Permanent Residence: Express Entry

Express Entry is Canada’s immigration application management system for economic immigration.

Candidates for Express Entry are awarded up to 1200 points under a ranking system meant to identify those candidates most likely to succeed in Canada. The highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool will receive an “Invitation to Apply” after which they will have 60 days to complete an application for Permanent Residence in Canada.

Qualifying for Express Entry

In order to apply through Express Entry, you must be:

Eligible for one of Canada’s three economic immigration streams:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program 

The Comprehensive Ranking System

  • 500 Points: Core Human Capital Factors which include age, education, language and Canadian work experience.
  • 100 Points: Skill Transferability which is a combination of foreign qualifications, work experience, education and language ability.
  • 600 Points: A Provincial Nomination certificate
  • 50-200 Points: For arranged Employment 

Steps In Applying Through Express Entry

  • The first step is to create a candidate profile online. Profiles may remain in the candidate pool for up to one year. If during this time, any of your ranking factors change, you must ensure you update your profile in the candidate pool.
  • If you do not currently hold a qualifying job offer you must register with the Canada Job Bank.  Candidates are encouraged to promote themselves to prospective employers in order to increase their chances of being invited to apply.
  • Draws from the candidate pool occur every few weeks. If selected, you will receive an “Invitation to Apply” for Permanent Residence.  You will have 60 days in order to provide Immigration with all the necessary information and documentation so that the final stage of the Permanent Residence process can take place.

Federal Skilled Worker

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for applicants who possess a high level of education and/or significant work experience that can be easily transferred to the Canadian labour market.

The applicants must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for this category. The program uses a point system to assess candidates. This point system is not the same as the Comprehensive Ranking System used to rank candidates in Express Entry. In order to create a candidate profile and be assigned a score using the Comprehensive Ranking System, candidates must first qualify for either the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades or Canadian Experience Class. The points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program are a minimum requirement in order to be eligible to participate in Express Entry.

Prospective Applicants must obtain 67 points in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Points are assigned in accordance with six factors, per below:

  • Education (maximum 25 points)– the highest level of education attained and the total number of years of education
  • Language Ability (maximum 24+4 points) – the applicant’s ability to speak, listen, write and read in either one or both of Canada’s official languages – French or English. Please note that if the applicant claims points under the language factor, proof of language proficiency must be provided. Proficiency in a second official language is worth an additional 4 points.
  • Work Experience (maximum 15 points) – number of years of full-time or equivalent paid work experience in a high skilled position.
  • Age (maximum 12 points) – the current age of the applicant, with the most points being awarded to applicants between 21 and 49 years of age.
  • Arranged Employment in Canada (maximum 10 points) – Either a permanent job offer in Canada for which the applicant is qualified or the applicant is currently employed in Canada and holds a work permit that is valid for at least 12 months.
  • Adaptability (maximum 10 points)  – the applicant may be awarded points for this factor if they can show that they, their spouse or common-law partner, or their dependents will adapt easily to life in Canada.  Examples include education in Canada, arranged employment in Canada and family members who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens.

    Federal Skilled Trade

    The Federal Skilled Trade is for skilled tradespeople who want to immigrate to Canada.

    In order to qualify, applicants must have at least 2 years work experience in a skilled trade in the last five years and meet certain minimum language requirements. The program uses a point system to assess candidates. This point system is not the same as the Comprehensive Ranking System used to rank candidates in Express Entry. In order to create a candidate profile and be assigned a score using the Comprehensive Ranking System, candidates must first qualify for either the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades or Canadian Experience Class. The points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program are a minimum requirement in order to be eligible to participate in Express Entry.

     Applicants to the Federal Skilled Trade Program must make their application using ​the Express Entry immigration application system.

    Canadian Experience Class

    The Canadian Experience Class permits foreign nationals who have been working in Canada for a period of at least one year to apply for Permanent Residence on the basis of their Canadian work experience.

    In order to qualify, applicants must have a minimum of one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada in the three years preceding the application, meet certain language requirements, and intend to settle outside Quebec. The program is managed through the Express Entry system, which uses a point system to rank assess candidates. Top ranking candidates who meet the program criteria are invited to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system

    Please be advised that qualifying for the Canadian Experience Class is only the first step in immigrating to Canada. Applicants who qualify for the Canadian Experience Class must create a candidate profile in Express Entry and receive an Invitation to apply for permanent residence before submitting their application.

    Provincial Nominee Program

    The Government of Canada has partnered with provinces and territories across the country to operate immigration programs with their own requirements and streams, targeting students, business people, semi-skilled workers and skilled workers.

    The PNP operates through nominations where the province or territory selects individuals who qualify with the requirements. This program is for workers who have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory, want to live in that province and want to become permanent residents of Canada.

    Each province or territory that participates in the PNP has one stream that aligns with the federal Express Entry program. 

    The following provinces and territories currently participate in the PNP. You must pass a medical exam and provide a police check certificate in order to be eligible for any of the following PNP. Your intention to live in the selected province or territory is also evaluated. For up-to-date information, please refer to the respective government websites.

    To learn more, click on the selected province or territory below.

    Alberta

    Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program

    There are three streams for individuals looking to immigrate through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program:

    • For Workers
      • Alberta Opportunity Stream
        • Qualified candidates who live and work in Alberta and have a job offer from an Alberta employer can apply for an AINP nomination.
      • Alberta Express Entry Stream
        • Qualified candidates with an Express Entry profile may be invited by AINP to apply for nomination for permanent residence.
    • For Entrepreneurs
      • International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
        • International graduates of approved Alberta post-secondary institutions who want to start a business or buy an existing business can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
      • Self-Employed Farmer Stream
        • Experienced farmers who plan to buy or start a farm in Alberta can apply for permanent residence.
      • Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream
        • Foreign graduates from outside of Canada can apply for permanent residence.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    British Columbia

    British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

    There are three ways to become a permanent resident in British Columbia:

    • Skills Immigration
      • For skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations in B.C. It uses a points-based invitation system. The process involves registering and applying online for the BC PNP and a paper application process for permanent residency. International-post graduates are eligible under this category. A job offer is required, except if you are applying to the International Post-Graduate category.
    • Express Entry
      • For eligible skilled workers to immigrate to B.C. You must also qualify for a federal economic immigration program. It uses a points-based invitation system, and is an entirely web-based registration and application process for both the BC PNP and permanent residency process.
    • Entrepreneur Immigration
      • For experienced entrepreneurs who want to actively manage a business in B.C. It is a points-based invitation system. Applicants must have the required personal and investment funds.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Manitoba

    Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program

    There are three streams available to individuals seeking to immigrate to Manitoba, where no job offer is required:

    • Skilled Workers Stream
      • Skilled Workers in Manitoba
        • Students who graduated in another province of Canada, may be eligible
      • Skilled Workers Overseas
    • International Education Stream
      • Career Employment Pathway 
      • International Student Entrepreneur Pilot
        • Only for students who graduated outside of Canada
    • Business Investor Stream
      • Entrepreneur Pathway
        • Those seeking to open a business in Manitoba
      • Farm Investor Pathway
        • Those intending to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    New Brunswick

    New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program

    There are four ways to become a permanent resident in British Columbia:

    • Express Entry
      • Designed for Foreign Nationals with the skills, education and work experience to contribute to New Brunswick’s economy, who are ready to live and work in New Brunswick and meet the requirements for each stage of the Express Entry Stream.
    • Skilled Worker Stream
      • Candidates must meet the program’s minimum eligibility requirements, have a genuine offer of employment from a New Brunswick Employer and have the full intent to live and work in the province on a permanent basis.
    • Business Immigration Stream
      • An economic immigration pathway for experienced entrepreneurs who are ready to establish, operate and actively manage a business while living and settling in New Brunswick permanently.
    • Strategic Initiative Stream
      • Candidates must be French-speaking workers to be eligible.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program

    There are three ways to become a permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador:

    • Skilled Worker
      • This category is for individuals who have a guaranteed offer of employment from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer, or are already working in the province on a valid Work Permit
    • Express Entry Skilled Worker
      • This category is for skilled individuals who have been accepted into Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Express Entry pool and who have a job offer in Newfoundland and Labrador.
    • International Graduate
      • This category is for recent graduates who have a Post-Graduate Work Permit and a job or job offer from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer. Disclaimer. Applications in partially completed-not submitted status will be closed and no longer available after 90 days of the initiated dated.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Atlantic Canada

    Atlantic Immigration Pilot

    In addition to their provincial nominee programs, the Atlantic provinces have also been participating in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot since 2017, with the following programs:

    1. Atlantic International Graduate Program
      • For those who have a degree, diploma or other credential from a publicly funded institution in an Atlantic province.
    2. Atlantic High-Skilled Program
      • For those who have worked in a management, professional or technical/skilled job for at least a year.
    3. Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program
      • For those who have worked in a job that required a high school education and/or job-specific training for at least a year.

