Express Entry information from Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Update – April 2017:
Please note that these responses are from a workshop held by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (now Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada or IRCC) officials in early 2015. While some responses and links are still valid, you should review current information available through IRCC.
Those that attended the workshop during the winter term with representatives of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to learn about the Express Entry application management system for Canadian permanent residency applications got some general information about the process but also had some questions that CIC officials needed to take some time to answer. This post includes the answers that they sent us.
As a post-doctorate fellow, am I awarded points for a contract job offer?
In order to be awarded points, the job offer must be permanent, non -seasonal, and supported by an LMIA.
However, an individual may get points for work experience in Canada. Source: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=855&t=6.
Does part-time work outside of school hours count toward the CEC?
Self-employment and work experience gained as a full-time student does not count under the CEC. However, a student can accumulate part time work hours using a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Below are the requirements for part time hours:
15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1560 hours)
30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1560 hours)
You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we will not accept your application.
If your existing work permit is about to expire you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. Bridging open work permits allow qualified applicants to keep working while they await a final decision on their permanent residence application.
Which program is better to apply to, PNP or EE? Why are these two programs separate channels to applying for permanent residence?
Unfortunately, Ontario has not integrated PNP and EE at this time. One advantage of the PNP for graduate students is that a candidate can provide proof of completion of a graduate degree without having a job offer.
What program best leverages overseas industrial experience?
The Federal Skilled Worker program would be the best fit.
Can you tell me more about the PNP?
More information about Ontario’s PNP can be found at http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/pnp/OI_PNPSTUDENTS_APPLY.html.
PhD students scored higher points in the older system, but this has changed with EE. Why?
There were not any special provisions under the PhD stream so that they did not have to meet the 67 points under the FSW nor did it exempt them from the minimum eligibility criteria (1 yr work experience, CLB 7 and Canadian credential or ECA).
The PhD stream was an eligibility stream under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Any individuals who came through the PhD stream of the FSW were still required to meet the eligibility criteria of the FSW, including the one-year of work experience. This was difficult for many PhD students, as is mentioned above, since it’s difficult to accumulate this experience when they’ve spent the majority of their life studying.
The candidate would still be able to qualify for the FSW under EE, should the applicant meet the program criteria – and they would need to get an ECA for their Masters if it was obtained outside of Canada (this would have still be the case under the PhD stream, since it would be highest level of a completed credential).
Can experience as an RA/TA (NOC code 4012) count toward the FSW and CEC programs?
You may be able to count experience as a teaching, research or lab assistant at a post-secondary educational institution, (see National Occupation Classification 4012) toward the work experience requirement, depending on the eligibility criteria of the programs.
If after submitting your Express Entry profile you are invited to apply, you must show that you did the job as described in the occupational description of the NOC, meaning that you did all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed. If you do not show that your experience meets the description in NOC, your application will be refused.
To be considered under the Canadian Experience Class:
You cannot count work experience you gained while enrolled as a full-time student. Your work experience must have been gained while on a valid work permit, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit.
You must have gained the equivalent amount of experience as someone who worked full-time for at least one year (1,560 hours) in the three years before you submit your Express Entry profile.
To be considered under the Federal Skilled Worker Program:
Your work experience must have been full-time (or the equivalent in part-time hours), worked continuously and paid, for at least one year in the same occupation.
If you have obtained a diploma or a degree, do you still need to take a language test?
To meet the eligibility criteria for one of the skilled worker programs under Express Entry:
when creating your Express Entry profile, you must fill in all the information related to the language test you took for your first and, if applicable, second official languages.
The test must be a third-party language test from an agency approved by CIC.
If you apply under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in a semi- or low-skilled job, the province will require you to complete a third-party language test before they nominate you.
Do you have to register with the Job Bank before creating an EE profile?
You can register with the Job Bank before or after creating an Express Entry profile.
Anyone who does not already have a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if you need one), or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Job Bank will help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers in Canada.
How does a post-doctorate fellow obtain a “bridging open visa” and what is the employer’s role in this process?
More information about Bridging Open Work Permits can be found at
Does my spouse get any points for international work experience?
At this time spouses are not awarded points in your Express Entry profile for foreign work experience.
Is it true that PhD students must stay in Canada for 2 years before applying to EE?
No, this is not true. Candidates can create a profile at any time.
What is a “certificate of eligibility” to work in the province?
It is a document issued by the body that governs trades in a Canadian province or territory. It proves that a person is qualified to work in a certain skilled trade. This means that they have passed a certification exam and meet all the requirements to practice their trade in that province or territory.
Depending on the province, this certificate may be called a “certificate of qualification” or a “qualification certificate.”
Is it possible for EE draws to break down the number of applicants extended an ITA under each program and the number of applicants who subsequently become permanent residents? By providing more detailed statistics, CIC can start building students’ confidence and trust in EE.
CIC is working on determining what information to provide and how often and figuring out the approvals required to release that information.
For more information about Express Entry, visit: