In January 2015, the Canadian government launched a new electronic immigration system that offers express entry to Canada for skilled and qualified immigrants.

The Express Entry program will manage applications for permanent residence for immigrants who can fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers. All immigration programs managed under the Express Entry system have different eligibility criteria. The programs are: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class. Thus ability to qualify under one of these categories is the first requirement under Express Entry.

Federal Skilled Worker Program:

  • Proof of language Proficiency- CLB 7 in all four skills
  • Either Canadian Secondary or post secondary degree, or a completed forging credential and ECA.
  • 1 Continuous year of full time paid work experience in the same job within the last 10 years in NOC 0, A, B, or part time work minimum 15 hours/week over 2 continuous years.
  • A minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the six selection factors.
  • Proof of funds for the applicant and whoever is coming to Canada with them.

Canadian Experience Class:

  • 12 months (non continuous) of full time equivalent paid work experience (NOC 0, A, B) in the last 3 years before applying.
  • Have gained the work experience in Canada (after graduation in case of student).
  • Proof of language proficiency

Federal Skilled Trade Program

  • Meet the language requirement
  • 2 years of full work experience in a skilled trade within the past 5 years of applying
  • Meet the job requirement for skilled trade according to the NOC, except for needing a certificate of qualification
  • valid job offers of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
  • certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority

FAQ related to express entry and the three mentioned above programs?

Q) Can I use my PGW experience to be considered for Canadian Experience Class?

A) PGWP does count towards work experiences for Canadian Experience Class.

Q) If I am a refugee claimant in Canada and have gained work experience can I apply for express entry and be considered for Canadian Experience Class?

A) Your work experience as a refugee claimant does not count as a work experience in the express entry.

Q) Can I use my work experience while studying in Canada towards express entry and be considered for Canadian experience class?

A) Your work experience while you are studying does not count in the Canadian Experience class program.

Q) Can I ask to only be considered for one of the programs under Express Entry?

A) Under Express Entry, the system will find which programs you qualify for based on the answers you give in your profile. If you qualify for more than one program, IRCC will decide which one to issue the invitation to apply under.

Q) Do I need to include proof of funds for Express Entry?

A) You will be asked to enter in your Express Entry profile the amount of money you will have to help you settle in Canada. This is to show that you can support yourself and any family who come with you to Canada, and helps IRCC assess which programs you may be eligible for.

If you are invited to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program, you will need to show that you meet the settlement funds requirement unless you:

  • are currently authorized to work in Canada, and
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

If you are invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, you do not have to meet the funds requirement.

Q) I gained work experience in Quebec, does my work experience counts toward work experience for Canadian experience class?

A) Work experience gained in Quebec counts towards as a work experience in Canadian experience class.