In the past two decades, the global competition for talent acquisition has intensified tremendously, with more countries expressing explicit interest in attracting skilled workers/immigrants and drafting new immigration policies to meet their economic and demographic requirements. For more than fifty years, Canada has been among the vanguards of the world’s human-capital-oriented immigration programs.
In 1967, it introduced a point-based system to select skilled immigrants and improvised several times to form the recent online application management system Express Entry to select skilled migrants for the country’s economic and socio-cultural development.
In this comprehensive guide, let’s explore the details of the Express Entry system, federal skilled work requirements and more.
What is an Express Entry System?
Express Entry is a point-based two-stage system to evaluate the economic potential of skilled workers seeking permanent residence in Canada. The system aims to give potential immigrants permanent residence through three federal economic immigration programs. Applicants first submit their online profiles, showcasing their relevant capital characteristics, occupational history, etc.
Different programs have eligibility requirements, and if an applicant meets the minimum eligibility requirements, he or she can enter the Express Entry Pool. Upon submission, applicants accumulate points (up to 1200) based on various factors, with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) determining their relative scores.
What is the Federal Skilled Worker Program?
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is one of the three programs under the Express Entry system that paves the way to permanent residence in Canada. The Federal Skilled Worker Program, or FSWP, allows foreign skilled workers to compete in the nation’s knowledge-based industry and contribute to the country’s economy.
Before the introduction of the FSWP, skilled worker immigrants were selected based on the discretion of individual immigration officers. They called to judge whether a candidate was fit to integrate into Canada. Needless to say, this approach was problematic and blamed for being subjective in the case of fair selection. So, the government has introduced an objective criterion to evaluate candidates on a fairground. The recent FSWP assesses candidates based on age, education, language skills, work experience and other factors.
Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker Requirements
Potential candidates must meet the minimal standards for work experience, language proficiency, and education and acquire at least 67 points under the Federal Skilled Worker points grid.
- One year of consecutive full-time employment, or equivalent, in a skilled field covered by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER levels 0, 1, 2, or 3 within the previous ten years.
- A candidate must demonstrate language ability equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 7) in English or French.
- A candidate must showcase a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian post-secondary institute. If the candidate has finished education in a foreign land, a complete educational credential and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes are required.
- A candidate must demonstrate that they have appropriate settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents (if any).
- Student work experience can also be counted if wages or commissions are paid for the work, and there is no gap in employment.
Immigration Procedure for the FSWP
Canada offers three skilled worker programs, including the FSWP, through the Express Entry application management system. Candidates must first determine if they meet the requirements of the FSWP. After that, they submit a profile for Express Entry.
A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be assigned to them based on age, education, language proficiency, and professional experience, among other criteria. The Canadian government conducts Express Entry draws every two weeks, inviting the applicants with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence. Federal skilled worker program processing time would be approximately 6 months.
- Step 1: Before applying, candidates must evaluate their eligibility based on the Express Entry federal skilled worker requirements.
- Step 2: Online submission of Express Entry profile through the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Step 3: IRCC holds Express Entry draws approximately every two weeks. If a candidate is selected, he/she will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
- Step 4: If a candidate receives an ITA, he/she may apply for permanent residence (PR).
Federal Skilled Worker vs CEC
People with specific skill sets and work experience acquired outside of Canada are the target audience for the FSW program. Several criteria are considered while evaluating applicants: age, adaptability, work experience, education, and language skills. Although they don’t necessarily need previous job experience in Canada, they must fulfil the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) point requirements to be eligible for permanent residency.
On the other hand, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is reserved for people who have previously gained professional job experience in Canada. This program is designed for foreign graduates and temporary employees who have worked in Canada for at least a year and are skilled workers. Candidates must fulfill requirements on employment experience, linguistic ability, and intention to reside outside Quebec.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are some frequently asked questions for express entry federal skilled worker requirements: