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If you have skilled work experience, either in Canada or abroad, and you would like to move to Canada permanently, express entry may be for you! This popular immigration pathway provides a direct entry as a permanent resident. This means that you and your family can enter Canada to live work and study as PR's, without having to obtain any additional visas. With its popularity, this is also a very competitive program, and it's best to understand your chances of success from the start.

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Thinking of permanent residency?

If you are seeking permanent residency in Canada express entry is the first pathway to investigate! There are two components to express entry. First, you must qualify for one of the programs; Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker, and Federal Skilled Trades, as well as Provincial Nominee Programs. Next, if you qualify, you receive a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and enter a pool of candidates. The final step is receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada. Here are a few considerations for your Express Entry journey.


A profile can remain active in the express entry pool for 12 months, after the 12 months it will automatically expire. You are able to create a new profile to remain in the pool.

If invited to apply for PR, you will have 60 days to complete your application. IRCC aims to review and respond to most applications within six months, however processing time can take closer to one year.

Who can join you:

Through the express entry system, there will be a principal applicant. This is the person who has received the invitation to apply for PR through express entry. The applicant is allowed to bring thier spouse (including common-law partner) independent children. All family information needs to be disclosed when creating the profile, regardless of whether the family intends to join you or not.

How we can help:

Phoenix Canada offers tiered options for this pathway including assessing your chances, creating your profile, and applying for PR if invited.

Explore Express Entry

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This popular pathway can help temporary workers in Canada use their Canadian work experience to gain permanent residency. The eligibility requirements start as the following;

  1. minimum one year skilled work experience in Canada. This work experience must be:

  • obtained within the last 3 years

  • full-time work or equivalent hours in part-time work (1,560)

  • been gained while working in Canada under temporary resident status with authorization to work

  • skilled work experience must be either NOC 0 (managerial jobs), NOC A (professional jobs) or NOC B (technical jobs and skilled trades) 

 2.  meet the required language test results:

  • For NOC 0 or A jobs, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 is required

  • For NOC B jobs, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 is required

Self employment and work experience gained while studying do not count towards Canadian work experience. You must intend to settle outside of Quebec, and if you are a provincial nominee you must settle in that province or territory.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

This program is for people who have foreign work experience and want to immigrate to Canada permanently. You will need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • skilled work experience in a NOC 0, A or B position. This must be within the last 10 years, continuous for the equivalent of one year full-time (1,560 hours), and paid work.

  • language test results at a minimum of CLB 7 in all 4 abilities.

  • education at a minimum equivalent to a Canadian secondary institution (high school)


If you meet the minimum requirements the next step is to obtain a minimum of 67 points on the FSWP selection criteria. The section criteria assigns points based on the following:

  • age

  • education

  • work experience

  • language skills

  • potential job offer

  • adaptability

These points are different than the CRS points used in the express entry pool.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

This can be a pathway to PR if you are qualified in a skilled trade. In order to qualify you must have either; a one year job offer for full-time employment in Canada, or, a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian authority. 

Additional requirements are:

  • meet the required language levels. For all four abilities a minimum of CLB 7 for English, NCLC7 for French

  • minimum two year full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled trade within past five years (volunteer work and unpaid internships do not qualify)

  • meet the requirements for that skilled trade as set in NOC

  • enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada

Skilled work experience for the FSTP is organized under these groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades

  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades

  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production

  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators

  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks

  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers

You must intend to settle outside of Quebec, and if you are a provincial nominee you must settle in that province or territory.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Each province and territory in Canada have their own unique immigration programs. This allows them to target the areas of immigration that they need the most. There are two ways to use provincial nominee programs.

1 - explore the province or territories programs and apply for a nomination through one of them. If you receive a nomination, you create an express entry profile and show you have been nominated. 

2 - create an express entry profile and select the provinces and territories you are interested in. If the province or territory sends you a notification of interest, you can apply directly through their express entry and if you receive a nomination it will be offered through your online profile.

In both cases you must meet the eligibility requirements of the province of territory, and of one of the express entry programs. 

Provincial nominee programs require a genuine intention to settle in that province or territory. They are not to be used to only gain more points in express entry. You can investigate the provinces and territories and their respective immigration programs through our provincial nominee program page.

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