    Candidates must have a job offer from a designated employer before applying.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Northwest Territories

    Northwest Territories Nominee Program

    There are two options for individuals looking to immigrate through the Northwest Territories Nominee Program:

    • Business Stream: be ready to open, purchase or invest in a business in the NWT
      • Cost: Applicants must commit to invest:
    • Employer-Driven Stream: have a job offer from an employer in the NWT
      • Skilled Worker
      • Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations
      • NWT Express Entry

    Expressions of interest without a job offer are not accepted and no invitations to apply are issued.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Nova Scotia

    Nova Scotia Nominee Program

    The following streams allow for immigration to Nova Scotia:

    • Physician
      • This includes general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians.
    • Entrepreneur
      • You must have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD; and
      • You must be able to invest at least $150,000 CAD of your own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia.
    • International Graduate Entrepreneur
      • Applicants must be recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College. They must have already started or bought a Nova Scotia business and operated it for at least a year.
    • International Graduates in Demand
      • For recent international graduates whose skills and education match specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) job categories:
        • NOC 3413: nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates
        • NOC 4214: early childhood educators and assistants
    • Skilled Worker
      • You must have at least one year of related work experience to be eligible.
    • Occupations in Demand
      • NOC 3413: Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
      • NOC 7511: Transport truck drivers
      • NOC 7521: Heavy equipment operators (except crane
      • NOC 7611: Construction trades helpers and labourers
    • Express Entry
      • Applicants must have at least one year of experience working in Nova Scotia in a high skilled occupation.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Ontario

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

    Foreign workers, international students and others with the right skills, experience and education apply to the OINP through one of the three categories below for a nomination for permanent residence.

    1. Employer job offer category: for workers who already have a permanent job offer from an Ontario employer
      • Foreign Worker stream: for workers in skilled positions
      • International Student stream: for recent graduates in Ontario
      • In-Demand Skills stream: for intermediate skilled workers in specific sectors, such as agriculture, construction, trucking and personal support workers 
    2. Human capital category: for workers who have valuable work experience, education, language skills, and a profile in Canada’s Express Entry system; or for graduate students
      • International graduates (Masters and PhD)
      • Express Entry: you must have received a notification of interest from Ontario and have an up-to-date profile with your most current work experience, language tests and education in the federal government’s Express Entry system:
        • French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream: for French-Speaking skilled workers with the required work experience, education and language proficiency in French and English
        • Human Capital Priorities stream: for skilled workers with the required work experience, education and language proficiency in French or English
        • Skilled Trades stream: for workers with work experience in Ontario in an eligible trade occupation
    3. Business category: for entrepreneurs looking to start a new or buy an existing business in Ontario
      • Entrepreneur stream: for entrepreneurs outside of Canada looking to implement a new business idea or buy and grow an existing business in Ontario

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Prince Edward Island

    PEI Provincial Nominee Program

    Priority is currently being given to entrepreneurs and to individuals qualified to work in areas with identified skill shortages in the PEI labour market, as well as for applicants living and working in PEI.

    To be eligible for nomination through PEI Express Entry, you must:

    • meet the requirements of at least one of the Federal Economic Immigration programs:
      • Federal Skilled Worker Program;
      • Federal Skilled Trades Program; or 
      • Canadian Experience Class
    • create a Federal Express Entry Profile and be placed in the pool of candidates.  You can create a profile at any time through IRCC.

    PGWP holders who are seeking nomination under Express Entry are required to meet a minimum of nine months work experience with a PEI employer prior to being considered for immigration pathways.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Saskatchewan

    Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

    There are four SINP programs with the following sub-categories, where a job offer is not required:

    1. International Skilled Worker
      • Employment Offer
      • Occupation In-Demand
      • Saskatchewan Express Entry
    2. Worker with Saskatchewan Work Experience
      • Skilled Worker with existing Work Permit
      • Semi-skilled Agriculture Worker with Existing Work Permit
      • Health Professionals
      • Students
      • Hospitality Sector Project
      • Long-Haul Truck Driver Project
    3. Entrepreneur
      • Entrepreneur and Farm categories 
      • International Graduate Entrepreneur
    4. Farm Owner and Operator
      • You must have 3 years of experience in farming, have money to invest in a farming operation and plan to buy and run a farm in Saskatchewan.
        • Provide financial documents showing that you have a net worth of $500,000
        • Cost: $75,000 deposit returned if you meet the Performance Agreement 
        • 10-day mandatory visit to Saskatchewan and present a proposal with plans to invest a minimum of $150,000 
      • There is also a Young Farmer Stream for applicants under the age of 40.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

    Yukon

    Yukon Nominee Program

    The following streams are available for individuals looking to immigrate to Yukon:

    • Express Entry
    • Skilled Worker Program
    • Critical Impact Worker Program
    • Business Nominee Program 

    The Yukon Community Pilot (YCP) is a new stream of the Yukon Nominee program that was launched in 2020, and will run for 3 years. If you have a valid nomination for permanent residence from Yukon, you may be eligible for a 2-year location-restricted open work permit under the YCP.

    You must have 2 or 3 eligible job offers, have a signed letter of support from the Government of Yukon and meet the general requirements for a work permit. 

    • The work permit lets you work for up to 3 different employers in 1 of the participating Yukon communities:
      • Whitehorse
      • Watson Lake
      • Dawson City
      • Haines Junction
      • Carmacks
      • Carcross
    • The work permit is valid for 2 years and doesn’t require a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

    For more information on Express Entry, please click here.

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