Skilled Worker Immigration-Canada
Skilled work is one of the primary drivers of immigration to Canada.
There are two major divisions: Provincial immigration and Federal immigration.
People who do not qualify for Federal immigration streams may find that a Province will sponsor them through their Provincial Nomination Program, if you have the skills and experience that their economy needs.
The Federal skills-based streams revolved around Express Entry. This is the latest iteration of Canada's famous 'points-based' immigration system, which awards people points based on things like age, education, work history, language ability, etc. Express Entry is divided into three sub-programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker: If you have 67 points on the FSW grid (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/federal-skilled-workers/six-selection-factors-federal-skilled-workers.html), then you are eligible to apply for Express Entry.
- Canadian Experience Class: If you have one year or more of skilled work in Canada, you are eligible to apply for Express Entry.
- Federal Skilled Trades: If you have two years of recent experience (last 5 years) in a skilled trade, and a job offer or Canadian certificate of qualification, you may be eligible for Express Entry.
All eligible people enter the Express Entry 'pool'. Here, candidates are ranked against each other using Comprehensive Ranking System points. Like the FSW points, these take into account things like age, education, work history, languages, but have much finer gradations, and have more options. In the CRS grid you can score a theoretical maximum of 1,200 points (this would be exceptionally rare!). Most draws require around 440-450 points to be drawn. There's a sweet-spot in your mid-late 20s for people who have a degree, speak fluent English (or French) and have three years or more of work experience, where age, education, language, and work alone would get 441 points and qualify for many EE draws without ever needing to go to Canada first. Outside of this narrow range, further qualifications, work experience inside Canada, Canadian education, arranged employment, points from partner etc all help to boost points to the required levels (particularly when over 30, at which point age points drop off precipitously).
The CRS points are all laid out at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/criteria-comprehensive-ranking-system/grid.html, including the 'additional points' which have a wide array of possibilities for getting bonuses. By far the biggest is a Provincial Nomination, where the 600-point bonus all-but guarantees a draw in the next round.
Because Federal Skilled Trades applicants tend to have lower points (eg are less likely to have university qualifications), there are special draws which only select from the highest applicants in the FST stream. These are the same CRS points, but normally around 280 is enough to be drawn.