Migrating to Canada: Express Entry vs. PNP

If you are planning to migrate to Canada then you have made the right choice! Canada has become one of the most popular destinations for immigrants. The country’s reputation of being immigrant-friendly and its stable economy has made Canada very appealing amongst all immigrants and in recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of immigrants to Canada.

Canada has one of the highest immigration rates among the OECD nations with approximately 0.7 percent of the population immigrating every year. Economic Opportunity, Mosaic Culture and Superior Education have been a major draw that attracted many Indians to call Canada their home.

Canada Skyline

Canada has been rated as one of the most effective and efficient markets for labor. In the wake of an unstable economy of its neighbor – The USA, many immigrants are turning to other countries for new opportunities. Along with the strong economy, Canada has earned the reputation of being very tolerant towards its immigrants and this factor alone sets it apart from other destinations. Education is a matter of concern for many immigrant parents.

Canada has a very affordable education system which has contributed to its appeal to immigrants, especially from Asia as the country laws allow you to get free education for your kids up to the age of 18. With complementary healthcare insurance, employment insurance and childcare benefits, you can see why Canada is among the top choices for Indians or people of any other country to migrate.

Key Requirements for Migrating to Canada

Canada offers a plethora of employment opportunities to foreigners across its various provinces. There are a number of occupations that are highly in demand in Canada like Engineering, Healthcare, IT, Construction workers, Service sectors, etc. So, if you are looking for migration, Canada offers several ways to let you migrate to Canada.

However, there are 6 main categories of Canadian Immigration –

  1. Federal Skilled Worker
  2. Quebec Skilled Worker
  3. Provincial Nominee Program
  4. Family Sponsorship
  5. Business Immigrant Program
  6. Canadian Experience Class.

And, among them, the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Provincial Nominee Programs are most popular. Most of the Indian immigrants choose one or another route. In this article, I am detailing both these programs in front of you.

Federal Skilled Workers Program

Federal skilled workers program or FSWP is one of the best ways to immigrate to Canada and get a PR. FSWP is the top category in Canada’s Express Entry Immigration Program. The express entry is an online-based immigration program or system that is launched by IRCC or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada in January 2015. This Express Entry System was drafted to provide permanent settlement opportunities on the basis of their abilities and skills.

This system is a point-based arrangement for the visa that requires you to score a minimum of 67 points based on age, education, work experience, language competence etc. Here are the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker program. Check out if this applies to you!

work in canada

The requirements of the FSWP category are designed to evaluate applicants who are likely to become economically established in Canada after arrival. To be eligible you must either –

  • Have at least one year of continuous full time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment in the previous 10 years in one of the 347 eligible occupations as is defined under the National Occupational Classification system.
  • The work experience should be fall under the following categories – Managerial Occupations (Skill Type 0) Professional Occupation (Skill Type A) or Technical Occupations (Skill Type B) as defined by the National Occupational Classification system or NOC AND
  • Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid which comprises six selection determinants the current eligibility criteria is a score of 67 points. An application needs to secure at least 67 points to qualify for immigration to Canada. A satisfactory score, however, does not guarantee approval as Canadian Visa officers may use their discretion to approve or reject an application based on the substituted evaluation.
  • Undergo language testing from a recognized third party and demonstrate intermediate-level language proficiency in English or French matching the Canadian Benchmark of 7 points.
  • Possess suitable funding to financially support themselves and their dependents for 6 months after arrival in Canada. This is waived off if you have an approved job offer.
  • Undergo a successful security background and medical examination. Funds should be readily available to you. Equity on real property or money borrowed from others cannot be used as proof of funds. You must be able to use the funds to pay the cost of living for your family even though they are not traveling with you.
The factors that comprise the assessment are:
  • Education (maximum 25 points) – The points range from 5 points for completing high school to 25 points for completing a Ph.D. or a Master’s degree.
  • Any trade certificate under any apprentice program is also qualified to be eligible for the education section.
Language skills (maximum 24 points)
  • Both French and English are used as official languages in Canada. You need to qualify and receive the credit for efficiency in either one.
  • You will be evaluated separately for your abilities to listen, speak, read and write each official language.
Experience (maximum 15 points)
  • The maximum points are 15 and the points are arranged in the following manner –
  • 1 year- 9 points
  • 2-3 years – 11 points
  • 4-5 years – 13 points
  • 6 years or more- 15 points.
Age (maximum 12 points)

The points are organized in the following manner

  • Under 18 year- 0 points
  • 18-35 year- 12 points
  • 36 years – 11 points
  • 37 years- 10 points
  • 38 years – 9 points
  • 39 years – 8 points
  • 40 years – 7 points
  • 41 years – 6 points
  • 42 years – 5 points
  • 43 years – 4 points
  • 44 years – 3 points
  • 45 years- 2 points
  • 46 years – 1 point
  • 47 years and older – 0 point.
Arranged Employment (maximum 10 points)

You are eligible to get this visa if

  • You have worked full time for at least one year in the same occupation that you are applying for, for at least one year within the past 10 years in the skills 0, A, or B and
  • Fall in the occupation list approved by the NOC or
  • Have a job offer already arranged in the country or
  • Are an international graduate who has enrolled for the PHD program in Canada and
  • Qualify for the minimum English requirement as per the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) the minimum required score is 7.
  • Do not have any criminal records
  • Have a Canadian diploma, Bachelor, trade certificate or a Foreign Qualification assessed by an agency approved by Canada immigration and citizenship.
Adaptability (maximum 10 points)
  • This category evaluates an applicant’s capability to adapt to living in Canada, including previous experience working or studying in Canada or having a family in the country.

All these points earned from these sections, along with the other requirements such as security clearances and medical examination sums up the bulk of the requirements to come to Canada under the skilled worker category through the express entry system.

Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)

Another alternate way to speed up the process of immigration to Canada is through the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). A PNP program is made up of a partnership between the Government of Canada and provincial governments to select foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to Canada in that particular province. Most of the Canadian provinces have agreements in place to take part in this program. Under the terms of these agreements, provinces may nominate an aspirant who is skilled in occupations that are in high demand or who otherwise can make important contributions to the province.

Canada PR PNP

If you are interested to immigrate to Canada under the PNP you need to apply for a PNP certificate to the provincial government where you would like to reside. Each province has different requirements based on particular needs. After receiving the Provincial Nomination Certificate you will be required to apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa. A Provincial nominee receives priority processing for their permanent residency applications. The following provinces allow Provincial Nomination

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan

The main difference between Express Entry and PNP for Canada is that the Express Entry Skilled worker program is under the federal program and is operated by the federal government of Canada and the applicant is selected based on the eligibility criteria mentioned by the federal government whereas the PNP requires an aspirant to have a job from a company in Canada.

Beware of Scammers

There are many job scams and you might find many dubious agents promising you a guaranteed job in Canada which actually does not exist. When looking for work it is important to be aware of the types of jobs and employment scams that exist. These fraud agencies often promise a lot of income for little or no effort. They might even ask you to pay for training materials before providing employment.

Scam Alert

You will find many online job sites especially free sites like Craigslist are popular forums with the cheaters. You might find part-time jobs or entry-level job categories; however, it can exist in all job types. Here are some warning signs by which you can recognize a job scam.

  • You are offered a job without any interview
  • The company asks you to wire money or asks for credit card information
  • You are promised a high salary without much work.
  • The company asks to pay for a credit report as a part of their application process or wants you to pay for any kind of training.
  • You receive a quick response to your email stating that your resume has been reviewed when you did not even send your resume.
  • You receive a job offer without any job contact information. A real job will provide you with the contact details like contact email, valid company website and company address.

You can avoid such online job scams by

  • Checking the name of the company and the address to send the resume along with the email address and phone number by adding the word scam and running a search on the search engine.
  • Doing your homework by checking the websites and doing research on the company before responding. Check if the company is legitimate by searching the company on social sites like Linkedin to find existing employees.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails from any shady or dubious employer even if the email seems to come from very renowned companies. Phishing emails are crafted with the intention to steal your personal as well as your financial information.
  • Be careful of those emails that come from employers who ask you to pay fees to get a job. No real employer or employment agency will ask you to pay a fee before you start working. Any agency that asks for payment for specialized job training for any kind of guaranteed job or background or credit checks or any form of application processing or transportation costs should be avoided as they probably are scammers.
  • By not providing any kind of personal information unless you have been offered a job in writing and receive a copy of the contract.

Canada is a great country that has something to offer to the immigrants of every class, category and occupation. The points mentioned above will give you the necessary tips which you may consider while applying for a PR in Canada. Feel free to check them out while considering your settlement in the Great White North.

Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.