Immigrate to Canada

Express Entry Immigration

While there are several immigration avenues to Canada; by far the most popular and quickest is express entry. Express Entry programs allow potential candidates to receive permanent residence in Canada in as little as 6 months!

What is Express Entry?


Express Entry, rather than being an immigration program in and on itself is an online immigration application system. 

Eligibility is calculated through the  Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This allows for skilled immigrants to submit their profile and then be entered into a ‘pool’ of candidates. This is a group of candidates entered together for the same program.

This is called the Express Entry Pool. Roughly every two weeks the Canadian government conducts an ‘express entry draw’ where where candidates are chosen from the express entry pool to  apply for Canadian residence. Quebec has its own immigration programs that are separate from federal applications.

Provided you meet the Minimum Entry Criteria (MEC) you will be automatically entered into the express entry pool. If selected from the pool you will be invited to apply for permanent residence; known as an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Express Entry Programs


The Express Entry system includes the below immigration & citizenship programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program  (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

What documents will I need?


Before starting your Express Entry application, you will need two documents. They are:

  • English and or French language test results. There are a number of recognized international language tests. The most popular is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You can sit this exam at the British Council in your country of residence or through IELTS licensed companies.


  • Depending on the program an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if you completed your studies outside of Canada. Please note; although not always required, higher educational certificates such as an MA, BA or Doctorate will be considered and may add extra points.

What are the funds I need?


All candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program & Federal Skilled Trades Program (Express Entry) must demonstrate that they are able to support themselves and their families once they immigrate to Canada; Officially referred to as Proof of Funds or ‘Settlement Funds’. * view table below. This includes family members that stay in their country of residence and do not move to Canada.

Candidates that are exempt from providing proof of funds are those that have a valid job offer from a Canadian Employer or those applying for the Canadian Experience Class program.

Number of
family members
Funds required
(in Canadian dollars)
1$ 13,213
2$ 16,449
3$ 20,222
4$ 24,553
5$ 27,847
6$ 31,407


$ 34,967
For each additional family member$ 3,560

Can family members come?

Once you have been accepted to immigrate to Canada, you have the right to bring your immediate family with you; provided you declared them on your permanent residence application. Immediate family members are referred to as ‘dependents’. Dependents are considered;
  • Your spouse or common-law partner
  • Your dependent child
  • Your spouse or common law partners dependent child
  • A dependent child of a dependent child

Family members that are not eligible to immigrate with you are:

  • Your parents
  • Your grandparents
  • Your brother or sister
  • Your uncle or aunt
  • Your nephew or niece

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)


The Federal Skilled Worker immigration program offers permanent residence in Canada for candidates that have the relevant foreign work experience and skills deemed desirable and needed by the Canadian government to fill highly skilled positions in Canada.

Requirements for Federal Skilled Worker

The Canadian Government ranks your desirability to immigrate to Canada under the Skilled Worker Program using a points system: the highest being 100. The current pass mark is a minimum of 67 points * subject to change *. Your points are calculated according to 6 factors.

Canada considers a wide range of factors when considering your immigration request. Please see below for the breakdown.

  • Education | Awarded a maximum of 25 points
  • Age | Awarded a maximum of 12 points
  • A valid job offer | Awarded a maximum of 10 points
  • English and / or French language skills | Awarded a maximum of 28 points
  • Adaptability | Awarded a maximum of 10 points
  • Work Experience | Awarded a maximum of 15 points

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)


The Federal Skilled Trades immigration program is for skilled workers who can wish to work in Canada. Professionals that are eligible for this program are categorized under the  National Occupational Classification (NOC) ; The Canadian government system that categorizes occupations, Skilled trades for the purpose of The Skilled Trades Program are grouped into;

  • Skill Type O: Consists of General Management positions for instance, Financial and business service management, Legislators, Education & Community Management, Health Care Management, Corporate Sales Management.
  • Skill Level A: Consists of professional jobs that require a University Degree such Doctors & Lawyers.
  • Skill Level C: Consists of professions that require some form of on the job experience & training. For example, electricians, oil rig workers, plumbers or Chefs.

Requirements for Federal Skilled Trades

  • A candidate must have a minimum of two full years of full time work experience (or an equal amount in part time work) in a skilled trade. This experience must have been submitted within the previous 5 years in your country of residence. Your work experience must be for paid work. Volunteer work or unpaid internships do not count.
  • Meet the required language levels for English and or French. The categories tested are; writing, reading, listening, speaking. To measure your language competence, the Canadian government use the;
  • Valid job offer or full time employment for a duration of no less than one year or certificate of qualification in your skilled trade. The certificate is issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
  • There is no educational requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, however, it will only contribute to your overall rank in the express entry pool if you do have.

Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC)


This immigration program is tailored ONLY for skilled workers that have worked in Canada for at least one year and wish to immigrate to Canada permanently and become Canadian citizens. Canada recognizes the deep pool of talented workers who are working in or have worked in the past in Canada who wish to settle down as individuals and or with their respective families.

Experience Class requirements

  • Candidates for Canadian Experience Class have to have at least one full years of work experience in Canada in the last three years before your application.
  • Work experience in Canada must have been gained while under temporary resident status with approved authorization to work. Illegal work experience will not be accepted.
  • Your skilled work experience MUST have been paid or commission based. Volunteer work or unpaid internships will not be considered.
  • Refugee claimants are not eligible for CEC
  • Skilled work experience means; Managerial jobs (skill level 0), professional jobs (skill type A) or technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)
  • Meet a minimum language benchmark of 7 for National Occupation Classification (NOC) or A jobs or a benchmark of 5 for NOC B jobs.
  • There is no educational requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, however, it will only contribute to your overall rank in the express entry pool if you do have.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)


Canada’s provincial nominee programs (PNPs), offer a path to Canadian permanent residency for candidates that wish to move to a specific province or territory.

Almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories offer their own PNP to nominate skilled worker candidates for admission into Canada with specific skills and demographic considerations required by each local economy. In simple terms, each province and territory has its own “streams” (immigration programs) with differing requirements. For example, a province program stream may target business people, students, skilled workers and so on.

Once a candidate successfully receives a provincial or territorial nomination (A certificate nominating you to apply for permanent residence), you are then able to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the federal immigration authorities.

Provincial Nominee Programs can also be accepted through express entry, offering Canadian residency in as little as six months!

What are the requirements for PNP?


Unlike Federal immigration programs, which maintain standard Canada admission requirements, Provincial Nominee Programs differ in that each province or territory have their own unique requirements for entry that are tied to their own economic, demographic and skills requirements deemed beneficial to their respective local economies.

There are over 80 different PNP programs! Therefore, a candidate that doesn’t succeed in being nominated in one province or territory has many more options available and can simply apply for another province that needs their specific skill set or personal attributes. There is no one size fits all!

How to apply for PNP?


There are two ways that you are able to apply for a Provincial Nomination Program.

  • The first is known as a paper-based process. This is a more traditional approach where you will need to submit a paper application directly to a province or territory. This is a non-express entry stream.
  • The second way is much quicker and is through Express Entry. This is an electronic application .

PNP papar-based application


Candidates will need to apply to a specific province or territory through a non Express Entry stream. Once you have successfully been nominated by either a province or territory, a paper submittal for permanent residence needs to be sent to immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) informing them of your acceptance “nomination”.

You will need to also pass a medical exam and a police check (certificate). This is mandatory for everyone regardless of the immigration stream you are immigrating with.

PNP Express Entry application


There are two ways to apply for PNP through Express Entry;

  • The first way is to contact a province or territory that you would like to move to under an Express Entry stream. Then create an Express Entry profile and update it to show that you have been nominated.


  • Create an Express Entry profile and indicate within your profile the provinces and territories that you are interested in moving to. All provinces and territories will be able to view your profile.

If a Province or Territory is interested in your profile, a “notification of interest” will be sent to your online account. You will then apply to their Express Entry Stream. We can apply on your behalf . If you are nominated you will be notified electronically through your account. 

Quebec immigration


Quebec is in a class of its own with regards to immigration. Quebec has its own immigration programs and requirements, namely, economic, student & business streams. There are a number of routes to permanent residency. The average processing time is 15 to 17 months.

Where to apply for Quebec immigration?


All Quebec economic permanent residence applications are handled through Arrima . This is an e-portal run and administered by the Quebec government in order to manage immigration requests. It is an Expression of Interest (EOI) system whereby Candidates submit to EOI notifying Quebec that they are interested in immigrating. The Quebec government will then invite selected candidates to submit an application.

Applications are a two stage process. Selection and Submission. Selection occurs at the provincial level, while admission occurs at the federal level. Our immigration experts can guide you on the best program for you!

Quebec application process


All Quebec immigration programs require the following two stages in order to complete and receive your Quebec permanent residence.

  1. Apply to the government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Quebec [CSQ]). This certificate shows that you have been accepted by Quebec as an immigrant.
  2. Once the province of Quebec has chosen you and issues you your CSQ certificate, you must then apply to immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to finish your permanent residence federal application.

We can help


Speak with a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). We can help assist by applying on your behalf to the Canadian authorities. Our Canada immigration Lawyers will navigate with you hand by hand the often confusing immigration bureaucracy. We look forward to helping achieve your Canadian dream!

Let’s get started on your Canada Visa Application.

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