Applying for Permanent Residency through Express Entry
NOTE: on January 1, 2015 the Government of Canada launched Express Entry - a new application management system. Participation in Express Entry will be mandatory for all economic immigrants under the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and optional for Provincial Nominee Program applicants.
The Application Process and Comprehensive Point System
Applicants who qualify for one of Canada’s economic immigration streams (see below) will be required to complete an online candidate profile using Express Entry. Applicants will receive points based on a number of factors meant to assess a candidate’s ability to succeed in Canada. A maximum of 1200 points will be awarded as follows:
- 500 points: Core Human Capital Factors, including age, education, language and Canadian experience
- 100 points: Skill Transferability, including foreign qualifications, degrees and work experience
- 600 points: Positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or Provincial Nomination Certificate
Applicants being accompanied by a spouse or common-law partner will receive 100 fewer points in Core Human Capital Factors and Skill Transferability with those points instead being assigned to the accompanying spouse or common-law partner in order to make up the comprehensive total.
Applicants who do not already hold job offers supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment will also be required to register with the
Job Bank. The Job Bank will assist applicants in connecting with prospective employers in support of their application. The Express Entry pool of applicants will be reviewed regularly and top ranked candidates, as well as those holding job offers supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, will receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency. Once invited, candidates will have 60 days to complete their application.
Economic Immigration Streams - An Overview
In order to apply for Permanent Residency in Canada through Express Entry you must qualify for one of the Economic Immigration Streams below.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class allows foreign nationals who have been working in Canada for a period of one year to apply for permanent residence on the basis of their Canadian experience. In order to be eligible, applicants must have a minimum of one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before applying, meet certain language criteria, and plan to live outside of Quebec.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
Most provinces in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to play a more direct role in selecting immigrants who wish to settle in that province. Please contact us to discuss this. The first stage is applying to the province where you wish to settle. The province will consider your application based on their immigration needs and your genuine intention to settle there. Before applying to immigrate to Canada, provincial nominees must complete the provincial nomination process. After you have been nominated by a province, we will have to make a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for permanent residence. A CIC officer will assess your application based on Canadian immigration regulations. Provincial nominees are not assessed on the six selection factors of the Federal Skilled Workers Program.
Skilled Worker Program
Applicants who possess a high level of education and/or significant work experience that can be transferred to the Canadian labour market, usually apply under this category. The Applicant must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for immigration under the Skilled Worker category. The immigration criteria are set out in a point system format.
The Point System
The Applicant’s qualifications are assessed through a point system. This point system is made up of six (6) factors to which a visa officer will allocate points. These factors are:
Education (maximum 25 points) - The highest level of education attained, and the total number of years of education by the Applicant.
Language Ability (maximum 24+4 points) - The Applicant’s ability to speak, listen, write, and read in either one or both of Canada’s official languages - English or French. Please note that if the Applicant claims points under the language factor, proof of language proficiency must be provided. Proficiency in a second official language is worth an additional 4 points.
Work Experience (maximum 15 points) - The number of years the Applicant has worked in his/her profession.
Age (maximum 12 points) - The current age of the Applicant. The ideal age is between twenty-one and forty-nine (21-49) years.
Arranged Employment in Canada (maximum 10 points) - Either of a) a permanent job offer in Canada for which the Applicant is qualified, or b) the Applicant is currently employed in Canada and holds a work permit which is valid for twelve (12) months, and was confirmed by HRSDC. Adaptability (maximum 10 points) - The Applicant may be awarded points under this factor if they can show that they or their dependents will adapt easily to living in Canada. Examples are: spouse’s education, arranged employment, and family members who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens.
The current pass mark is 67 points. Should the Applicant receive a score which is slightly less than the pass mark, discretionary points may be awarded by the visa officer if the Applicant can show their ability to successfully establish himself/herself in Canada. Please contact our office for further information regarding discretion cases.
A spouse is defined as an individual who is 16 years of age or older and is a:,
- spouse by marriage;
- common-law partner; or
- conjugal partner
A dependent child is defined as:
- A child under the age of 19 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;
- A child who financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 19 because of a disability.
The Applicant and each of his/her dependents (whether accompanying the Applicant or not) is required to undergo a Medical Examination. The Medical Examination must be performed by a physician who has been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to perform these important exams. The Applicant and each dependent must pass the Medical Examination, therefore showing that none of them has a medical condition that creates a danger to public health, or would cause significant demands on Canada’s health and/or social services.
Each Applicant and dependent over the age of eighteen (18) must provide police clearances from each country in which they have resided for more than six months. The Applicant may have to consult various Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions for countries where difficulties arise in obtaining the required clearances.
A Permanent Resident is free to travel in and out of Canada. However, in order to comply with the residency obligations, he/she must accumulate two years of physical presence in Canada for every five-year period after they become a landed Permanent Resident (arrived in Canada). An exception to this rule would only apply to any one of the following:
- The Permanent Resident is accompanying a Canadian-citizen spouse or common-law partner;
- The Permanent Resident is a child under 19 years of age, accompanying a Canadian-citizen parent;
- The Permanent Resident is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business, the Public Service of Canada or the public service of a Canadian province; or
The Permanent Resident is a child under 19 years of age, accompanying a permanent resident parent who is outside Canada and employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business, the Public Service of Canada or the public service of a Canadian province. A Permanent Resident may lose his/her status if she/he fails to comply with the residency obligations. When a Permanent Resident fails to meet their residency obligations, a departure order may be issued. This order requires that person to leave Canada. The decision to issue a departureorder may be appealed to the IAD within 30 days of receiving the notification. For further information regarding the procedures for applying for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Skilled Worker Category, please contact our office.