Categories of Permanent Residence Under Express Entry | My Consultant

Categories of Permanent Residence Under Express Entry

Since Express Entry’s three categories of permanent residence applications are classified as “economic,” they rely heavily on work experience and language proficiency.

Canada has three categories of permanent residence applications that fall under the Express Entry system. Since these categories are classified as “economic,” they rely heavily on the applicant’s skilled work experience and language ability. In this article, I will discuss the requirements for each category. 

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

This category is most suitable for overseas applicants who have not worked in Canada in a skilled occupation. Some international students and foreign workers who are in Canada may also choose this category if they have not gained the work experience required in another category, such as the CEC. 

1.  Work Experience

  • “Skilled,” usually managerial jobs or those that require completion of post-secondary education and/or on-the-job training and experience (classified as NOC 0, A, or B)
  • At least for one year
  • Gained within the past 10 years
  • Paid 
  • Full-time (at least 30 hours per week or 1,560 hours per year); equivalent in part-time (1,560 hours gained in two years); or full-time at more than one job (1,560 hours gained in one year by working at two jobs at the same time)
  • Continuous – cannot combine one four-month full-time job and a different eight-month job (or one with a different employer) to add up to one year
  • Performed the duties described in the appropriate NOC code for your occupation

2.  Language Proficiency

  • Either English or French
  • Language test result from an approved agency 
  • Test result must be less than two years old
  • Have at least the following score in all areas – Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking

    • IELTS: 6.0 
    • CELPIP: 7 
    • TEF: W & S – 310; R – 207; L – 249

3.  Education

  • International education: must have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) showing that studies are equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma or post-secondary credential (e.g. college diploma or bachelor’s degree)
  • Canadian education: must have high school diploma or post-secondary credential
  • ECAs can be obtained from one of the accredited Canadian agencies listed on the IRCC website

4.  Settlement Funds

  • Must show that you have enough money to support yourself and accompanying family members in Canada (amount depends on number of family members and changes every year)
  • Funds must be accessible by the principal applicant (spousal joint accounts are acceptable), transferable to Canada, and unencumbered (not borrowed or loaned)
  • You can be exempted from showing funds if you are currently working in Canada under a valid work permit and have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer

5.  Score of 67 in the Selection Factors

  • The FSW is a points-based application based on six factors: language proficiency, age, education, work experience, arranged employment in Canada, and adaptability
  • Each factor is assigned a score based on information for yourself (and your spouse, if applicable)
  • Must have 67 out of 100 points
  • For adaptability, you can get points for relatives in Canada, education and work experience in Canada (for you and your spouse), your spouse’s language proficiency, and arranged employment. You can claim a maximum of 10 points for this factor. 

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This is the most straightforward category of the three. It is usually for international students and foreign workers who are in Canada who have gained the required work experience. The CEC is not points-based and does not require proof of funds. 

1.  Canadian Work Experience

  • At least for 12 months
  • Gained within the last three years
  • Cumulative - can combine different jobs and work done for different employers to make up 12 months
  • Gained legally (i.e. with a work permit)
  • Skilled (classified as NOC 0, A, or B)
  • Paid 
  • Full-time (at least 30 hours per week or 1,560 hours per year); equivalent in part-time (1,560 hours gained in two years); or total of full-time at more than one job (1,560 hours gained in one year by working at two jobs simultaneously)
  • Performed the duties described in the appropriate NOC code for your occupation
  • Self-employment or work done while a full-time student cannot be counted

2.  Language Proficiency

  • Either English or French
  • Language test result from an approved agency
  • Test result must be less than two years old
  • CLB/NCLC 7 in all areas if Canadian work experience is under NOC 0 or A

Speaking
Listening
Reading
Writing
CELPIP
7 7 7 7
IELTS
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
TEF
310
249
207
310
  • CLB/NCLC 5 in all areas if Canadian work experience is under NOC B

Speaking
Listening
Reading
Writing
CELPIP
5
5
5
5
IELTS
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
TEF
226
181
151
226
Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
This category is for persons, whether in Canada or overseas, who have work experience and a valid job offer or Canadian licence in one of the following NOC occupational groups:

  • 72: industrial, electrical, and construction workers – e.g. welder, electrician, pipefitter, carpenter
  • 73: maintenance and equipment operation workers – e.g. auto mechanic
  • 82: supervisors and technical workers in natural resources, agriculture, and related production
  • 92: processing, manufacturing, and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • 632: chefs and cooks
  • 633: butchers and bakers

The work experience being claimed and the job offer or licence must be for the same occupation.

1.  Work Experience

  • At least two years
  • Gained within the last five years
  • Full-time (at least 30 hours per week or 1,560 hours per year); equivalent in part-time (15 hours per week or 1,560 hours gained in two years); or total of full-time at more than one job (30 hours per week or 1,560 hours gained in one year by working two part-time jobs)

2.  Language Proficiency

  • Either English or French
  • Language test result from an approved agency 
  • Test result must be less than two years old
  • Have at least the following scores:

Speaking
Listening
Reading
Writing
CELPIP
5
5
4
4
IELTS
5.0
5.0
3.5
4.0
TEF
226
181
121
181
3.  Job Requirements

  • Must show that you have the appropriate education, experience, or any other employment requirements (except having a provincial/territorial or federal licence) stated on the NOC for your occupation.

4.  Employment Offer OR Licence to Work in the Occupation

  • Employment Offer: can be made by up to two employers. Must be full-time for at least one year, continuous, and in one of the occupational groups listed above. It will be in a form of a new LMIA or a written job offer if you are working on a valid work permit based on a previous LMIA or the occupation is LMIA-exempt. 
  • Licence to work: can be issued by either a federal, provincial, or territorial authority in Canada


Requirements of All Categories

1.  Applicants must plan to settle outside Quebec
2.  Applicants and family members must be admissible to Canada

  • Not a security risk  
  • Was not convicted of a crime (if convicted, record must have been cleared or obtained a “pardon”) 
  • Did not commit human rights violations 
  • Do not have a serious health condition
  • Do not have a serious financial issue
  • Did not misrepresent oneself in previous applications

An application to immigrate involves numerous processes and gathering of satisfactory evidence to show that you meet all requirements. It can also become complex depending on your individual or family situation. It is important that the application submitted is truthful and complete, to prevent unnecessary delays and minimize the possibility of a refusal. I highly recommend seeking advice from an authorized and licensed immigration consultant to determine if any of these categories are suitable for you and to aid in a successful application. The matters discussed here are for general information only and do not constitute legal advice.