Express Entry

The Express Entry system offers foreign-skilled workers a pathway to Canadian permanent residence through various categories: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and Provincial Nominee Programs. To begin the process, eligible applicants register an expression of interest with Express Entry and await an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Importantly, a job offer in Canada isn't mandatory. Eligibility hinges on factors like education, work experience, and language proficiency in English or French.


The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is designed for foreign workers residing in Canada who seek permanent residence. Eligibility requires a minimum of one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada within the past three years, alongside language proficiency in English or French matching your work's skill level. To apply, you must register through the Express Entry system and await an invitation to apply for permanent residence.


If you have a year of skilled work experience, you can apply for permanent residency in Canada. Eligibility is determined by education, work experience, language proficiency, age, adaptability to Canadian life, and the presence of a job offer.


Canada offers diverse immigration opportunities through provincial programs, with each of its ten provinces and territories having unique eligibility criteria.


The Federal Skilled Trades Class enables skilled workers in construction and manufacturing to work and establish permanent residency in Canada through special visas.


The Express Entry program is your gateway to Canadian immigration. It covers various economic programs, including Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades. Once you apply, you enter a candidate pool where you're ranked based on factors like age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. The highest-ranked candidates receive Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residency in Canada. The best part? You don't need a job offer to apply; it's all about your qualifications and potential contribution to Canada.

Step 1:

Create an Express Entry Profile

Express Entry simplifies Canadian immigration in two steps. Firstly, you create a profile detailing your education, work history, language proficiency, and skills. Your profile is then entered into a candidate pool and ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). High-ranking candidates are periodically invited to apply for permanent residency, making the process straightforward and efficient.

Step 2:

Invitation to Apply (ITA)

In Express Entry, candidates compete using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, which assess factors like age, work experience, language skills, job offers, and education. The maximum CRS score is 1200, and additional points can be earned, such as through provincial nominations. High-scoring candidates are regularly invited to apply for permanent residence, with the required score varying based on pool size and qualifications. Upon receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA), candidates have 60 days to submit their permanent residence application, processed within six months.

Express Entry draws, occurring approximately every two weeks, are accompanied by the Minister's Instructions, specifying details and published minimum scores. If you still qualify and desire permanent residency, you can reapply to the Express Entry pool


We offer comprehensive assistance for your Express Entry journey:

Craft a personalized strategy based on your situation
Assemble and review necessary documentation
Prepare you for potential interviewsPresent expert legal submissions in support of your application
Act as your liaison with immigration authorities to prevent delays

With years of experience, TDJ Law specializes in Express Entry applications. Whether you're eligible and need help applying or have received an ITA and require assistance with your permanent residency application, please reach out for further details.

Common Refusal Reasons for Express Entry Applications

Express Entry refusals often occur due to work experience presentation issues or inadequate supporting documents. Inconsistencies like omitting a past job from previous applications can also lead to rejection. Immigration officers scrutinize details closely, so error-free applications with proper documentation are crucial. Rely on TDJ Law, experienced in successful skilled worker cases, to assist you.



Applicants earn points for their education, with scores ranging from 5 for a high school diploma to 25 for a Ph.D. If your education was obtained outside Canada, you must provide an approved agency's Canadian equivalency assessment report.

Language Proficiency

Skilled Worker applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French to earn language points. This involves submitting approved language test results assessing speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. The test must have been taken within two years before the application.

Work Experience

Skilled Worker applicants earn extra points for up to six years of full-time work experience in a skilled job. You can verify if your work qualifies as skilled by referring to the NOC listing.

Arranged Employment

Skilled Worker applicants in Canada with a work permit tied to a positive LMIA, and whose employer offers permanent employment, earn points for arranged Canadian employment. Points are also granted if an applicant has a job offer based on an LMIA, even if they are not currently working in Canada.


Applicants aged 18 to 35 receive maximum age-related points. Each year above 35 deducts one point from the age score. For instance, at 40, you'd have 5 points less in your age score.


Extra points for adaptability can be earned by applicants. These points come from factors such as arranged employment, the applicant's or their spouse's Canadian work or study experience, or having a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Canada.


When considering immigration to Canada, applicants have multiple pathways tailored to their unique circumstances. Express Entry, the federal government's primary program for skilled immigrants, stands out for its speed, transparent point-based system, and flexibility, with no mandatory job offer requirement. However, it's highly competitive, and the cut-off score can fluctuate.

Other immigration programs, such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and regional pilots, offer province-specific options that may be more suitable for certain individuals. These programs can be advantageous for candidates with lower CRS scores or specific skills but may have location restrictions or longer processing times.

