The Express Entry system provides pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers in Canada. Under this system, the government essentially invites potential skilled foreign workers to permanent residence to Canada and those already in Canada, an option to reside as a permanent resident, based on their skill and ability to contribute to the growth of the country.

The Express Entry has three economic immigration programs – Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSW”), Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FST”), and Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”). The provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool through the Provincial Nomination Program.

Each of the above immigration programs have different requirements. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSW”) requires a Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 or more, and Canadian or foreign experience in a management, professional or technical job for one year (continuous) in last ten years.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FST”) requires a Canadian Language Benchmark of 5 or more, Canadian or foreign experience in technical jobs for two years (continuous) in last five years, a valid job offer for a full time employment for a total period of at least one year or a “certificate of qualification” issued by the body that governs trades in a Canadian province, territory or by a federal authority.

The Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”) requires a Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 or more if an applicant’s occupation is in a management or in a professional field or 5, if the applicant’s occupation is in a technical field; and a Canadian experience in a management, professional or technical jobs for one year (continuous) in last three years.

The Express Entry program is broken down in the following steps:

Step 1: Take IELTS test and apply for an Educational Credential Assessment (“ECA”) from designated organizations such as World Education Services in Toronto. Both of the processes will take about 2 months or more, depending on the location you are taking the language tests and how soon your school/college provides transcripts to the designated organizations for the credential evaluation;

Step 2: Based on IELTS score and ECA, create an Express Entry profile and provide information with your skills, education, work experience, language ability and any other details;

Step 3: If you are nominated by a province or a territory or are among the top ranked in the Express Entry pool based on the skills and experience, you will receive an Invitation To Apply (“ITA”);

Step 4: After receiving ITA, you will have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence for the program you qualified;

Step 5: The Express Entry application for permanent residence is processed in six months or less after submitting a complete application;

Step 6: Once the Express Entry application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (“COPR”) and a permanent resident visa, if applicable.

Step 7: On arrival into Canada, an Officer from Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) will ensure the validity of COPR (if you entered Canada within the validity dates), valid passport and proof of funds to support yourself and your family. On satisfying all the requirements, you will be allowed to enter Canada as a Permanent Resident.

At NPZ, our U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law Specialists seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our offices at 201-670-0006 (x100). We look forward to being able to assist you.