Skilled Worker Immigration

How this program works ?

This program has minimum requirements for:

  • skilled work experience

  • language ability

  • education

You must meet all the minimum requirements to be eligible.

1.Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are a key part of Canada’s immigration policy, Under Provincial Nominee Programs, provinces and territories in Canada can nominate individuals and families who wish to settle in their province or territory based on criteria set by the province.

2.Express Entry is a competitive immigration system, ranking all eligible candidates against one another and then inviting the best ranking candidates to apply for Canadian permanent resident status. Candidates are ranked against one another based on their age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.

How Express Entry Canada works - A step-by-step guide

1. Determine Eligibility: Potential applicants will need to be eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs.

The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC);The Canadian Experience Class (CEC); orThe Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).

A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are aligned with Express Entry, but candidates still must be eligible under one of the three federal programs in order to enter the Express Entry pool.

Though the eligibility requirements differ for each of the Express Entry-aligned programs, all candidates are required to have at least one-year of skilled work experience, as well as a certain level of proficiency on an approved language test in either English or French. Also, Canada screens all Express Entry applicants for criminal history and medical issues that could make a person inadmissible.

2. Create an Express Entry profile: Eligible individuals must submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates. The Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI). Eligible candidates will automatically receive a score based on their profile and will be ranked against the other candidates in the pool.

The ranking score for Express Entry is based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and is out of 1,200 points. Candidates can improve their rank by taking steps to improve their CRS score. The higher a candidate's CRS score, the higher the likelihood they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA),

The CRS score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws. It is designed to project a candidate’s likelihood of being economically successful in Canada. It ranks different candidates based on their career and educational history, language skills, and whether they have already received a qualifying job offer or provincial nomination in Canada, among other factors.

Candidates can receive additional points if they have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, or if they've received a provincial nomination.

3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA): Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry draws at regular intervals (usually every two weeks). In these Express Entry draws, candidates above a certain rank are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. If a candidate is not invited, their profile will expire after 12 months, at which point they may submit a new profile.

4. Improve your CRS score: Candidates in the pool who have not yet been selected are able to improve their Express Entry profile and score. They can do this by submitting new and updated information. Examples include: increased language scores, educational credentials assessments, adding additional work experience, and/or obtaining a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination.

5. Submit your application for permanent residence: If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will be given 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants have been given 90 days to complete their application. In this application you will have to provide extensive personal information along with supporting documentation. The entire application is submitted electronically.

After you've submitted your application, you have to wait for a final decision to be issued. 80 percent of Express Entry applications are processed in six months or less. If your application is approved, then you will receive authorization to activate your permanent resident status in Canada.

What do you need to create your Express Entry profile?

In order to submit your Express Entry profile, you will require three main documents. If you're interested in Express Entry, gathering these three documents should be your first step:

  1. Language Test: All Express Entry candidates must show proficiency in either English or French. You require official test scores from an approved language test in order to submit your profile. The minimum required score varies between the three Express Entry-aligned programs. If you want to prove your proficiency in English, your options are the IELTS General Training exam or the CELPIP General exam. If you want to prove your proficiency in French, your options are the TEF exam or the TCF exam.

  1. Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA): The ECA is an evaluation of non-Canadian education by Canadian standards. Notably, education is only a mandatory requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, but it is recommended that FSTC and CEC candidates also complete an ECA report, as education is an important component of the CRS score. Note: An ECA is not required for educational programs completed in Canada.

  1. Passport: A valid passport is required in order to submit an Express Entry profile. In very rare cases, alternative identification documents may be accepted when it is not possible to get a passport.

Once you have these three documents, you will be able to create your Express Entry profile.

Applying with a spouse or common-law partner: If you are applying with your spouse or common-law partner, you may want to compare your credentials ahead of time. One person must be listed as the principal applicant in the Express Entry profile and the vast majority of the CRS score will be based on the principal applicant's credentials.

Things to note in your Express Entry Canada application

If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you may submit an official application for permanent residence. This application is completed and submitted entirely online. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the final permanent residence application:

  1. You may need to show proof of settlement funds.

All applicants in the FSWC and FSTC programs must demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members during their settlement into Canada. Applicants with a valid job offer in Canada, as well as CEC applicants are exempt from this requirements.

  1. "Job Offer" really does mean job offer

A big misconception held by many in Canada who are working on LMIA-exempt work permits, such as the IEC Working Holiday Visas, is that the "job offer" that they have from their current employer is equal to what IRCC considers a "valid job offer."

Whenever you see the phrase, "valid job offer", this means that the job meets a number of conditions specific to Express Entry.

  1. FSTC and CEC Applicants – get your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) done!

Even though the ECA is not a requirement for FSTC and CEC, you should still get it done. Once the ECA is completed and added to an Express Entry profile, scores typically increase drastically. Therefore, if you're a FSTC or CEC applicant with a post-secondary credential, begin the ECA process as soon as possible.

The figures below are in place as of January 1, 2020.