Occupation Flexibility:

Unlike previous programs, Express Entry doesn't limit applicants to specific occupations, but there may still be caps, particularly for trades in the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Financial Proof:

Unless having a job offer, applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their families, with requirements varying by family size.


Canada prioritizes safety, making applicants with criminal records, certain medical conditions, or misrepresentation potentially inadmissible.

Common Questions

How long does the Express Entry process take?

After submitting an Express Entry application, processing times typically span around a year, varying with immigration authority workload and priorities. To continue working in Canada during processing, applicants may be eligible to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

What's the minimum score needed for Express Entry qualification?

Express Entry draws, along with the required scores for Invitations to Apply (ITA), are publicly accessible and vary depending on pool size, candidate qualifications, and the number of ITAs issued. For instance, in the September 14, 2021 draw, 2000 ITAs were issued for the Canadian Experience Class, with the lowest invited candidate having a CRS score of 462. In the January 5, 2022 draw, 392 ITAs were issued for the Provincial Nominee Program, with the lowest invited candidate having a CRS score of 808. Candidates can improve their scores even while in the pool by updating their profiles with new information.

How to qualify for full-time experience?

Full-time employment means working at least 30 hours per week, which can be fulfilled through a single full-time job or multiple part-time positions. For instance, working 30 hours a week for one year or 15 hours a week for two years both count as one year of full-time experience. This one-year requirement must be met within a three-year timeframe.

What is skilled work experience?

Your work experience must be in a skilled occupation, classified under Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Skilled work typically involves requiring some level of education or special training to perform. This experience can span various jobs and employers, doesn't need to be continuous, but should add up to one year of skilled experience within a three-year period.

What if I was self-employed?

Regrettably, self-employment, even if skilled and well-documented, doesn't qualify as the required work experience. All applicants must furnish convincing proof of their work experience, demonstrating an employer-employee relationship during the qualifying period.

Does work experience while I was a student count?

Unfortunately, work experience acquired while you were a student doesn't count. Only experience obtained after completing your course of study is eligible. Full-time students who complete their studies at a Designated Learning Institute in Canada can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), allowing them to work for any employer. After one year of skilled work on a PGWP, you may qualify for Express Entry under the CEC stream.

What are the language requirements?

Express Entry applicants must demonstrate moderate to high proficiency in English or French through a language test, regardless of their country of origin.

What about the Provincial Nominee Program?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) empowers Canadian provinces and territories to select immigrants based on regional requirements. Some PNP streams align with Express Entry, where a provincial nomination can add 600 points to a candidate's CRS score, significantly improving their ITA prospects.

Can I update my application after submitting it?

Updating your Express Entry profile is possible if your situation changes, such as gaining more experience or improving language skills. However, after receiving an ITA, it's crucial to keep your profile information accurate when submitting your final application.

What happens if I decline an Invitation to Apply (ITA)?

Turning down an ITA means your profile returns to the Express Entry pool, where you may receive another ITA in future draws. Declining an ITA doesn't harm your chances of receiving another one later.

Is there an age limit to apply under the Express Entry system?

While there's no strict age limit to join the Express Entry pool, age does affect the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Applicants earn CRS points for age until 45 years old, after which points gradually decrease. This can make securing an ITA more challenging as age increases.


Canada's Express Entry program is a model of efficiency, transparency, and flexibility in the world of global immigration:

Efficiency: By going digital, Express Entry eliminates the paperwork and long processing times that burden traditional immigration routes.

Transparency: The CRS, a straightforward points system, clarifies the selection process, allowing candidates to actively enhance their scores by understanding the key factors.

Flexibility: Unlike traditional pathways tied to specific job offers or employers, Express Entry grants candidates the freedom to choose their path, providing a more open and less restrictive immigration experience.

Express Entry comprises four key components:

Express Entry Pool: Candidates begin their immigration journey by creating an online profile, which captures their skills, work history, and language proficiency.
CRS Ranking: Profiles are ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), considering factors like age, education, and work experience.
Express Entry Draws: Approximately every two weeks, IRCC selects candidates with the highest CRS scores to receive Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
Permanent Residency Application: Post-ITA, candidates have 60 days to submit a comprehensive application, demonstrating their qualifications.

Each component brings candidates closer to their Canadian dream.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) offers permanent residence to foreign workers living in Canada. To qualify, applicants need one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years and language proficiency matching their work skill level. To apply, candidates must register through the Express Entry system and await an invitation before submitting their application.


Full-time employment means working a minimum of 30 hours per week. If the work was part-time, it can still be considered if it adds up to the required full-time experience (e.g., two years at 15 hours per week equals one year at 30 hours per week).


