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Work in Canada

With effect from 1st January 2015, Canadian Government has introduced a new process for selection of skilled professionals and tradespersons wishing to immigrate to Canada and live and work in Canada as a permanent Resident. The new Canada skilled immigration selection process introduced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and called Express Entry to Canada has generated a lot of excitement and rightfully so. Thankfully, with announcement of Express Entry points system and Express entry application process, the applicants can start filing their applications to be filed under Federal Skilled worker Class for immigration to Canada.

Our opinion and view is that this is landmark change and opens door for immigration to Canada for interested Candidates like never before. Here are key features of the Canada Express Entry Program:

How Express Entry works

Express Entry is used to manage applications for permanent residence under these federal economic immigration programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
  • the Canadian Experience Class.

Provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs.

Ministerial Instructions set out the rules for governing the Express Entry application management system.

The Express Entry system has two steps:

Step 1) Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile

This is a secure form that they will use to provide information about their:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education, and
  • other details that will help CIC assess them.

Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal immigration programs listed above will be accepted into a pool of candidates.

Anyone who does not already have a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if you need one), or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Job Bank will help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers in Canada.

Candidates are also encouraged to promote themselves to employers in other ways, such as using job boards, recruiters etc.

In most cases when there is a job being offered to a candidate, employers will need an LMIA from ESDC. The LMIA process ensures employers have made an effort to hire Canadians for available jobs. There will be no LMIA fee for permanent resident applications.

Note: Entry into the Express Entry pool does not guarantee a candidate will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Invited candidates still have to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements under Canada’s immigration law (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).

Step 2) The highest-ranking candidates in the pool will be invited to apply for permanent residence

Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System. Points are awarded using the information in their profile.

Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply. Candidates will be awarded points for:

  • a job offer, and/or
  • a nomination from a province or territory, and/or
  • skills and experience factors.

A candidate can get additional points for:

These additional points will make a candidate rank high enough to be invited to apply at the next eligible round of invitations.

If someone is invited to apply, they will have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete applications (meaning those with all the necessary supporting documents) in six months or less. Candidates can stay in the pool for up to 12 months. If they do not get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence within 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile. If they still meet the criteria, they can re-enter the pool. This will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

Determine your eligibility — Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)

Skilled immigrants are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to prosper in Canada. As of January 2015, CIC have a new system to manage how people with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada. It is called Express Entry.

Program eligibility

Express Entry covers three of CIC key economic immigration programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
  • the Canadian Experience Class.

If you are eligible to immigrate under one of the above federal immigration programs:

  • CIC will place you in a pool with others who are also eligible,
  • CIC will then rank you and the others using several factors,
  • if you are one of the top candidates, you will get an Invitation to Apply
  • if CIC invite you to apply, you can apply online for permanent residence.

Through Express Entry, provinces and territories will also be able to nominate candidates in the Express Entry pool under their Provincial Nominee Program where applicable.

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must:

  • meet the requirements of one of the above programs, and
  • register with Job Bank, a database that can help match you with employers looking for workers with your skills.
    • Note that any job offer from an employer in Canada must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An employer must go through this process to ensure there is a genuine labour market need before they can hire foreign workers. If you are a candidate who has a job offer supported by an LMIA or a provincial nomination, then you do not need to register with Job Bank.

You can use CIC online tool, Come to Canada, to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.

Language

You must show that you meet the minimum language requirements for the category you are eligible under and provide your language test results from an agency designated by CIC in your

Express Entry profile.

Your language test results must be less than two years old on the day CIC get your complete application for permanent residence.

Skilled work experience

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
  • Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)
    • You must have at least 12 months of full-time, or an equal amount in part-time, skilled work experience. Full-time work means at least 30 hours of paid work per week. As of January 1, 2015, to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant, you must use the Express Entry system. This is a process where you:

      • Find out if you may be eligible, and if so,
      • Create a free online Express Entry profile.

      The information in your profile will be used to determine if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada. If you are, you will be placed in a pool with other candidates and you will be ranked using several factors. Top candidates will be invited to apply and will then be able to apply online for permanent residence.

