The Federal and Provincial Governments in Canada allow foreign nations with a particular skillset to immigrate to Canada as Skilled Workers. It is aimed at filling a labour gap in the job market and to help positively contribute to Canada’s economy. Successful candidates are selected based on their ability to contribute to the economy and integrate into Canada.

The system used to choose a candidate is the Express Entry System. Before you are considered to come to Canada as a Skilled Worker, you have to be in the Express Entry pool. Applicants are ranked based on their ability to contribute to the Canadian economy and skills that they offer.

There are three programs under the Express Entry System. They include:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC): You can come to Canada through the Express Entry Program by qualifying for the CEC. To be eligible, you should meet the following requirements:

a. You should have worked in Canada for at least 12 months within the last three years. Any work you gained as a full-time student or through self-employment doesn’t count.

b. You should meet the language requirements for your skill type or level, according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). You will have to take an approved language test to determine your abilities in speaking, writing, listening, and reading in English or French.

Your education level is not a requirement for qualification. However, it will help you earn points in the Express Entry pool.

Federal Skilled Worker Program: this is a program for those with skills in Skill type O, or levels A and B, in accordance to NOC. The minimum requirements that apply to this program include:

a. Having a minimum of one year of paid experience within the last decade, in the same type of job as in your primary NOC. Your volunteer work or unpaid internships don’t count.

b. You will have to take an approved language test, and for you to be considered, you need to have a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)-7, in speaking, reading, writing and listening in English or French.

c. You should have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian high school or post-secondary institution. If you studied outside Canada, you would need to get an ECA (Education Credential Information) from an approved agency that will determine if your education level is equivalent to the same in Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades Program: if you qualify in a skilled trade and would like to become a permanent resident, then you fall in this group. Minimum requirements that apply include:

a. You should have full-time experience of at least two years within the last five years.

b. You will have to take an approved language test by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) with a minimum score of CLB 5 in speaking and listening, and CLB 4 in reading and writing.

c. You should have a one-year or more offer of full-time employment or a Canadian provincial or territorial authority Certificate of Qualification in the skilled trade that you want to join.

d. You should be able to meet the requirements for that particular skill trade according to the National Occupational Classification.

Depending on the territory or province you would like to live in, you may need to be assessed. You also do not need to meet any educational requirements, but they will earn you points in the Express Entry pool.

If you are invited to apply through the Express Entry System, you have 90 days to apply to become a Permanent Resident. Provinces and territories can also nominate candidates to their areas, from the Express Entry pool, through the Provincial Nominee Program.

Skilled workers who would like to live in Quebec do not use the Express Entry System. They apply through the Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers. It is a two-stage process where one has to apply to:

1. The Government of Quebec for a CSQ (Certificat de sélection du Québec);

2. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) for approval to Permanent Residency in Canada.