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Express Entry in Canada: Learn how it works

Express Entry in Canada: Learn how it works
March 12th, 2022

Since 2015, Express Entry is one of most popular ways of immigrating to Canada.

It enables the country to bring in a desired labour force in areas where there is a shortage of skilled workers.

In order to understand how you can use Express Entry, it is important to be aware of its role to Canada and how the selection process works. This article aims to help you understand this program so you can efficiently use it to immigrate to Canada.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a program by the Canadian federal government which seeks to optimize the labour force in the country. In addition, the program can be used by people who don’t yet live in the country.

Through Express Entry, it is possible to obtain Permanent Residency, an authorization to live and work in Canada without a time limit.

To apply for Express Entry, you need to fill out a form called the Expression of Interest (EOL) form. This form represents a profile which will then be validated for a group of qualifying programs, like the Federal Skills Program and the Canadian Experience Class.

The EOL form will generate a result in points. The more points you get, the better your chances of obtaining authorization for Permanent Residency.

Who is eligible for Express Entry?

Eligibility varies between Express Entry internal programs. In general, you need at least a technical level of education to be eligible.

It is also required to present a minimum knowledge of English or French. This linguistic knowledge is qualified through CLB (Canadian Languages Benchmark). The abbreviation represents a system that compares the results of different language tests like IELTS and CELPIP for English or TEF Canada for French.

The programs also demand work experience in the chosen area as another qualifying element. For the Canadian Experience Class, it is necessary to have work experience in Canada. For other programs, however, experience can be in other countries.

Finally, the Federal Skilled Trades Program demands a qualification certificate issued by a Canadian government entity or a full-time job offer by a Canadian company.

Verifying scores and creating your profile

To verify your scores, we recommend that you use the official calculator from the CRP (Comprehensive Ranking System) test. With this tool, you can enter your relevant data for the rating and obtain your results.

There is no specific rule regarding the number of points one must obtain, and the minimum varies every year. However, the recommended minimum so you can stand a good chance is 425. Among other factors, the rating is influenced by how young you are, your score in the English certification tests, and the level of advancements of your education.

How can I improve my scores to obtain an Express Entry?

There are some factors that impact your scoring that cannot be enhanced, like your age. Nonetheless, most of them can easily be optimized through study and effort.

One way to improve your score is practising English and retaking your skill certification test. This will help you boost your rating quicker.

Another way, that takes a little longer, is deepening your education. For instance: if you have a technical level certification, you can get a college degree. Or you can obtain a master’s degree if you already have a college diploma.

A final possibility is trying to obtain a validation of your professional training that is accepted in Canada. Overall, this means enrolling into a technical course in the country.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a program ruled by the Express Entry system, which seeks to offer permanent residency to people living inside or outside of Canada.

To qualify, it is necessary to exercise a profession comprised in qualification 0, A or B in NOC (National Occupational Classification). Your qualification in English must rate at least 7 in CLB.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program aims to bring professionals with a technical degree to Canada. In general, these professionals are bundled in the NOC B category and comprehend workers from civil construction, agriculture, maintenance, cuisine, and bakery, among others.

The most important element for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is that the professional has a lot of recent activity in their field and a job offer from a Canadian company that meets certain requirements from the government. Nevertheless, the job offer can be replaced by a certificate of recognition by a pertinent government body.

Canada Experience Class

The Canada Experience Class is focused on professionals who already have at least one year of experience working in Canada with occupations grouped in NOC 0, A or B. It is necessary for this year of experience to have occurred in the last 3 years.

Since the job experience inside Canada undergoes requirements from other previous bureaucracies, CEC is usually a little easier than other programs on this aspect. However, it is still necessary to have a recent score in the verification of linguistic skills test.

Provinces and Express Entry

The Province Nominee Program (PNP) is a system in which provinces can name candidates as their favourites to the Express Entry, enabling these applicants to access the permanent residence. These nominations correspond to the province’s needs in regard to labour force. However, a lot of provinces require the signature of a commitment letter ensuring that you will live in the province. Once you have your permanent residence confirmed (which can take some time to happen depending on the paperwork confirmation), the Canadian legislation gives you the freedom of an ensured mobility. But you are under the risk of the province removing your nomination if you relocate somewhere outside of it.

What is NOC

The NOC is a system in which the Canadian government distinguishes between different levels of training that are required to exercise diverse occupations.

For instance:

  • NOC 0 comprehends professions on a management level, like a restaurant manager, a master of a fishing vessel or leadership positions in companies.
  • NOC A encompasses occupations that require at least a college degree, like a dentist, a doctor, or an engineer.
  • NOC B comprises professionals that are considered a higher technical level in Canada, such as a chef, an electrician, an administrative assistant, or a photographer.

These classifications above are the ones with the best opportunities to achieve a permanent residence through Express Entry. Occupations that require only a high school degree or an inferior level will find it harder to obtain the authorization through this system. Nevertheless, there are some alternatives to specific professions, such as healthcare, personal care, and agriculture workers. To identify the NOC skill level of your occupation, consult the official NOC website.

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