Express Entry System – Skilled Worker Category

The Skilled Worker Category is one of the Independent Categories under which a client may apply for Permanent Residency for themselves and their immediate family. The Skilled Worker Category refers to Professional occupations, not only Construction or Jobs in the Trades, as the name may imply. Whether a client is currently working or studying in Canada or outside Canada, it is important to find out your options before starting any immigration application.

To qualify under the Skilled Worker Category, the main applicants need to have at least one year of full-time work experience (1560 hours/minimum of 30 hours per week) in a high skilled job – NOC O, A or B of the National Occupational Classification 2011 List.

To submit an Express Entry Profile, the main applicant needs to complete either the IELTS – General Exam or CELPIP General to assess their English Proficiency. The pass mark for the English Test is CLB 7. In addition, the main applicant will also need to have their education assessed by an Organization in Canada. The list of approved organizations is on the CIC website.

It is normally recommended that if the main applicant has a spouse, then the spouse should complete the English Test and Education assessment if necessary (again, find out your options before proceeding as there are costs involved with the assessments etc). Your spouse’s information may help to increase your score.
The main applicant is also assessed on their age, proof of funds (depending on the number of family members), work experience, Canadian Work Experience and Education (some clients may qualify without same). Once you have completed your English Test and Education Assessment, you will then need to complete an Express Entry Profile and Job Bank Account (for clients who do not have an LMIA). After you have completed your profile and Job Bank account, you will then be entered into the pool with other applicants. So far, the lowest score that has been selected from the pool is 447.

Your profile will remain in the pool for a year and if you are not given an ITA (Invitation to apply), then you would need to create another profile to re-enter the pool. If you are given an ITA you will have 90 days in which to submit all supporting documents and pay the applicable fees. Once you meet all the requirements IRCC will advise as to finalizing the landing process and documents.

Again, it is important to find out your options before proceeding with an application under the Economic Categories as the rules and process have changed over the years. We will look at the Canadian Experience Class in our next article.

Nadine Mahabeer is a weekly guest on “Immigration Mondays” on Nationwide 90FM in Jamaica – Monday mornings at 10am – streaming live on the Internet.