When foreign nationals want to immigrate to Canada and become permanent residents, Express Entry is a common avenue used to gain permanent resident status. There was a hiccup in Express Entry admissions to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic that started in March 2020, but now the Express Entry system is back to steadily issuing invitations to apply to applicants.

Canada’s Express Entry System

Canada’s Express Entry system is a points-based immigration system that allows the federal and provincial governments to individually select and communicate with skilled permanent residence applicants to offer them invitations to apply for residence. Since being introduced on January 1, 2015, Express Entry has allowed thousands of people to immigrate to Canada and become permanent residents.

Express Entry Programs

There are several Express Entry options available to foreign nationals who are looking to come to Canada in order to become permanent residents. Applicants may be best suited for one option more than the others, so it is important to understand the differences before an application is made. Even more importantly, some applicants may be eligible for one program but not another; therefore, undertaking necessary due diligence before applying is also important.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program does not require an applicant to have any Canadian work experience in order to apply. However, an applicant must meet the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score. The points for the Comprehensive Ranking System score are calculated from six selection factors, which include:

  • age;
  • education;
  • language;
  • skilled work experience;
  • existing job offers; and
  • adaptability.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is available to applicants who work in select trades such as:

  • industrial;
  • electrical and construction work;
  • maintenance and equipment operation;
  • supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources;
  • agriculture and related production;
  • processing;
  • manufacturing and utilities supervisors or central control operators;
  • chefs and cooks;
  • butchers; and
  • bakers.

Applicants must have at least two years of full-time work experience in their field within the five years prior to their application. This work experience can consist of full-time or part-time work, so long as the total hours worked amounts to two years.

Education can improve the applicant’s ranking in the Express Entry pool, even though there is no requirement in order to apply. Applicants also must have sufficient language skills in English or French. Further, applicants for this program must hold a valid offer of full-time employment for at least one year, or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority in order to apply.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class of Express Entry is for foreign nationals who have one year of Canadian work experience. Applicants must have worked in Canada for at least one year in the three years prior to their application. One year of work experience only counts toward the requirement if it was attained during the time the applicant was a legal temporary resident in Canada. For the Canadian Experience Class, there is no minimum education level required for an applicant to apply, however, education can help make an application more competitive.

The applicant must have skills that qualify them for manager, professional role, or a skilled trade. Further, applicants must meet the required language level in writing, reading, listening, and speaking needed for their job in order to be considered. The level of skills in language required depends on the type of job that is being applied for, as certain occupations are deemed to require a higher level of language skills than others.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program allows the provinces and territories of Canada to invite foreign nationals to apply to live in a specific Canadian province territory. The participating provinces and territories have their own nominee programs and each set their own requirements for applicants to meet in order to apply.

The Provincial Nominee Programs allow the provinces and territories to target specific foreign nationals based on the best fit to immigrate to the province. If an applicant is selected under a Provincial Nominee Program, the applicant must subsequently apply to the federal government for permanent residence status.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program News

Ontario has its own Provincial Nominee Program called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has various streams for applicants to apply under.

Recently, Ontario unveiled its newest budget, which includes an increase in the allocation of funds for the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program. Ontario has committed through its budget to spend an extra $25 million over what was originally allocated on the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. This will allow more skilled newcomers to come to Ontario with support from the province. Overall, for those who want to immigrate to Ontario through Express Entry, the new budget is positive news.

Express Entry in 2023 and Beyond

Currently, Express Entry remains the leading avenue in which skilled people choose to come to Canada. There are over 200,000 applicants currently in the Express Entry pool who are waiting for invitations to apply. Canada plans to welcome 82,000 new immigrants to Canada in 2023, with that number increasing in each subsequent year according to the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025.

Canada has recently shown that it intends to meet these numbers in good faith as in March 2023, there were over 20,000 invitations to apply issued to applicants, representing one of the largest draws in the history of the Express Entry system.

Accordingly, the Comprehensive Ranking Score needed to receive an invitation went down to a low of 481 in March, allowing more applicants to qualify. For potential immigrants, the increase in invitations to apply means that more permanent residents can come to Canada through the Express entry system.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Assistance with Immigrating to Canada Through Express Entry

The trusted immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law focus solely on the practice of immigration law. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience in immigration-related matters and successfully guide clients through the immigration process, including Express Entry applications. We will work to find an effective solution for your specific immigration needs and help you ensure that you submit a strong application.If you have any questions regarding your immigration application, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or call us at 416-321-2860.

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