Work experience must be skilled, falling under Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or Skill Level B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Skilled work typically demands education or special training, distinguishing it from jobs requiring only basic training. The experience can be in any skilled occupation, not necessarily related to previous studies in Canada. It can span multiple jobs or employers and doesn't need to be continuous, as long as it totals one year of skilled experience within three years.


Work experience must not come from self-employment, even if it's skilled and documented. All applicants must furnish evidence of their Canadian work experience, demonstrating an employer-employee relationship during the qualifying period.


For students, only post-course work experience counts. Full-time students completing a program in Canada can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) lasting up to three years, enabling work for any employer. After one year in a skilled job on a PGWP, they can seek permanent residence under the CEC.


To be eligible, applicants must showcase moderate to high proficiency in English or French, aligned with their Canadian work experience's skill level. Language testing is mandatory to confirm their abilities, regardless of their place of origin.


Work experience must be gained during legal temporary resident status as a worker. Applicants residing in Canada must maintain legal temporary resident status when applying, even if they are not currently employed. Those who have left Canada but meet these requirements can still apply under the CEC.


After submission, a CEC application typically takes around one year to process, subject to immigration authority workload and priorities. Applicants wanting to continue working in Canada during this period can apply for a 'bridging' work permit, granted their CEC application has been received by immigration authorities and they apply for the bridging permit before their current one expires.


CEC applications are evaluated based on the criteria mentioned above, employing a pass-or-fail approach. There's no point system involved, and immigration officers have no discretion in the assessment.


Before applying for CEC, candidates must create an Express Entry profile and await an invitation. If their highest education was earned abroad, they should assess their foreign post-secondary credentials to determine their Canadian equivalence when setting up their Express Entry profile.



While Canada's federal immigration program is overseen by the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, each of the ten provinces also manages its own immigration program. These provincial programs nominate individuals for permanent residence based on specific criteria, primarily focusing on addressing skilled worker shortages within the province. The provincial nominations contribute to thousands of new permanent residents annually, many of whom are already residing, working, or studying in the province temporarily.


The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), administered by the Province of Ontario, streamlines permanent residence applications for foreign nationals already in Ontario as temporary residents, including workers and students. It can also assist temporary residents from other Canadian regions, such as visitors, as well as foreign nationals living outside Canada.


Ontario businesses can offer jobs to foreign workers, helping them immigrate to Canada. However, the business must meet specific criteria to make such offers. These include


Ontario Company Criteria:

The business must be active for at least three years.It must comply with labour laws.For GTA companies, a minimum of $1,000,000 in gross annual revenue and at least 5 Canadian citizen or permanent resident employees are required.Companies outside the GTA must have gross revenues of at least $500,000 and at least 3 Canadian citizen or permanent resident employees.

Job Offer Criteria:

The job should be permanent and full-time.It must fall under a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B).Salary should meet the occupation's prevailing wage.Hiring the foreign worker must not impact any labour disputes.The position must be advertised for a month to demonstrate the unavailability of Canadian candidates.The role must be vital to the company's operations and align with its business activities."

This summarizes the requirements for Ontario businesses to assist foreign workers in obtaining permanent residence in Canada through job offers.

Foreign Workers:

Foreign workers seeking permanent residence in Ontario must have a job offer in a skilled occupation from a pre-approved Ontario company.They should possess legal temporary status in Canada if already in the country.A minimum of 2 years of work experience in the intended occupation or a license in a regulated occupation is required.The application process involves two stages: OINP approval for both the employer and employee, followed by processing by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), including medical exams and background checks.

Foreign Students:

International students in Canada can also be nominated by an Ontario business.Eligibility criteria include completing at least half of their studies at a publicly-funded Canadian college or university, holding a two-year diploma or degree (or a one-year post-graduate degree or certificate), having a job offer in a skilled occupation (not necessarily related to their field of study), and applying within two years of graduating.Applicants may qualify for an open work permit while their permanent residence application is in process.

Ph.D. and Master’s Graduates in Ontario:

Foreign students who completed a Ph.D. or Master's degree in Ontario can directly apply for permanent residence.

Specific criteria vary between Ph.D. and Master's graduates, including residency, language proficiency, income, and savings requirements.

Programs may have limited openings, so applicants need to wait for the Ontario government to accept new applications.


Express Entry: A Fast-Track to Canadian Immigration

The Express Entry system expedites immigration for skilled individuals who can contribute to Canada's economy.
Eligibility includes programs like the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and some Provincial Nominee Programs.As an eligible candidate, you can create an Express Entry profile with assistance from an immigration lawyer.Once in the pool, employers and governments can select you and extend an invitation to apply for permanent residence.Your permanent residence application will be processed within six months from the date received by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada).THE FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES PROGRAMThe Federal Skilled Trades Program is part of Express Entry and comes with specific criteria. Applicants need a "certificate of qualification," showing they've passed a certification exam and meet trade requirements in a Canadian province or territory. To obtain this certificate, applicants must first create an Express Entry profile and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, based on a high score and ranking in the Express Entry pool.

