In this comprehensive guide, we break it down in simple terms to help you navigate the path to Canadian immigration.
What is Canada Express Entry?
It’s the fast track to becoming a Canadian permanent resident, processing applications in as little as six months.
There are three primary streams within the Express Entry system:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP): Designed for those with skills and experience in specific job categories.
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC): Ideal if you’ve already worked in Canada and want to continue doing so.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP): Tailored for skilled trade workers.
Now, let’s break down what type of work experience can set you on the path to calling Canada your new home.
This program is for skilled workers from around the world. To qualify, your work experience must meet specific criteria.
National Occupation Classification (NOC) Categories
Your work experience should fall into one of these four NOC TEER – Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities – categories:
- TEER 0
- TEER 1
- TEER 2
- TEER 3
These categories group jobs based on their skill level.
Your work experience should match the NOC job you’re applying for. In other words, if you’re applying for a specific job, your past work should relate to that job.
The experience you’re counting must be paid work. This can be in the form of wages or earned commissions. Volunteer work or unpaid internships won’t count.
Minimum Work Duration
You need at least one year of continuous work in the last ten years. That’s around 1,560 hours total, equivalent to working 30 hours per week for 12 months. You have a few options to meet this requirement:
- Full-time at one job: 30 hours per week for 12 months.
- An equal amount at part-time jobs: For example, working 15 hours per week at two different jobs for one year (1,560 hours) also qualifies.
- Full-time at more than one job: Similar to the first option.
No Volunteer or Unpaid Internships
To qualify, your experience should be from paid positions. Volunteer work and unpaid internships won’t make the cut.
Special Tip for Students
If you worked during your studies and meet specific conditions, that experience might count toward FSWP eligibility. Keep an eye out for those conditions!
You must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the past three years. This is an essential requirement.
The job you did in Canada must belong to one of these NOC categories:
- TEER 0
- TEER 1
- TEER 2
- TEER 3
Paid Work Only
Your work should be paid; volunteer work and unpaid internships won’t count.
No Self-Employment or Student Work
Special Exemption for Physicians
If you’re a physician providing publicly funded medical services in Canada, there’s a special rule for you. You won’t need to follow the usual self-employment conditions.
FSTP is for skilled trades workers. To qualify, your work experience should meet these conditions:
You should have two years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled trade. This experience should be within the five years before your application submission.
Specific NOC Groups
Your work experience must fit into specific NOC groups related to skilled trades.
Paid Work Only
Just like in the other programs, your trade-related experience must be from paid positions. Volunteer work and unpaid internships won’t make the cut.
Qualified to Practice the Trade
To be eligible, you must have been qualified to practice your trade independently during the time you gained your experience. If you weren’t qualified, your FSTP application might be refused.
Eligible NOC Groups
Here are the NOC groups that qualify for FSTP:
- Major Group 72: Technical trades and transportation officers and controllers (excluding Sub-Major Group 726).
- Major Group 73: General trades.
- Major Group 82: Supervisors in natural resources, agriculture, and related production.
- Major Group 83: Occupations in natural resources and related production.
- Major Group 92: Processing, manufacturing, and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers.
- Major Group 93: Central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors (excluding Sub-Major Group 932).
- Minor Group 6320: Cooks, butchers, and bakers.
- Unit Group 62200: Chefs.
Why Does Work Experience Matter?
You might wonder why work experience holds so much weight in the Express Entry process. Well, here’s why:
Skills Assessment: Work experience helps Canada assess your skills in your chosen field. It proves you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for.
Economic Contribution: Canada wants immigrants who can contribute to its economy. Work experience shows you have the potential to do just that.
Integration: If you’ve already worked in Canada, you’re more likely to integrate seamlessly into the Canadian workforce and society.
Understanding what qualifies as eligible work experience is your first step toward a successful Express Entry application.
By ensuring your work experience aligns with the program’s requirements, you’ll be well on your way to making Canada your new home.
The Canadian dream could soon become your reality. Good luck on your journey to Canada!