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In 2015, the government of Canada launched an online system known as Express Entry. This system is used to process immigration applications of applicants intending to come to Canada. Three federal immigration programs fall under the Express Entry system, including Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”), Federal Skilled Trades (“FST”) and Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”).

  1. How can I apply for Express Entry? Making an application under the Express Entry system contains two stages: first stage is creating an online profile and submitting three primary documents, including your passport or your travel document, your educational credential assessment report, and the result of your language test. In the second stage, the applicant enters a pool for a year. Presuming that the name of applicant is drawn from the pool the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will send the applicant an invitation letter to apply for permanent residency and obtain a visa to come to Canada.

  1. How often are there Express Entry Draws? It can be expected at least every two weeks for the Express Entry Draws to happen; however, there is no set schedule for Express Entry Draws. The applicant will stay in the pool for a year, during which time the applicant will be able to update their profile by providing a higher language test score or work experience.

  1. Who is eligible for Express Entry? The minimum eligibility requirements for Express Entry are: having university or college degrees, at least one year of professional work experience, and language ability in English and/or French. The factors that affect your score for Express Entry are your age, level of education, foreign and Canadian education, proficiency in English and French, Foreign and Canadian work experience, spousal status and connections to Canada. Depending on the mentioned factors, your score may vary. Obtaining the required score that may change in different draws would account for issuing an invitation letter.

  1. How can I calculate my score for Express Entry? The government created a tool called the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) tool, which helps applicants calculate their scores. Following is a link to the said tool: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp

  1. What is the Educational Credential Assessment? An Educational Credential Assessment is used to evaluate your educational documents in order to find out the validity of your records and whether your documents are equal to a Canadian one. The applicant must include their Education Credential Assessment report and the reference number in the Express Entry profile.

  1. What is the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) under the Express Entry system? The FSW is a Federal immigration program under Express Entry System. This program has minimum eligibility requirements that must be met by all applicants as follows:

  • At least one year or 1,560 hours of continuous skilled work experience;
  • Getting a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking;
  • Having a certificate, diploma or degree;
  • Proof of funds.

To be eligible for this program, the applicant must gain 67 points, a current pass mark. However, meeting the pass mark does not guarantee applying for permanent residency of Canada; passing the pass mark enables the applicant to be eligible to compete in the pool of Express Entry. Once in the pool, applicants with the most competitive CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

  1. What is the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) under the Express Entry system? The FST is a Federal immigration program under Express Entry System. The minimum eligibility requirements that all applicants must meet are as follows:

  • At least two years of work experience in a skilled trade within five years before you apply;
  • The skilled trades for this program are organized under the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”). The required Major Groups are 72, 73, 82, 92, 632 and 633, mostly occupations under skill type B in the NOC. The following is the link helping you to find out your NOC code: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/find-national-occupation-code.html
  • Having a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian Provincial, territorial or federal authority;
  • Getting a minimum score of 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing;
  • There is no education requirement for the FST program; however, having educational document help you improve your scores in Express Entry;
  • Proof of funds;

Meeting the minimum requirements enables the applicant to be eligible to compete in the pool of Express Entry. Once in the pool, applicants with the most competitive CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

  1. What is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the Express Entry system? The CEC program is an ideal immigration program for applicants with Canadian work experience who intend to apply for permanent residency under Express Entry. The minimum requirements for this program are as follows:
  • Having at least one year of full-time or an equal amount of part-time skilled work experience in Canada in the last three years before you apply;
  • Gained your work experience by working in Canada while under temporary resident status with authorization to work;
  • Your work experience must fall under Canadian National Occupational Classification(NOC) level 0, A or B. The following is the link helping you to find out your NOC code: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/find-national-occupation-code.html
  • There is no education requirement for the FST program; however, having educational document helps you to improve your scores in Express Entry;
  • Getting a minimum score of 7 at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for NOC 0 or A jobs and CLB 5 for NOC B jobs;

Meeting the minimum requirements makes the candidate eligible to compete in the pool of Express Entry. Once in the pool, applicants with the most competitive CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

  1. What is the processing time for the immigration programs under Express Entry? Upon issuance of the Invitation to Apply, the candidate will have 60 days to submit all requested forms and documents. Once the immigration authorities receive your application package, it may take about six months to obtain your visa.

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