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Things to Know about Canada’s Express Entry Program

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The Canadian Express Entry Program is an immigration system that ranks eligible candidates in an organized manner. It is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The program focuses on accepting skilled workers through three federal economic programs: Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSCT). Candidates with the highest rankings have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Determine Eligibility

To be eligible for the Express Entry pool, candidates must meet the requirements of one of the three federal economic programs:

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  • Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC): For skilled workers without a job offer, the minimum requirements include at least one year of working experience, education equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma, language ability at Canadian Language Benchmark 7, and a minimum of 67 FSW points.
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC): This program requires at least 12 months of skilled working experience in Canada, language proficiency at Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or 5, and work in National Occupational Classification level 0, A, or B occupations in the last three years.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSCT): Designed for experienced tradespeople, this program requires language proficiency at Canadian Language Benchmark 5, two years of skilled trade work experience in the last five years, and either a job offer or a certificate of qualification in the trade from a Canadian authority.

Calculating the CRS Score

Once the requirements of a federal economic program are met, candidates enter the Express Entry pool. Each candidate receives a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on core points (maximum 600) and additional points (maximum 600). The factors considered include age, education, language ability, work experience, spouse/partner credentials, transferable skills, and additional factors like a job offer or family connections. The highest CRS score achievable is 1200. Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency, and the threshold varies depending on the pool of candidates at a given time.

How to Lift Your Chances?

To increase your CRS score, it is essential to focus on improving language test scores as language ability is highly valued. Valid English tests are IELTS or CELPIP, while TEF is used for French. Enhancing language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing can have a significant impact. Gaining additional work experience can also boost the score, especially in terms of skills transferability. Alternatively, actively searching for a job offer in Canada can enhance your chances, although it may require persistence and effort.

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The Duration

The Canadian Express Entry process is known for its speed. The timeline generally consists of three main stages:

  1. Getting the Express Entry profile: It takes a few months for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to process the documentation and calculate the CRS score.
  2. Receiving an ITA: If the profile is highly ranked, candidates may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) within the next 12 months. Upon receiving the ITA, the final application must be submitted within 60 days.
  3. Processing the application: Successful applicants who reach this stage undergo further processing, which typically takes less than six months on average.

By understanding these five key aspects, individuals can gain insights into how the Canadian Express Entry Program functions and determine if it aligns with their goals of immigrating to Canada and utilizing their skills.

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