How many points do you need to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry

Before entering the Express Entry pool

There are three Canadian immigration programs through which you may become a candidate for Express Entry immigration to Canada: the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The FSTC is for qualified tradespersons with recent experience in a listed occupation, and CEC is for people with recent skilled Canadian work experience. Neither the FSTC nor the CEC require candidates to satisfy a points requirement to be eligible to submit a profile.

The FSWC, on the other hand, is open to people around the world who satisfy a minimum points requirement for eligibility. Note: this is a completely separate points system from the CRS score. Under the FSWC points-grid, you need to be awarded at least 67 points out of 100 in order to enter the Express Entry pool.

Once in the Express Entry pool

In the Express Entry pool, candidates — regardless of which program they are eligible under — receive a CRS score. This score determines where an individual candidate ranks in the Express Entry pool. When IRCC conducts an Express Entry draw, this score is the main determining factor to decide which candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence.

How long does it take for Express Entry immigration to Canada

Express Entry is a system designed to provide fast immigration to Canada. For eligible candidates who receive an invitation to apply (ITA) soon after entering the pool, and who then quickly submit a complete application, the entire process may take six months, or even less. However, the following variables may extend this timeline and should be taken into account:

While some candidates are invited soon after entering the Express Entry pool, other candidates, depending on their CRS score and CRS cut-off thresholds in Express Entry draws, may only receive an ITA months later, or not at all.

Some invited candidates may be ready to apply for immigration to Canada soon after being invited, while others may need more of the 60 days allotted.

While IRCC aims to process applications within six months, some applications may take longer, and decisions on other applications may take less than six months.

Am I eligible for a Provincial Nominee Program?

Under Provincial Nominee Programs, provinces and territories in Canada can nominate individuals and families who wish to settle in their province or territory based on criteria set by the province.

Each province and territory determines their own eligibility criteria for Provincial Nominee Programs. For example, one province might prioritize bringing in provincial nominees with experience in a certain occupation, while another province might prioritize bringing in provincial nominees with French-language experience. It depends on the needs of each specific province and territory.

How do I apply for a Provincial Nominee Program?

n Canada, all final immigration decisions are made by the federal government, not the provincial government. For this reason, PNPs are a two-part process. First, you have to apply to the province for your provincial nomination. Then, if you are approved by the province, you have to submit a second application to the federal government for your Canadian permanent resident status.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to apply for your PNP of choice:

  1. Find out your eligibility: Use the PNP Live Tracker to track available PNPs and determine your eligibility for the many options available.

  1. Complete a Provincial Nominee Program application: Submit your application to the province or territory.

  1. Receive your Provincial Nomination certificate: If your application is complete and you are eligible, you will receive an official Provincial Nomination certificate, allowing you to continue to the next step.

  1. Submit your permanent residence application: Apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent resident status. If you were nominated through an Express Entry-aligned PNP, you can apply through Express Entry. Otherwise, you must submit a paper-based application.

Some PNP streams operate on a first-come, first-served basis, while other PNP streams require potential applicants to first register an Expression of Interest. Further, some PNP streams operate outside the federal Express Entry immigration system – these are known as “base” streams – while other PNP streams are aligned with Express Entry.

What Provincial Nominee Programs are available in Canada?

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario has one of the most varied and dynamic of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs. Skilled workers, graduates, and businesspeople can plan their immigration to Ontario.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) allows the government of Ontario to nominate individuals for immigration to Ontario. The OINP is one of the most varied and dynamic of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), with streams and categories designed to welcome skilled workers, graduates, and business immigrants.

In some cases, applicants to the OINP may be in the federal Express Entry pool. Indeed, the OINP currently includes three Express Entry-aligned streams. In these cases, an OINP provincial nomination leads to the applicant receiving 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, with an invitation to apply (ITA) to follow soon after when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts a draw from the pool.

The Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream has proven to be particularly popular since being introduced in 2015. There is also a French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, for Express Entry candidates with ability in English and French, and a Skilled Trades Stream, for Express Entry candidates with experience working in a trade in Ontario.

In other cases, applicants can arrive in Ontario via the OINP having never gone through the Express Entry system. International students and graduates benefit from streams aimed at targeting newcomers with various levels of educational attainment.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

British Columbia offers wide-ranging streams and categories for workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs in its Provincial Nominee Program. It includes categories aligned with Canada’s federal Express Entry immigration selection system.

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC-PNP) is an immigration program through which a broad range of workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs can settle in British Columbia permanently.

The BC-PNP is one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). It is one of the most varied of all the PNPs, with two broad streams for workers and graduates — Express Entry BC and Skills Immigration — plus an additional stream for entrepreneurs.

These streams are further divided into various categories. Some BC-PNP categories are aligned with Canada’s federal Express Entry immigration selection system. Successful applicants under one of these categories obtain 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Furthermore, some BC-PNP categories are managed under a unique system, known as the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). Under the SIRS, potential applicants are first required to register a profile and provide some personal information relating to their job offer in BC, work experience, language ability, and level of education. The SIRS works on an Expression of Interest / Invitation to Apply basis, whereby registered candidates are assigned a score (out of 200), and the BC government conducts periodic draws in which candidates who meet the cut-off threshold for their category in that draw are invited to apply for a provincial nomination.

Though some BC-PNP categories require applicants to have a job offer from a BC employer, certain categories managed outside the SIRS do not require applicants to have a job offer.

The BC-PNP also offers a Tech Pilot program, introduced in 2017, whereby tech and IT workers may immigrate to BC and obtain Canadian permanent residence.

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Alberta is one of Canada’s most popular destinations for new immigrants, offering PNP streams for Express Entry candidates and non-Express Entry candidates. Its Provincial Nominee Program welcomes workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs to the province.

AINP Streams

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program offers five streams — the Opportunity Stream, the Express Entry Stream, the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, the Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream, and the Self-Employed Farmer stream.

The Opportunity stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for foreign workers working in Alberta, who will require a job offer from an employer in Alberta in order to be eligible.

The Express Entry stream provides a pathway for Express Entry candidates who Alberta invites to apply to the province. Candidates are invited through their Express Entry accounts with the exact selection criteria not available to the public.

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination through an Express Entry-aligned stream receive 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS) is for international students who have graduated from post-secondary institutions in Alberta and wish to immigrate to the province permanently by starting a business or purchasing an existing business.

The Foreign Graduate Start-up Visa Stream (FGSVS) is for recent graduates from post-secondary institutions outside Canada who are interested in starting new businesses and settling in Alberta.

The AINP also offers the Self-Employed Farmer stream for experienced farmers with the demonstrated capacity to operate a farm in Alberta.

Four top tips when applying for AINP

Like any application, it pays to be as prepared as possible when it comes time to submit your AINP application. With that in mind, here are four top tips that you should focus on:

  1. Read all the relevant AINP terms and conditions. The availability of AINP streams and categories is dependent upon application volumes and labour market needs. The criteria for the AINP are routinely evaluated and may be subject to change at any time and without notice so make sure that you are as prepared as possible.

  2. Review the AINP selection criteria: Each stream has its own distinct selection criteria. Be sure that you’re familiar with the requirements for your stream: AINP Opportunity, AINP Express Entry, or AINP Farmer.

  3. Review the language test requirements: It is necessary for you to demonstrate proficiency in either English or French by taking one of the approved language tests for Canadian immigration.

  4. Follow the instructions laid out on the AINP website: Applicants through the Opportunity and Express Entry streams must apply using the AINP Online Portal.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

This province in the Canadian Prairies is looking to welcome Express Entry candidates, as well as workers in in-demand occupations.

Immigration to Saskatchewan, Canada is delivered in part through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

Saskatchewan immigration authorities have developed SINP categories for a broad range of potential applicants. For people thinking of immigrating to Saskatchewan — particularly those who may not succeed in immigrating to Canada through a federal program, such as those managed under the Express Entry system — the SINP may be the perfect Canadian immigration option.

Through a variety of categories and sub-categories, the SINP targets specific individuals and their families who have the potential to live and work successfully in Saskatchewan. If you are a skilled worker abroad, an international graduate or temporary foreign worker in Saskatchewan, or an entrepreneur with big plans for your future business in Saskatchewan, the SINP could be your route to Canadian permanent resident status.

The SINP: an overview

As one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), the SINP offers a variety of categories and sub-categories for potential immigration candidates. Most of these operate outside the federal Express Entry system, meaning a candidate can submit an application for nomination for permanent residence from the province without creating an Express Entry profile, entering the pool, and awaiting an invitation to apply (ITA) in a draw.

However, there is also one Express Entry-aligned option, the Saskatchewan International Skilled Worker: Express Entry sub-category, which could lead to that all-important provincial nomination and an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, leading to an ITA in a future Express Entry draw.

An ‘Expression of Interest’ system

During the first years of the SINP, candidates in the International Skilled Worker streams would have to submit applications during intake periods which were announced with little notice and often lasted briefly. However, in 2019, SINP opted to shift to an Expression of Interest (EOI) system.

Instead of trying to submit an application online during unannounced and brief intake periods, as was formerly required, anyone who is eligible became eligible to submit an Expression of Interest and enter a pool of candidates to stand a chance of receiving an invitation to submit a full application. This also ensures that only eligible candidates may submit an application, and allows potential applicants to improve their profile and standing in the pool while they await an invitation.

Processing Times for Provincial Nominee Programs

Processing times for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs largely depend on whether or not the application has been submitted under an Express Entry-linked PNP stream, or one of the other streams not linked with Express Entry.

Applicants should expect a processing period for the initial application to the province, plus an additional processing period for the final application to the federal government for permanent residence.

Most provinces have brought their processing times down to a few months, or even weeks. For Express Entry-linked applications, the federal processing time remains for most applications is six months. Non-Express Entry linked applications, also called paper-based applications, usually take between 1-2 years to process at the federal stage.