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Express Entry

This is a new electronic Canadian immigration system that will manage applications for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada in a very FAST and EFFICIENT way for the following programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP);
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program.

The Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently announced that Canada’s long awaited expression of interest program that opened last January 2015. The new program, “Express Entry,” is exciting for skilled workers around the world who are interested in immigrating to Canada.

The new program will involve many improvements to Canadian immigration, including quicker processing times, greater accessibility to applicants from a wider variety of different fields, and a greater focus on the quality of applications. The one main drawback of the new program, uncertainty, is unavoidable in the application process for any immigration program and appears to be outweighed by all of the potential benefits that the program will create for applicants and Canadian employers.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program was designed to promote the Canadian economy by attracting educated and skilled workers to Canada. Skilled workers that settle in Canada on a permanent basis are especially valuable to the Canadian workforce.

Recent announcement by the Canadian government to issue a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to a record 181,300 “economic immigrants” in 2015 through various Canadian immigration programs, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP). Skilled foreign workers and their eligible family members who are granted a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term, receive free basic healthcare (after a brief waiting period), get access to educational programs, and have the opportunity to enjoy the high standard of living that Canada is famous for. Another great benefit of being issued a PR Visa to Canada through the FSWP is the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least four years and meeting other criteria!

There are recent changes made to this long-term Canadian work visa program will better select skilled foreign workers who meet Canada’s current and evolving economic needs. By placing more emphasis on the language, education, age and skill profile of skilled foreign workers, applicants selected under the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) will have the ability to seek jobs in Canada that more closely match their training with greater speed and efficiency. These new changes will also reduce the bureaucratic procedure for Canadian employers and fast track the process for both employers and skilled foreign workers with regard to offers of arranged employment in Canada.

Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program designed to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to thousands of qualified skilled foreign workers (and their eligible family members) who meet certain criteria. Points are given for factors considered important to the success of skilled foreign workers who immigrate to Canada such as:

  • English/French language skills (28 points possible)
  • Education (25 points possible)
  • Work experience (15 points possible)
  • Age (12 points possible)
  • Qualifying Canadian job offer (10 points possible)
  • Adaptability (10 points possible)

With minimum of 67 points out of a maximum of 100 points is needed to qualify for the FSWP. Applicants must also have their English and/or French language abilities evaluated by taking the IELTS and/or TEF exams and obtain an acceptable score; receive a favorable Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from one of three agencies authorized by the Canadian government; plus meet the health and character standards and other criteria.

One of the key eligibility requirements for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is to have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience during the past 10 years in a qualifying occupation listed by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as being at Skill Type 0 (certain management occupations), Skill Level A (certain professions usually requiring a university education), or Skill Level B (certain technical jobs and skilled trades usually requiring a college education or apprenticeship training).

As of January 1, 2015, there are dozens of managerial, professional and other high-demand occupations that are eligible for the FSWP, such as the following examples:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Audiologists and Speech Pathologists
  • Banking, Credit and Other Investment Managers
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Chemists
  • Civil Engineers
  • College and Other Vocational Instructors
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  • Construction Managers
  • Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Dentists
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Elementary and Kindergarten Teachers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Financial and Investment Analysts
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Geoscientists and Oceanographers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Land Surveyors
  • Managers in Health Care
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicists and Astronomers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
  • Psychologists
  • Purchasing Managers
  • Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers
  • School Principals and Administrators of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Secondary School (High School) Teachers
  • Securities Agents, Investment Dealers and Brokers
  • Senior Managers – Construction, Transportation, Production and Utilities
  • Senior Managers – Financial, Communications and Other Business Services
  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Specialist Physicians
  • Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
  • University Professors and Lecturers

The above occupations are a limited sample of the many occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and that there are dozens of additional occupations that are also eligible for this popular Canadian immigration program.

NOTE: On January 1, 2015, the Canadian government launched its new “Express Entry” immigration system for eligible skilled foreign workers who apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada through the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) and certain other “economic immigration” programs. A key goal of the new “Express Entry” Canadian immigration system is to speed up the process of approving qualified skilled foreign workers for a PR Visa to Canada so they can help meet the labor needs of Canadian businesses.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) was established to offer a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to qualified skilled foreign tradespeople in dozens of high-demand occupations (such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and welders). Many of these skilled trades are related to jobs in such occupation categories as:

  1. Construction, Electrical and Industrial
  2. Equipment Operation and MaintenanceSupervisors and Technical Jobs in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production
  3. Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators

Skilled foreign tradespeople and their eligible family members who are granted a PR Visa to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) are authorized to live and work in Canada long-term, receive free basic healthcare (after a brief waiting period), get access to educational programs, and have the opportunity to enjoy the high standard of living that Canada is famous for. Another great benefit of being issued a PR Visa to Canada through the FSTP is the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least four years and meeting other criteria!