Certificate of Qualification

In Canada, the Federal Skilled Trades Program requires candidates to obtain a certificate of qualification issued by the provincial or territorial regulatory body overseeing trades in their respective regions. These provinces and territories are responsible for the education and training of skilled tradespeople, setting the standards and guidelines for assessing and recognizing foreign credentials in specific trades. The regulatory body evaluates your training, trade experience, and skills to determine your eligibility for certification.In some instances, candidates may need to take an exam as part of the certification process, necessitating travel to the province for the examination. Alternatively, some candidates may be required to secure employment in Canada, where they can gain the necessary training and work experience before becoming eligible to take the certification exam.For detailed information and guidance on this process, candidates can contact the provincial or territorial regulatory body responsible for issuing certificates of qualification. Seeking assistance from an Express Entry lawyer in Canada can simplify the completion of your Express Entry profile and help you navigate the process of obtaining the certificate of qualification from the relevant regulatory body.

Humanitarian And Compassionate Grounds

Not Meeting Residency Requirements for PR Card Renewal: What to Do

As long as your permanent resident (PR) card is valid, you can return to Canada, and you'll be considered a permanent resident upon entry.

However, when it's time to renew the card, you must provide details of your travel history to demonstrate meeting the residency requirement. If immigration authorities are satisfied with your residency, they'll issue a new card valid for another 5 years. PR card processing can be expedited for urgent travel needs.

If you don't meet the requirements or your renewal is denied, here are your options:

Renewing PR Cards on Humanitarian Grounds:

If you need to renew your PR card but haven't met the residency requirement and don't qualify for exceptions, you can apply based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. This involves explaining the exceptional circumstances preventing you from meeting the residency requirement.

What Are Humanitarian & Compassionate Grounds? These grounds involve compelling reasons for not spending at least 2 years out of 5 in Canada. Examples include caring for an elderly or sick relative. The best interests of affected children also count.

Each case is unique, and a decision-maker will judge whether your explanation justifies renewing the card, despite not meeting the residency requirement.

Residency Appeals

Expert Representation for Your Residency Appeal

Our Canadian immigration and refugee lawyers have a proven track record of successfully representing clients facing residency obligation challenges. When preparing your case for the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), our lawyers will meticulously analyze your situation, highlighting key factors such as:

1. Reasons for Non-Compliance: We'll delve into the circumstances surrounding your breach of residency obligations, understanding the root causes.
2. Efforts to Return: We'll assess any steps you've taken to return to Canada, demonstrating your commitment.
3. Continued Connections: We'll emphasize your degree of establishment and ongoing ties to Canada, showcasing your continued connection.
4. Child's Best Interest: We'll address how the loss of permanent residency impacts your children, ensuring their best interests are considered.
5. Family Hardship: We'll outline the hardship and disruption your family may face if you lose your permanent residency.
6. Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds: We'll present any compelling circumstances unique to your case.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) stipulates a requirement for permanent residents to spend a minimum of 730 days in Canada out of every five years.

If a permanent resident, residing outside Canada, receives an unfavorable residency decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), they risk losing their status. In such cases, the decision can be appealed to the IAD within 60 days of receiving IRCC's decision letter.

For individuals currently outside Canada, but who have been in Canada at some point during the last 365 days, IRCC must provide a travel document to enable their return. In other situations, an application can be made to the IAD for a travel document. If the IAD determines an in-person hearing is necessary, it can order IRCC to issue a travel document for the purpose. Alternatively, the hearing may be conducted via telephone.

Here is how we can help

Navigating Your Immigration Case with Expertise

When dealing with immigration matters, it's crucial to follow a well-structured approach:

Tailored Strategy

Craft a strategy tailored to your unique situation. Every case is different, and a personalized plan maximizes your chances for success.

Document Review

Carefully gather and assess all necessary supporting documents. These documents play a vital role in establishing a favourable outcome for your case.

Interview Preparation

Be ready for any requested interviews. Proper preparation ensures you present your case effectively and confidently.

Legal Expertise

Benefit from expert legal guidance. Experienced professionals will provide strong legal submissions in support of your appeal, strengthening your case.


Maintain effective communication with immigration authorities. Timely and accurate communication minimizes the risk of delays that could affect your case's progress.

By following this comprehensive approach, you can navigate the complexities of immigration proceedings with confidence, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.