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Which Express Entry Program Is Best

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Express Entry is the primary way the Canadian government welcomes immigrants from economic classes.

Express Entry is used by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage candidates for three unique programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Before a candidate can submit an Express Entry profile to IRCC’s website, each of the three programs has minimal qualifying requirements that must be met. A candidate must declare their intent to become a permanent resident of Canada and will earn a Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS).

The CRS determines which skilled worker candidates will be the most successful in the Canadian labor market. It assesses each candidate and assigns a score based on their human capital, including age, education, language abilities, and work experience.

The Canadian government typically holds Express Entry draws every two weeks, inviting applicants with the highest CRS scores to become permanent citizens.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program

The FSWP is intended for foreign workers with foreign job experience.

These are the minimum requirements:

  • One year of continuous full-time or comparable paid work experience in a skilled occupation defined as National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B within the previous ten years;
  • Language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French; Canadian educational credentials (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign educational credentials and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report;
  • Meet the settlement money criteria, which require the applicant to have sufficient funds to support oneself in Canada; and
  • Earn at least 67 out of 100 points on the FWSP grid based on age, education, work experience, etc.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program

The FSTP is a similar immigration path to the FSWP, except it is reserved for skilled workers. The FSTP is a viable alternative for some applicants because it does not demand proof of education levels.

You should have two years of work experience in a skilled trade, a full-time job offer from a Canadian employer, or a certification from a Canadian agency to qualify for permanent residence under this option.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Valid job offers of ongoing, paid, full-time employment from at least two Canadian employers for a minimum of one year or certification of qualification demonstrating that the foreign national is eligible to work in skilled trade activity in Canada.
  • Documents showing that the candidate satisfies the IRCC’s minimum language competence requirements (CLB 5 for speaking and listening, CLB 4 for reading and writing);
  • Two years of full-time work experience (or the comparable in part-time work) in the skilled trade in the five years before the application; and the ability to demonstrate the necessary skills and experience and have completed the job’s essential duties.

Canadian Experience Class

IRCC established the CEC in 2008 to promote temporary foreign workers and international students to become permanent residents of Canada.

Candidates must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the CEC:

  • Within the previous three years, one year of specialized, professional, or technical work was performed in Canada.
  • A score of 7 or greater on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for jobs classified as NOC A, or a score of 5 on the CLB for skilled crafts jobs, and a plan to settle and work outside Quebec.
  • An international student who desires to remain in Canada after graduation must take an additional step: apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP is an open work permit that allows you to work for a Canadian employer for up to three years without an offer of employment.
  • Before applying for the CEC, graduates can use this permission to gain the requisite skilled work experience.

Which option is best for me?

The best Express Entry option for you ultimately depends on your specific situation. The best course of action is to conduct an extensive study and consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action for your situation, budget, and timeline.

Express Entry is a highly coveted choice for candidates, given that draws occur often, and the program reverted to its pre-pandemic service norm of six months in the second half of 2022. It implies that Express Entry, once again, is the quickest way for candidates from the economic class to obtain permanent residence in Canada.
Get an Express Entry assessment today at CAN Pathways!

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