Are you qualified to FSTP?

In order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), an applicant must have a minimum of two years of full-time paid work experience during the past five years in a trade that is eligible for the FSTP. Dozens of jobs in Canada qualify for the FSTP, particularly in the construction industry, oil & gas sector, trades related to heavy machinery, and various technical fields, among many others. The occupation must be listed by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as being at Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or Skill Level B (most of the eligible skilled trades will be listed under the NOC Skill Level B category). Skilled foreign workers will also need to meet the requirements for employment in their FSTP-eligible trade as defined by the NOC system.

Examples of some of the dozens of occupations that qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) include the following (effective January 1, 2015):

  • Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors
  • Appliance Servicers and Repairers
  • Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers
  • Bakers
  • Bricklayers
  • Butchers
  • Cabinetmakers
  • Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians
  • Carpenters
  • Central Control and Process Operators, Mineral and Metal Processing
  • Chefs
  • Concrete Finishers
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Equipment Operator Crews
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Services
  • Contractors and Supervisors, Pipefitting Trades
  • Cooks
  • Crane Operators
  • Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction
  • Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers
  • Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
  • Elevator Constructors and Mechanics
  • Floor Covering Installers
  • Gas Fitters
  • Glaziers
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Insulators
  • Ironworkers
  • Logging Machinery Operators
  • Machine Fitters
  • Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  • Motorcycle, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Other Related Mechanics
  • Oil and Gas Well Drillers, Servicers, Testers and Related Workers
  • Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics
  • Other Small Engine and Small Equipment Repairers
  • Painters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)
  • Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Process Operators
  • Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers and Lathers
  • Plumbers
  • Power Engineers and Power Systems Operators
  • Power System Electricians
  • Printing Press Operators
  • Pulping, Papermaking and Coating Control Operators
  • Railway and Yard Locomotive Engineers
  • Railway Carmen/Women
  • Railway Conductors and Brakemen/Women
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
  • Roofers and Shinglers
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers
  • Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters
  • Supervisors, Electrical Products Manufacturing
  • Supervisors, Electronics Manufacturing
  • Supervisors, Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing
  • Supervisors, Forest Products Processing
  • Supervisors, Furniture and Fixtures Manufacturing
  • Supervisors, Logging and Forestry
  • Supervisors, Mineral and Metal Processing
  • Supervisors, Mining and Quarrying
  • Supervisors, Motor Vehicle Assembling
  • Supervisors, Other Mechanical and Metal Products Manufacturing
  • Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities
  • Supervisors, Plastic and Rubber Products Manufacturing
  • Supervisors, Printing and Related Occupations
  • Supervisors, Railway Transport Operations
  • Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers
  • Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers
  • Tilesetters
  • Tool and Die Makers
  • Water and Waste Treatment Plant Operators
  • Water Well Drillers
  • Welders and Related Machine Operators

In addition to the above trades, there are many other occupations that also qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

An applicant for the FSTP must be able to prove that they have acceptable English or French language abilities necessary for their particular trade (as measured by such language evaluation exams as the IELTS or TEF).

Furthermore, applicants for the FSTP long-term work visa to Canada must have a qualifying Canadian job offer OR a “certificate of qualification” from one of the provinces or territories where they want to live and work in Canada.

Although an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is not a requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), there is potential to receive more points toward Canadian immigration on the new “Express Entry” Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Therefore, obtaining an ECA is recommended by the Canadian government for FSTP applicants. The optional ECA is an assessment of an applicant’s educational credentials (e.g., vocational training, college or university degree, etc.) to determine to what extent they compare to the education or other training received in Canada for the same or a related field or occupation.

As with each type of work visa to Canada, applicants for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) must meet health and character requirements and provide “proof of funds,” among other criteria.

NOTE: On January 1, 2015, Canada’s government launched its new “Express Entry” system for skilled foreign workers who want to apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada through the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and certain other “economic immigration” programs. A key goal of the new “Express Entry” Canadian immigration system is to speed up the approval of skilled foreign workers for a PR Visa to Canada so they can help meet the needs of Canadian businesses.