration programs that are managed through the Express Entry system include the: Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – This Canadian immigration program is intended for skilled foreign workers and international students who have at least one year of experience in the past three years legally working in Canada in skilled employment (i.e., in an occupation classified by the NOC as TEER skill level 0, skill level 1, skill level 2 or skill level 3). They also need to have the English or French language abilities required for the CEC. A key goal of the Canadian Experience Class program is to retain the best and brightest foreign workers and students who have the work experience and skills that are needed in Canada, rather than lose that talent when these temporary residents return to their countries of origin. Temporary foreign workers and international students can apply for the CEC through the Express Entry system.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – Many Canadian territories and provinces have their own autonomous Provincial Nominee Programs in partnership with the Canadian national government. The PNP is intended for eligible skilled foreign workers who want to settle in a particular territory or province in Canada where there is a high demand for their occupation and skills. Yukon, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Alberta are the territories and provinces that participate in the PNP. Foreign workers have the option to apply for the PNP through the Express Entry system or to apply using the traditional paper application method.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) – There is a high demand for tradespeople in various occupations in Canada. Hence, the Canadian government established the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) to help fill the thousands of vacant positions in several industries. Most of these job vacancies are in the technical, resource, and construction sectors. They include occupations such as repair workers, telecommunication installers, mining supervisors, sheet metal workers, power system operators, etc. Other skilled trades that qualify for the FSTP include butchers and chefs. At least two years of full-time paid work experience in an eligible skilled trade during the past five years is required to qualify along with meeting other criteria. Application for the FSTP is made through the Express Entry system.
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – The FSWP is a points-based Canadian visa program. It is intended for skilled foreign workers with a minimum of one year of full-time paid work experience during the past 10 years in an eligible occupation classified by the NOC as TEER skill level 0 (managerial jobs), skill level 1 (professionals), skill level 2 (skilled trades and technical or supervisory jobs), or skill level 3 (additional skilled trades and technical jobs). The foreign worker must also receive at least 67 out of 100 points for six selection factors (age, education, relevant work experience, English and/or French language abilities, qualifying Canadian job offer, and adaptability), and satisfy all the other criteria. Application for the FSWP is made through the Express Entry Canadian immigration system.
The first major step of the Canadian immigration procedure is to file an online Express Entry profile which contains relevant information about the skilled immigrant worker and his/her family. Some advanced preparation is needed before creating the Express Entry profile, since the foreign worker will be asked to enter English and/or French language evaluation scores and information about the Education Credential Assessment (ECA). Furthermore, the foreign worker should know which Canadian immigration program he/she is applying for. After the Express Entry profile is created, a Canadian immigration official will review the details and determine whether the applicant seems to satisfy the eligibility requirements for one of the Canadian immigration programs that qualifies for Express Entry (i.e., the CEC, FSTP, FSWP as well as the PNP). If the foreign worker appears to meet the criteria, his or her profile will be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates for up to 12 months.
An Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian Permanent Residency will be given to applicants in the Express Entry pool of candidates who have one of the highest scores on the Comprehensive Ranking System (1200 points are possible), OR who receive a PNP nomination, OR who get a qualifying Canadian job offer. After the ITA is given, the foreign worker has 60 days to file the Application for Canadian Permanent Residency which must include the supporting documents (such as the ECA, language evaluation scores, medical exam results, police certificates, proof of funds, etc.) and governmental processing fee(s). A decision will usually be provided by the Canadian immigration agency in six months or less.
If the foreign worker and his/her family are approved for Express Entry immigration to Canada, they will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada will be stamped in their valid passport (if a visa to Canada is required for citizens of their country). The immigrants will need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) and also pay a small fee so that they can receive the plastic wallet-sized Permanent Resident Card, which they will carry for identification while living in Canada.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not and should not be considered as expert or professional advice.