Hire a skilled worker or tradesperson

We choose skilled workers as permanent residents based on their ability to take part in Canada’s economy.

Express Entry is a system used to manage applications for:

Foreign workers who are interested in these programs first have to:

  • complete an online Express Entry profile and
  • meet the criteria to get into the pool of candidates.

If you would like to hire a new worker from abroad, or support one of your current workers in getting permanent residence, they must apply through Express Entry.

As an employer, you can improve their chances of being invited to apply by making a qualifying job offer in a skilled job.

Criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), a candidate must:

  • have at least one year of qualifying skilled work experience in the last 10 years
  • have valid third-party language test results (that show they meet the language skill level)
  • have:
    • a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree or
    • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report showing their foreign education is equal to a Canadian one
  • meet the pass mark of 67 out of 100 points for the six selection factors for skilled workers.

See the full list of FSWP eligibility criteria, including a detailed list of the six selection factors.

When we assess an application for the FSWP, we use a grid of 100 points to assess how well the person will adapt to Canada's labour market. The grid looks at six selection factors, which are:

  • English and/or French skills
  • education
  • work experience
  • age
  • arranged employment (a valid job offer) and
  • adaptability

Criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades Program

To qualify for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), a candidate must have either

  • a full-time job offer for a total period of at least 1 year


  • a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial or territorial body or a federal government authority

The candidate must also

  • Have valid third-party language test results that show they meet the language skill level
  • Have at least 2 years of full-time experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before they apply
  • Meet all job requirements for that skilled trade, as set out in the National Occupational Classification

The job offer can be from up to 2 employers (the candidate would work an agreed amount of part-time hours for each employer).

See the full list of FSTP eligibility criteria.

Criteria for the Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) lets those with Canadian work experience apply for permanent residence.

To qualify for the CEC, a candidate must:

  • have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience
    • in Canada
    • with the proper authorization
    • in the three years before they apply and
  • have valid third-party language test results (that show they meet the language skill level).

Note: CEC applicants may work in Canada while their application is being processed, as long as they have a valid work permit.

How employers can access Express Entry pool candidates

You can hire skilled foreign workers when you can’t find Canadians or permanent residents to fill jobs. You can use your current recruiting and hiring practices to find candidates. Once you find someone you want to hire, they can create an Express Entry profile.

You also have access to candidates through the Job Match function of Canada's Job Bank, private sector job boards and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), when they are available.

Invitations to apply

We assess candidates against others in the pool. They are then ranked based on criteria that are known to contribute to economic success once in Canada.

Candidates with a valid job offer can earn 50 or 200 points based on the type of job. This can increase their chances of being invited to apply.

Only the highest-ranked candidates, including those with provincial nominations, are invited to apply for permanent residence.

Once invited, candidates have 60 days to apply for permanent residence online.

We process the majority of complete permanent residence applications (those that include all supporting documents) in six months or less.

Note: Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.



Employers’ roadmap

This roadmap is a guide for employers of small to medium-sized enterprises who are interested in hiring foreign workers.

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