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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Express Entry processing

for Overseas Skilled Workers restored

by Michael Scott

On July 6, 2022, Canada’s immigration minister, Sean Fraser, announced that Express Entry has resumed all programs including those for overseas applicants. The change means that skilled worker applicants, whose processing was suspended since 2020, will now be invited to apply for permanent residence.

In a written statement to CIC News, Minister Fraser said, “Today I am pleased to announce that Express Entry draws have officially resumed, and applications will be processed at our six-month processing standard. I want to thank the candidates from around the world for their patience, as we worked to reduce the backlog before resuming Express Entry draws. I look forward to welcoming skilled workers who are essential in addressing Canada’s labour shortages.”

The Minister’s announcement is welcome and Express Entry is starting to get back to regular processing. Express Entry is comprised of applicants from three differing processing streams: the Canada Experience Class (CEC) who have provided the bulk of invitees since 2020; the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). With the resumption of regular processing for skilled worker applicants from overseas it is timely for potential applicants and supportive family and friends in Canada to consider the requirements for the FSWP.

The FSWP is the most popular pathway for skilled workers overseas who wish to immigrate to Canada. The program invites skilled workers with the required work experience, education, proven language ability in English or French, and other human capital factors, to become economically established in Canada. The FSWP, which was first introduced in 1967 as a way of bringing in skilled workers, is now the cornerstone of the country’s requirement strategy for overseas skilled worker applicants.

The importance of the FSWP is not to be minimized because it represents the best way for overseas applicants, who have not studied or worked in Canada, to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must meet the following criteria: a minimum of one-year skilled work experience in the last ten years in a skilled occupation at 0, A or B skill level; a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 on their English or French language test in reading, writing, listening and speaking; at least one Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma or degree) or foreign credential and Education Credential Assessment (ECA) report; get at least 67 out of 100 points on the FSWP grid, which includes points for age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability, and adaptability. They must also meet the settlement funds requirement in order to support themselves upon arrival, based on family size and Low-Income Cut-Off numbers. The point’s grid must be met to qualify under the FSWP.

Potential candidates should complete a self-assessment to determine if they meet basic eligibility before starting the process with an online Expression of Interest (EOI) submission. Once the profile has been submitted, it will generate a numeric score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). A CRS score is intended as an objective way of ranking candidates against each other. The CRS helps immigration authorities assess the potential for applicants to become economically established in Canada. Candidates who receive higher scores are more likely to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Once an ITA is received, the candidate has 60 days to submit their application.

The Express Entry route is great if you are qualified to apply, are issued an invitation to apply, and submit the application within the time frames provided. Unless there are admissibility issue on medical, criminal or security grounds, there is a good chance that you can expect a permanent resident visa with six months of the submission of the completed application. Good luck on your Express Entry submissions.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: