Foreign Workers

Canada has bright opportunities when it comes to employment. Read more and find out about the different programs for foreign workers to immigrate and work in Canada.

What is Express Entry?
The Express Entry is a new electronic system that has been implemented by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to handle applications for permanent residence under the following federal economic immigration programs:
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • The Canadian Experience Class

Provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs. An Invitation to Apply for permanent residence will be given to those who were accepted into the Express Entry pool. These invitations will be regularly issued throughout the year. The top candidates will be chosen regardless of when they were accepted. The 1st batch of invitations went out during the last week of January 2015.Upon receiving an invitation, you then have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence online.Ensuring strong links between economic immigration and Canada’s labour market is the goal of Express Entry.

The Express Entry Mechanism
The Express Entry System has two steps:

1. Potential candidates first have to create and complete an online Express Entry profile:
To do this, the candidates have to fill up a secure form, online, which requires them to fill up details about the following:
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Language ability
  • Education
  • Other details that will help CIC in assessing them

If the candidates meet the eligibility criteria for any one of the three programs supported under the Express Entry (as mentioned earlier), they will be added into a pool of candidates. The candidate pool comprises of all the candidates who have cleared this first test for express entry. This does not mean that the candidate is granted permanent residence or is issued an ITA (Invitation to Apply). A candidate can remain in the pool for a maximum of one year before receiving an ITA.

2. The highest ranking candidates present in the candidate pool are then issued an ITA (Invitation to Apply):
Based on the information filled by the candidates on their profile, they are given a rank among all other candidates using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Following this, candidates with the highest scores are issued an ITA.

Candidates are evaluated and given points based on the following factors:
  • A job offer
  • A nomination from a province or territory
  • Skills and experience

In order to boost their points, the candidates can have one or both of the following:
  • A job offer with LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)
  • A nomination by a province or territory

After receiving the ITA, the candidates have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence. CIC processes in six months or less all the complete applications that have all the necessary documents and information.

Finding your NOC
NOC stands for the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Since jobs are bunched together based on the types of work and types of job duties, the Canadian government uses the NOC, which is a system used for classifying jobs or occupations.

For immigration purposes, the main groups are:
  • Skill Type 0 (zero) – management jobs
    • examples: restaurant managers, mine managers, shore captains (fishing)
  • Skill Level A — professional jobs. People usually need a degree from a university for these jobs.
    • examples: doctors, dentists, architects
  • Skill Level B — technical jobs and skilled trades. People usually need a college diploma or to train as an apprentice to do these jobs.
    • examples: chefs, electricians, plumbers
  • Skill Level C — intermediate jobs. These jobs usually need high school and/or job-specific training.
    • examples: long-haul truck drivers, butchers, food and beverage servers
  • Skill Level D — labour jobs. On-the-job training is usually given.
    • examples: cleaning staff, oil field workers, fruit pickers

Your job and previous work must be skill type 0, level A, or B to use Express Entry and apply as a skilled immigrant.

Related Pages

Summary of points per factor for Express Entry
Skilled trades
Federal Skilled Class under Express Entry program
Canadian Experience Class
The Canada Caregiver Program is meant for people who are live-in caregivers and are qualified to take care of children, the elderly or the disabled under no other supervision.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The employer must provide the Caregiver with a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment).
  • A bipartite contract letter signed by the Caregiver as well as the employer is a must.
  • For Caregivers of children:
    • At least two years of Canadian work experience as a home childcare provider with a work permit.
    • Qualified at least one-year of a Canadian post-secondary credential or any other equivalent foreign credential.
    • Knowledge of either English or French.
  • For caregivers of people with high medical needs:
    • Minimum of two years of work experience in Canada as a registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse aide, orderly, patient service associate, home support worker or other similar occupation, with a work permit.
    • Qualified at least one-year of a Canadian post-secondary credential or any other equivalent foreign credential.
    • Knowledge of either English or French.

Changes and reforms

Starting from November 30, 2014, several changes and reforms have been made in the Live-in Caregiver Program. These changes and reforms have been made by the Canadian government in an effort to provide faster processing, family reunification, better career opportunities and better protection against potential workplace vulnerability and abuse. CIC plans to facilitate 30,000 permanent resident caregivers and their families in 2015.

Part of the new reforms is the elimination of the live-in requirement for caregivers. Now, caregivers are not required to stay at the private homes they work for in order to qualify.

The TFWP stands for Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This program can be specifically used by the employers for hiring foreign workers (non-citizens of Canada) to fulfill their job requirements.

There are two kinds of foreign workers in Canada: The ones who need an LMIA and the ones who don’t need an LMIA. LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. To put it in simple words, the LMIA must be provided by the employer to show whether Canadian citizens are available, or if there is a need for a foreign worker. The foreign workers who need an LMIA fall under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

The TFWP now implements new high and low-wage streams effective from April 30, 2015. This is the chart that will be used by the TFWP to assess the wages given by the employers to the foreign workers:

Province/Territory Wages effective April 30, 2015
2014 Wage ($/hour) Wages prior to April 30, 2015
2013 Wage ($/hour)
Alberta $25.00 $24.23
British Columbia $22.00 $21.79
Manitoba $19.50 $19.00
New Brunswick $18.00 $17.79
Newfoundland and Labrador $21.12 $20.19
Northwest Territories $30.00 $30.00
Nova Scotia $18.85 $18.00
Nunavut $29.00 $25.00
Ontario $21.15 $21.00
Prince Edward Island $17.49 $17.26
Quebec $20.00 $20.00
Saskatchewan $22.00 $21.63
Yukon $27.50 $27.06

Foreign workers falling below the median hourly wage will need to meet the requirements for the Low-wage positions stream otherwise they will have to meet the requirements for the High-wage positions stream.

Unlike earlier, the TFWP now considers wage instead of the NOC (National Occupation Code) as the main criteria for administering the TFWP. This is because wages constitute a more accurate reflection of occupational skill level and local labour market conditions.

The LMIA fees for every temporary foreign worker position requested by the employer will be $1000. New LMIA application form has been introduced from April 30, 2015. Therefore all LMIA applications submitted using the older versions have to be re-submitted in compliance with the new form. The new form is identified as LMIA application –High-wage and Low-wage positions (EMP5602).
This program has been currently paused and will be resumed in early 2016.

Job Requirements

  • The job received, should be full-time, permanent and from an Alberta employer.
  • Supervisors, foremen and tradespersons working in a compulsory or optional trade in Alberta are not included under the eligible jobs’ category.
  • Apart from that, clergy, elementary and secondary school teachers, professional athletes, dental laboratory bench workers, Semi-skilled workers who are not in an eligible AINP occupation, and Temporary foreign workers are also not acceptable for this program.

Employer Requirements

  • Registered in Canada and operating in Alberta.
  • Must be able to offer a meeting all the employment standards of Alberta.
  • The offered job must be classified as NOC 0, A, or B level.
  • Most jobs must receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the job they are offering to the applicant.
  • If the worker is not currently working in Alberta, must demonstrate that efforts have been made to recruit in Canada before offering job to the applicant.

Applicant Requirements

  • The applicant must have an absolute intention to live and work in Alberta permanently.
  • The applicant must possess the training, experience and licensing (if necessary) to perform the supposed job in Alberta.
  • The applicant must be able to show valid work permit if already working in Alberta or a proof of legal status if living abroad.
  • Plasterers, Drywallers, Managers/Supervisors in Food Service/Retail, and Upholsterers are now subject to the above skilled worker criteria.

Education Requirements

Post-secondary education or training is required to be eligible.

Job Requirements

The applicant’s occupation must be classified as NOC level 0, A, or B.

Applicant Requirements

  • Applicant must possess related work experience in his field.
  • The applicant needs to show the ability to pay for housing and living expenses in British Columbia which can be done by showing either the job income in province, address of residence in the province or number of dependents.
  • Proper licensing would be required in case of regulated jobs.

Employer Requirements

  • The employer’s business must be established in British Columbia.
  • The business should also already have permanent, full-time employees and must show proof of using good business practices in the past.
  • The employer must also meet domestic labour market recruitment requirements.
  • The employer will also have to present a written offer of employment with the company letterhead to the applicant. It should lucidly describe the applicant’s job duties, salary, working hours, list of additional benefits and collective bargaining agreements (if any).
  • The employer should also provide a statement to the applicant that the job is permanent and that the work is full-time.
For more detailed description please take a look at British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program page.

Job Requirements

  • Job must be a long-term, full-time job acquired after working continuously for at least 6 months as a temporary foreign worker or international student working graduate for the same employer.
  • Skilled Workers in Manitoba are not subject to a points-based assessment.
  • Periods of self-employment, unauthorized work or employment during a full-time study will not be included in considering your work experience.
  • Self-employed individuals, business owners, owner-operators and individuals providing services as independent contractors to the business supporting their application are NOT eligible to apply as Skilled Workers in Manitoba and any work experience in Manitoba gained in those capacities will not be considered when calculating the qualifying period of work in the province.

Employer Requirements

  • You employer must be registered under an act of the legislature of Canada and must be operating an established business in Canada.
  • Employer must show the capability of providing you with a long-term, full-time job in Manitoba.
  • In order to acquire a work permit by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, employee-employer relationship must be demonstrated.
The skilled worker stream of New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program is divided into two categories:
  1. Skilled Worker with Family Support
  2. Skilled Worker with Employer Support

Skilled Worker with Family Support (no job offer required)

Family Supporter Requirements:
  • He/she must be a close relative of the applicant.
  • The applicant must be a non-dependent child, brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild of the Family Supporter.
  • The family supporter must a permanent resident of Canada and must be living only in New Brunswick all the time.
  • Should have been employed in New Brunswick for at least 12 months when the applicant puts his application.
  • Should be financially sound.
  • Must be willing to participate in an interview with an official from the Population Growth Division.
  • He/she must help the applicant with the settlement plan, providing monetary help if needed.
  • He/she must not support more than one applicant at a time.

Applicant Requirements:
  • Aged between 22 and 50 years.
  • A close relative of the Family Supporter.
  • Have absolute intentions of living and working in New Brunswick.
  • Have sufficient resources in terms of funds to settle in New Brunswick.
  • A minimum of $10,000 CAD, and an additional $2,000 for each accompanying family member.
  • Have at least two years of continuous, full-time work experience in their intended occupation in New Brunswick, within the last five years.

Language Requirements:
Scores from an approved English or French language test must be provided as proof of possession of sufficient English or French language abilities to fulfill their job duties.

Education Requirements:
Necessary education to be able to successfully perform the intended job in New Brunswick.

Job Requirements:
Job must fall in any one of the following National Occupation Classification (NOC) skill levels:
Skill levels O, A or B
Skill level C, Category 1, 3, 7, 8, 9
Skill level D, Category 1, 3, 7, 8, 9

Skilled Worker with Employer Support

Job Requirements:
Job must be permanent, requiring full-time work and must be offered by a New Brunswick employer.

Applicant Requirements:
  • Aged between 22 and 55 years.
  • Having the ability to present the necessary licenses or certification needed to work in New Brunswick.

Language Requirements:
Scores from an approved English or French language test must be provided as proof of possession of sufficient English or French language abilities to fulfill their job duties.

Employer Requirements:
  • The employer must be operating in the province for at least one year.
  • Applicants in C or D level occupations must have already been working for the same employer issuing the job offer for at least one year prior to application.
  • Score a minimum of 50 points on a selection grid.
  • Employers also have to show a proof of the fact that they were unable to find a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada who could perform the job in question.
  • The employers must be able to assure that the job will abide bt provincial wage and employment standards.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program for Skilled Workers through Express Entry

The NLPNP will announce the criteria for the new NL Express Entry Skilled Worker category at some stage in 2015 and will be accepting applications thereafter.

Through this program, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to nominate candidates through the federal Express Entry system. It will have two categories:
  1. Skilled workers with job offer
  2. Skilled workers without job offer

Potential immigrants who have been accepted into the federal Express Entry pool will be able to apply to the NL Express Entry Skilled Worker category. Individuals nominated by the NLPNP will receive additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, resulting in an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Workers with specialized skills needed to assist a Manitoba employer will nominated under this category.

Applicant Requirements

  • Applicant must either have a valid work permit or must be eligible to apply for one.
  • Applicant must have work related experience and accreditations if required.
  • Applicant should willing and able to work and settle in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Applicant be possession of enough resources needed to live in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Job Requirements

The applicant must have a full-time job offer from a Newfoundland and Labrador employer with remuneration and benefits package which abreast the Newfoundland and Labrador employment standards.

Language Requirements

Provide proof of English or French proficiency. English language proficiency must be verified by one of the following:
  • An Affidavit of English Language Ability from the Newfoundland and Labrador employer who has offered the worker a job.
  • Education and/or training documents.
  • Workers in NOC level C and D occupations must meet minimum language requirements.
This category is for individuals with experience in an occupation classified as NOC level 0, A or B, also known as skilled occupations. Priority is given to these high skilled applicants. See below for further eligibility requirements.

Applicant Requirements

  • The applicant must be experienced in an occupation that has been classified as NOC level 0, A or B, which is also known as skilled occupations as priority is given to such highly skilled applicants.
  • If the applicant has been living in Canada then he/she must be able to present a proof of legal status.
  • The applicant must be between the ages of 21 and 55 at the time of application.
  • Applicant must be able to show proof for his intentions and ability to live and settle in the Province of Nova Scotia.
  • Applicant must also have 12 months of relevant work experience.

Job Requirements

  • The job must be full-time and permanent and offered by a Nova Scoria employer.
  • The job must have salary and benefits that meet Provincial employment standards.
  • The job must be in a position for which there is a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Job offers made to NOC level C or D occupations will be considered based on local labour market requirements and conditions.

Education Requirements

At least a high school level of education i.e. 12 years of study is required along with the necessary education, training, and licensing/certification needed to carry out the job duties in Canada.

Language Requirements

Meet language requirements for the program mentioned below:

For NOC levels 0, A or B – CLB level 5 in English or French
For NOC levels C or D – CLB level 4 in English or French

Employer Requirements

  • Employer must be permanently established in Nova Scotia and must have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years.
  • Must have the ability to issue a full time, permanent job offer to the individual applicant.
  • Must also provide proof of the efforts made to recruit a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position for the applicant is being employed.

Express Entry Skilled Worker stream

Language Requirements

Minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in French and CLB 6 in English, as demonstrated by results from a standardized language test recognized by the governments of Canada and Ontario;

Education Requirements

A Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report produced by a designated organization indicating that their foreign education is the equivalent of a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree.

Settlement Funds

All applicants must possess sufficient agile funds that are readily transferable in a convertible currency to cover settlement costs in Ontario. A proof of this must be shown by bank statements.

Applicant Requirements

  • When candidates register for Express Entry, they must indicate their interest in immigrating to either Ontario or “All Provinces and Territories.” They must also be eligible to enter the pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Minimum work experience for either the FSWP or the CEC criteria. Candidates who choose to be assessed against the FSWP criteria must have a minimum of one year of continuous and full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in continuous part-time paid work experience in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) level 0, A, or B occupation in the past five years from the date of the PT Notification of Interest from Ontario. This work experience must have been completed in one specific NOC occupation. Candidates who choose to be assessed against the CEC criteria are required to have a minimum of one year of cumulative and full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in part-time paid work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation in Canada in the past three years from the date of the PT notification of interest from OOPNP.
  • Intention to Reside in Ontario: All applicants must intend to reside in Ontario, as demonstrated by a statement of intent and indication of ties to Ontario.

Application Process

  • Candidates identified by the OOPNP will receive a PT Notification of Interest from Ontario by their MyCIC account inviting them to apply for the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program under French-speaking Skilled Worker Stream.
  • The candidates will have 45 days to make the application from the time they receive the invitation.
  • Upon the approval of the application, the candidate shall receive a letter from Ontario Provincial Nominee Program through his/her MyCIC account.
  • After receiving the notification, the candidate will have 30 days to accept the nomination from Ontario in the Express Entry system.
  • Candidates who obtain a nomination from Ontario through this stream will receive an additional 600 CRS points and an invitation to apply for permanent residence from CIC.

Nomination Quota

Sasketchewan Provincial Nominee Program will accept only 250 applications under Skilled Worker stream.

Applicant Requirements

  • Applicant must be living outside Canada or must have a proof of legal status in Canada.
  • Applicant must score at least 60 points on a 100 point assessment grid.
  • Applicant must possess at least a year of relevant work experience.
  • Score a minimum of CLB 4 in all language abilities (speaking, reading, writing, listening).
  • Provide proof for one of the following:
    • A permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation from an approved Saskatchewan employer; or
    • Proof that they meet the following requirements:
      • Field of education is in a skilled occupation
      • Completed post-secondary education of at least one year
      • If occupation is regulated, proof of appropriate Saskatchewan qualification
      • Proof of settlement funds and a settlement plan

Federal Skilled Worker

Federal Skilled Worker applications are assessed based on an applicant's ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada. From January 1, 2015 onwards, these applications are being processed through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Thus, all candidates eligible under this category must first make an online Express Entry profile.

The following are the requirements to be eligible to apply:

Education Requirements

The applicant must have completed a PhD in Canada from a recognized institution or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD at a recognized institution.

Applicant Requirements

  • The applicant must have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill lever 0, A or B); or
  • The applicant must qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer.
  • Applicant must show the presence of the required settlement funds to be able to live in Sasketchewan.
  • The applicant along with his/her dependents must undergo medical examinations and security clearances.

Language Requirements

The applicant must pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada's two official languages namely, English and French.

Processing Times

Processing times are different at different Canadian Immigration Visa office. 

Processing Fees
Processing times are different at different Canadian Immigration Visa office.

To qualify, the applicants must obtain at least 67 points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors such as:
  • Education: 25 points.
  • Language Skills: 28 total points out of which 24 are for the first official language and 4 for the second official language.
  • Work Experience: 15 points for paid skilled work experience acquired in the last 10 years. A minimum of 9 points is required.
  • Age: 12 points.
  • Arranged Employment: 10 points.
  • Adaptability: 10 points.

Applicant Requirements

  • The applicant must be a foreign national already working in Yukon and willing to get a Canadian Permanent Residency.
  • The applicant must demonstrate at least one year of experience in the relevant work field.
  • If the applicant is in Canada at the time of application he/she must be legally residing in the country.
  • If the applicant is in Canada on a study permit then he/she must provide proof for the same.

Employer Requirements

  • The employer must be registered and operating a business in the Yukon for at least one year, or must a recognized government body in the Yukon.
  • The employer must be able to provide remuneration which meets the Yukon standards.
  • The employer must possess and provide a copy of a valid business license stating that the company or business is registered in Yukon’s corporate registry.
  • Till the applicant is eligible for government health benefits, the employer must be capable of providing a similar free of charge health insurance to the applicant.
  • If the applicant is not already in Yukon, the employer must pay the cost of travel to Yukon from his/her residence abroad.
  • In case of the applicant’s not being able to obtain a permanent residency in Yukon, the employer must provide for return travel costs.
  • The employer must also verify previous work experience and qualifications of foreign worker before submitting an application.

Education Requirements

  • The applicant must possess sufficient education to fulfill his/her job duties.
  • The applicant must have gone through a year’s study for a certificate program and two years of study for a diploma or Bachelor degree program.

Language Requirements

  • The applicant must provide a proof of either English or French language proficiency.
  • The applicant must have studied English as a Second Language students at Yukon College with at least level 8 completed.

Express Entry for Skilled Worker Stream

Candidates identified by the OOPNP will receive a PT Notification of Interest from Ontario by their MyCIC account inviting them to apply for the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program under French-speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

The candidates will have 45 days to make the application from the time they receive the invitation. Upon the approval of the application, the candidate shall receive a letter from Ontario Provincial Nominee Program through his/her MyCIC account. After receiving the notification, the candidate will have 30 days to accept the nomination from Ontario in the Express Entry system.

The steps involved in using Yukon’s Express Entry system are:
  1. The employer finds an appropriate foreign national worker for the position in question.
  2. The employer offers a job to the worker after indicating that there is no Canadian or permanent resident who is ready, willing and capable for the position.
  3. The worker meets the requirements for one of the three federal economic immigration programs processed through Express Entry.
  4. The worker completes an online application in CIC’s Express Entry system and enters the candidate pool after which he/she receives an Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code (if needed).
  5. The worker shows a proof enough settlement funds to reside the Yukon Province.
  6. At this point, the Yukon Express Entry Application form has to be filled by both the employer and worker.
  7. If everything is found appropriate and passable, the worker receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence from CIC.
  8. Following this, the worker provides all necessary documents to CIC to complete the permanent residence application (e.g., criminal record check, medical report).
  9. The worker’s documents undergo a stringent verification by the CIC and Yukon’s Immigration Unit.
  10. Finally the worker receives permanent residence normally within six months of issuing a valid application.
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