Express Entry for skilled immigrants

Like many countries with skilled migration categories, Canada selects permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and contribute positively to their economy.  Assessment is based on several factors such as:

 Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC implemented a new electronic system, named Express Entry, to manage applications for permanent residency for some economic immigration programs which are:

 The Express Entry is not a new program but a new way to manage the intake of online applications in the abovementioned categories.  The defining characteristic is that there is no Priority Occupations List that would preclude the application of some individuals.  Only experience in NOC Skill Type ) O, A and B are relevant if you intend to apply in the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

 The NOC is a systematic classification of occupations in the Canadian labour market and is divided into five bands:

Skill Type O

Management Occupations

Skill type A

Primarily comprised of professional occupations

Skill Type B

Consists of technical, skilled trades and paraprofessional occupations

Skill Type C

Comprises of occupations of intermediate level, clerical or support functions

Skill Type D

Elemental Sales or service and primary laborer occupations

CIC's goal is simple: to process qualified and complete applications in six months or less.  The six months is counted from the time you submit a complete electronic occupation through the system until a decision is made.  There are some factors outside the control of CIC though which may contribute to a delay in the processing of your application.  These include, but are not limited to, the time it would take for an employer to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (or LMIA); whether additional background checks would have to be made or; if there are criminal or security problems.

 The procedure is simple with the Express Entry system:

  1. You complete an Express Entry profile anytime that you have completed some of the requirements.  There is no deadline to complete your profile and there are no caps on the number of potential candidates that will be accepted in the Express Entry pool.  A completed Express Entry profile is valid for one year from the date you submit a profile to CIC;
  2. Rounds of invitation will take place regularly in a year and qualified, applicants with the highest score and ranking in the Comprehensive Ranking System (or CRS) may get an Invitation to Apply (or ITA)  for permanent residence.  If you do not receive an ITA after 12 months, you will have to complete and submit a new profile;
  3. If you are invited to apply, you will have to submit a complete Application for Permanent Residence online within sixty (60) days;
  4. If you pass background checks, meet health and character requirements, meet basic visa requirements and prove yourself admissible, you may qualify for the permanent visa. You should pay your Right of Permanent Residence Fee at this time.

 The Comprehensive Ranking System (or CRS) is based on a 1,200 point system.  Up to 600 points will be available based on age, work experience, education and language test results.  If you have a provincial nomination or a Canadian job offer supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (or LMIA), you will receive an additional 600 points.

 To get a higher CRS ranking with the Express Entry system, you should have either of the following for additional points:

 If you intend to apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, your Education Credential Assessment must prove that your academic credentials are equivalent to a completed Canadian credential.  If you are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, you will also earn more points for the education component on the CRS if you can submit an ECA, thereby improving your chances of an ITA.

 As one of our immigrant advocacy programs, your curriculum vitae will be given an initial FREE assessment to check if you qualify to apply for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. 

Quebec Skilled Worker

 Currently, the province of Quebéc has its own Skilled Workers Program.  As Quebéc has a special agreement with the federal government of Canada, it has its own rules for selecting immigrants.  The program is slated to open on April 1, 2015.

To apply under the Quebéc Skilled Worker program, you must apply to the Quebéc government for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate).  If you are selected, you then apply for permanent residence to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (or CIC).   You will have to undergo a medical exam and police checks.

If you aren't sure about applying for permanent residency to Canada under the Quebéc Skilled Worker Program, these are the salient points for the program:


  1. You do not need a job offer to qualify or apply;
  2. You can apply to Quebéc even if you are working overseas
  3. The results of your IELTS may be sent several months after your file is submitted
  4. Effective January 26, 2015, Quebéc awards points to areas of training if these are recognized by either a foreign diploma or a Quebéc diploma (or equivalent)
  5. The diploma you present must have been awarded anytime during the 5 years immediately preceding the period of application for the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate). 

If this is not applicable to you, then you must have legally practised for one year during the  5 years immediately preceding the period of application.  The work must be in your nominated profession - one that is associated with the area of training on the 2015 List of Areas of Training

Required Documents and Processing

  1. There is no need for settlement funds (“show money”)
  2. Both academic and general IELTS versions are accepted with scores typically lower than what the Express Entry requires.
  3. Skilled worker candidates are prioritized according to the points associated with the area of training

 If you profession or trade is regulated, you should check as well if you will be allowed to practise it when you get to Québec since regulatory bodies or professional orders will have their own protocol to allow a foreign graduate to practice.  Learn more about the conditions for practicing your profession or trade by following this link  You may also want to consult the page on Immigration rules and regulations

 Due to the popularity of the Québec Skilled Worker Program, slots for the program filled up quickly in the past year.  Allow IVC to help you with the Online Assessment so YOU can prepare early and on time for the beginning of the 2015 intake on April 1.

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

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