      Note: Completing an online Express Entry profile or entering the pool does not guarantee that you will get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

      To help you fill out your online profile, you may want to open this page in a different browser, tab or window while you do so. You can then refer back to this information as needed to guide you through the form. Before you start

      • You will need to take a language test. CIC will use your test results to see if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada under one of the federal programs that are part of Express Entry.
      • If you were educated outside Canada, you may need to have your educational credentials assessed against Canadian standards. This is not mandatory if:
        • you got at least one year of recent work experience in Canada, or
        • your work experience is in a skilled trade (skilled manual work).
        Note: Even if you do not need to have your foreign education assessed to be eligible under Express Entry, you may want to do so in order to increase your score and chances of being invited to apply.
      • You need to know the skill type of the job your work experience is in (as well as the job you plan to have in Canada, if they are different). You will use Canada’s job classification system (the National Occupational Classification or NOC) to find out whether your work experience is valid under one of the three federal programs.

      To find your job title, code and skill type This job code is referred to as your "NOC code" in the Express Entry profile. See Find your NOC to find the NOC information that best matches your jobs. You will need this information again, so make sure to write it down and keep it with the other papers you need, such as your passport.

      Step 1: See if you may be eligible

      You can use CIC online tool, Come to Canada, to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool. It will take you about 15 minutes. You will need your language test results, your NOC skill type or level described above and your Education Credential Assessment (ECA). When you get to the end, a reference number will show on the screen. Write it down. You will need it later when you go to build your profile.

      Step 2: Build your online Express Entry profile

      If you get a positive result from Come to Canada, it will send you to MyCIC. If you do not already have a MyCIC account, you will need to create one. Then you will fill out an Express Entry profile to tell CIC about your:

      • identity
      • contact information
      • education in more detail
      • work experience in more detail
      • language
      • family who would come with you to Canada (dependants)

      You will need:

      • your passport or travel document (or other national identity document, if you do not have one of these)
      • your NOC job title and code (see Before you start, above)
      • your language test results (either IELTS, CELPIP or TEF)
      • your Educational Credential Assessment result, if you have one (see Before you start, above)
      • a copy of your written job offer from an employer in Canada, if you have one
      • a copy of your provincial nomination, if you have one, and
      • your personal reference code from the Come to Canada tool, if you have one. (It looks like this: JM1234567890. CIC use it to bring the answers you provided in the tool into MyCIC so you do not have to answer the questions again. If you go to the profile builder directly through MyCIC, you will not have one.)
      To create your Express Entry profile
      • Follow the instructions to create a MyCIC account if you do not already have one. The system will give you a MyCIC number that you will use each time you sign in.
      • If you have a personal reference code from the Come to Canada tool, enter it when it prompts you. If you do not have a code, go to Step 3.
      • Enter your personal details, work experience, education, etc. (Note: You may exit the profile at any time. Your information will be saved. But, if you do not complete the Express Entry profile in 60 days, you will not be able to submit it and will have to start again.)
      • Submit your profile online.

      If you meet the Express Entry criteria, including the requirements for at least one of the three immigration programs, you will be accepted into the Express Entry pool of candidates. If you are invited to apply for permanent residence, CIC will tell you at that time which program to apply under.

      Important: Submitting an Express Entry profile does not mean you have applied for permanent residence, or that you will be invited to. You have to be invited to apply by CIC, and will then need to give CIC more information in your application for permanent residence.

      Register with Job Bank

      To finish your Express Entry profile you must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank if you do not already have:

      • a valid job offer, or
      • a nomination from a province or territory.

      Job Bank is an easy, online job search tool which will connect you with employers and jobs in Canada based on your skills and experience. If you do not register with Job Bank within 30 days your Express Entry profile will expire.

      If you are eligible: The Express Entry pool

      If you meet the requirements, CIC will place you into the Express Entry pool of candidates. You will get a message in your MyCIC account to let you know. You will be given a score using a ranking system based on factors that have been shown to help immigrants prosper in Canada. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be invited to apply for permanent residence. CIC plan to issue Invitations to Apply to candidates from the pool regularly. If you are accepted into the Express Entry pool, you should start getting any supporting documents you may need for your application for permanent residence. You could get an Invitation to Apply at any time. You will have a better chance of being invited to apply if you:

      • are nominated by a province or territory, or
      • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

      You will get extra points for these factors. Note: you must update the information in your profile if your situation changes. For example, if:

      • there are changes to your work experience.
      • you get a different language test result,
      • you complete more education,
      • there is a change in your family, such as the birth of a child or a divorce, or
      • one of your children is no longer a dependent (including if they turn 19 during this time).