Express Entry is the main way the Canadian government welcomes economic-class immigrants.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses the Express Entry system to manage applicants for three distinct programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Each of the three programs have minimum eligibility criteria that a candidate must meet before hey can upload an Express Entry profile onto IRCC’s website. A candidate must express their interest in becoming a permanent resident of Canada and will receive a score by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
The CRS is used to identify skilled worker candidates who will be the most successful in Canada’s job market. It evaluates each candidate and provides a score based on their human capital: assessing age, education, language skills, work experience, among other criteria.
Usually every two weeks, the Canadian government holds Express Entry draws inviting those with the highest CRS scores to become permanent residents.
The FSWP is designed for foreign skilled workers who have foreign work experience.
The minimum requirements are:
The FSTP is an immigration pathway similar to the FSWP but dedicated to skilled trades workers. The FSTP is a good option for some candidates because there is no requirement to prove levels of education. In order to gain permanent residence through this option, you must have two years of work experience in a skilled trade, have a full-time job offer from a Canadian employer, or a certificate of qualification from a Canadian authority.
The eligibility requirements are:
The CEC was launched by IRCC in 2008 to encourage temporary foreign workers and international students to remain in Canada as permanent residents.
In order for an individual to be an eligible candidate for the CEC, candidates must meet the following requirements:
An international student who wishes to stay in Canada after graduating may do so by completing an extra step: applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP is an open work permit allowing you to work for a Canadian employer for up to three years and no requirement to have a job offer to apply for it. Graduates can use this permit to get the required skilled work experience before applying for the CEC.
The best Express Entry program for you ultimately depends on individual circumstances. The best thing to do is research thoroughly and speak with a lawyer to identify the most appropriate path for your situation, budget and timeframe.
Express Entry is a highly attractive option to candidates since draws occur regularly and it will return to its pre-pandemic service standard of six months in the second half of 2022. This means that Express Entry will once again become the quickest way for economic class candidates to gain Canadian permanent residence.
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