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IRCC introduced the Express Entry case management system in January 2015. Express entry is a path to secure permanent residency for skilled workers. To apply under Express Entry, applicants must meet the requirements of one of the following three programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: A foreign national meets the requirements of Federal Skilled Worker Program if he/she has:
- Ability to become economically established in Canada.
- At least 1 year of experience in NOC O, A or B within last 10 years.
- Performed the majority of main duties for the skilled job as mentioned in NOC (National Occupation Qualification)
- The language benchmark of CLB 7 in all four components of an official language exam.
- Canadian education credential or an official education credential assessment.
- Scored minimum 67 points. Point assessment is based on applicant’s age, education, work experience, valid job offer, language and adaptability.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program: This program is for foreign nationals who have experience in a skilled trade and want to become Canadian permanent residents. To be eligible under this program, applicant must meet the following requirements:
- A valid offer of employment for at least one year or a certification of qualification from a provincial authority.
- At least 2 years work experience in a skilled trade within last 5 years.
- Meet the official language requirement (CLB 5 in Listening & Speaking – CLB 4 in Writing & Reading)
- Meet the Canadian employment requirements.
- Canadian Experience Class: Foreign nationals, who have Canadian work experience in a skilled trade, can be eligible under this category. Minimum requirements for this program are as follows:
- At least 1-year full-time work experience within the last 3 years in NOC O, A or B.
- Work experience must be accumulated on a valid work permit.
- Must have performed the majority of the duties as stated in the NOC.
- Meet the official language requirement (CLB 7 for NOC O & A – CLB 5 for NOC B)
Express Entry: Applicants, who are eligible under one of the three federal programs, can submit their interest online by creating an Express Entry Profile. This profile can be reserved for maximum 12 months. All candidates in Express Entry pool are assessed by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) where they are awarded points based on their age, education, language skills, experience, job offer and some other factors.
Candidates who score higher in CRS, receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. They must submit their application to IRCC within 60 days. The processing time for the Express Entry application is usually 6 months or less.