What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is the system that is used to monitor applications for Canadian permanent residence from foreign skilled workers. If you are interested in moving to Canada from the UK then the Express Entry route may be the best option for you, this is because it is one of the quickest ways to obtain permanent residence in Canada.
There are 3 federal economic immigration programs that are part of the Express Entry system, they include the:
Each program has its own set of requirements minimum requirements that you must meet. However, if you are able to meet these requirements then you will be entered into an Express Entry pool where you will also be ranked according to your age, education, language ability, work experience, and other factors. Express Entry is very competitive and only the highest-ranking applicants are invited to apply for permanent residency.
Skilled workers can also be nominated for Express Entry by a territory or province under one of the Provincial Nominee Programs. Each province and territory in Canada has its own “streams”. These are immigration programs that target specific groups according to the needs of the province, you can apply for some of these Provincial Nominee Programs through Express Entry.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for skilled workers who have work experience outside of Canada. UK citizens can be eligible for this route if they have experience working in a skilled role in the UK or in another country outside of Canada.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program has minimum requirements for work experience, language ability and education. The eligibility requirements include:
- Work experience: You must have had at least 1 year of continuous work experience in a skilled role in the last 10 years. You must have worked a total of at least 1,560 hours, this could be in a full-time or part-time job.
- Language ability: You must take and pass an approved language test in English or French. You will be tested on your writing, reading, listening, and speaking and must score at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all abilities.
- Education: If you went to school in Canada you must have a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian high-school or post-secondary educational facility. If you went to school in the UK or another country then you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization that proves your education is equivalent to the above Canadian qualifications.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for overseas workers who are qualified in a skilled trade. There are many skilled trades included under this route such as construction trades, agricultural trades, manufacturing trades and more.
The requirements for the Federal Skilled Trades Program differ from that of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. They include:
- Work experience: You must have had at least 2 years of work experience in a skilled trade within the last 5 years, this can be from a full-time role of the equivalent number of hours in a part-time role.
- Language ability: You must take an approved language test in English or French and must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark 4 for reading and writing.
- Education: Unlike the Federal Skilled Worker Program, there is no minimum education requirement for the Skilled Trades Program, however, if you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or a Canadian certificate, diploma or degree then you can increase your rank in the Express Entry pool.
To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program you must also either have a valid job offer for full-time employment in Canada for at least a year or a certificate of qualification in your skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have work experience in Canada. For this Express Entry route, you must have had at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada within the last 3 years. Your work experience must have been gained whilst you had temporary resident status and work authorization.
As well as the work experience requirement you must also demonstrate your language skills in either English or French. The language level you must meet varies depending on the type of skilled job you do. You must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0 or A jobs (these are managerial and professional jobs) or Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs (there are technical jobs and skilled trades).
Like the Skilled Trades Program, there is also no minimum education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class but you can improve your Express Entry score with educational qualifications.
How to apply for Express Entry
The Express Entry application process is the same for all of the Express Entry Programs. You must first begin your application by signing up for an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account and completing your Express Entry profile. When completing your profile you will be asked to give information about yourself and this will be used to determine whether you are eligible for any of the programs, if you are eligible then you will be accepted into the pool of candidates.
Once you are in the pool the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will rank you on the following factors:
- Level of education
- Language proficiency
- Work experience
You can also score CRS points for other things such as having a job offer, having siblings that live in Canada or even through the language proficiency, education and Canadian work experience that your spouse or common-law partner has. The maximum number of points you can score is 1,200.
The highest-ranking candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residency. If you receive an invitation to apply then you must complete your application within 60 days. You can apply by signing into your IRCC account, completing the application form and submitting your documents.
Documents required for Express Entry
When you submit your Express Entry profile you will also need to submit a number of supporting documents. The documents that you will need to supply include:
- Your passport or another travel document
- Your language test results
- Proof that you meet the education requirements if applying through the Federal Skilled Worker route or if you want to get CRS points for your education
- Provincial nomination if you have one
- A written job offer from a Canadian employer if you have one
- Proof of your work experience
- Your certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a Canadian province or territory
- Proof of funds
Documents required for Canadian permanent residence
If you are invited to apply for permanent residency then there are also additional documents that you will be required to submit alongside your application to become a permanent resident, they include:
- Police certificates
- Medical exams
- Proof of funds
You will also need to provide documents to prove that the marital status you have declared is true. This means that you may need to submit a common-law union form, marriage certificate, divorce certificate or death certificate.
If you are declaring dependent children then you will also need to provide their birth certificates and you will also need to provide adoption certificates for any adopted children.
How can Total Law help?
If you are planning to move to Canada from the UK then our immigration lawyers can help you. Applying for Express Entry can be a complex process and although Express Entry is one of the best ways to move to Canada it is also very competitive.
Our immigration lawyers can assess whether you are eligible for any of the Skilled Worker programs under the Express Entry system and can also advise you about how to get a good CRS score, increasing your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residency.
Our lawyers are experienced in assisting with a range of Canadian immigration applications. We can help you to complete your Express Entry Profile and can also assist you with the permanent residency application form.
For more information about the services we provide get in touch today on 0333 305 9375.
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Becoming a permanent resident gives you many of the same rights as a Canadian citizen. As a permanent resident, you can live, work and study in Canada permanently. Permanent residency can also apply for public health insurance that will cover most healthcare services.
You can also be eligible to apply to become a Canadian citizen after living in Canada for a certain period of time.
Yes, British citizens can be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Express Entry is one of the quickest ways to become a permanent resident but there are also other routes including family sponsorship and business immigration programs.
Yes, even though the UK shares one of Canada’s official languages all applicants for Express Entry must provide proof of language proficiency in English or French by providing official test results to the Canadian government.
The processing fee for an Express Entry application is $825, as well as this you will need to pay the right of permanent residence fee which is $500. This brings the total fee to $1,325. You will also need to pay the $1,325 fee for your spouse or partner if you intend to bring them to Canada and there is an additional fee of $225 for each dependent child.