Are you seeking information about foreign work experience Express Entry requirements? Chaudhary Law Office presents the following to help you learn more about the foreign work experience program.

Background on the Foreign Work Experience Program

Canada offers an option for professionals with skilled work experience to immigrate to the country permanently. It has minimum requirements for:

  • Education.
  • Language ability.
  • Professional work experience.

Eligible applicants must meet all three of the minimum requirements. The minimum requirement for education is:

  • A certificate, degree, or diploma from a Canadian secondary institution or post-secondary institution.
  • A completed credential or Educational Credential Assessment for foreign education (not completed in Canada).

The minimum requirement for skilled work experience is:

  • Work in one of the National Occupation Classification job groups of B, A, or 0.
  • Work in the same type of job you want to work when living in Canada within the last 10 years.
  • Receive pay for your work.
  • Have at least one year of continuous employment (further explained in a later section).

Applicants must demonstrate their language abilities in English or French for writing, speaking, reading, and listening. They must receive a minimum score of seven in all four abilities. The language test results are valid for two years.

Those who do meet the requirements will go through an assessment based on:

  • French or English language skills.
  • Age.
  • Education.
  • Adaptability (the likelihood of settling comfortably in Canada).
  • Whether you have a job offer.

Immigration officers use these factors and others as part of a 100-point grid. This grid scores points based on how well an applicant does in each factor. To pass and qualify for the program, an applicant must earn at least 67 points.


Foreign Work Experience is Part of The Federal Skilled Worker Program

This method of immigration is more prevalent than other methods. Foreign work experience is often the keystone element of this program. In theory, this program does not require individuals to have Canadian work experience. This requirement is associated with the Canada Experience Class pathway to Canadian permanent resident status.


Foreign Work Experience and Express Entry

The foreign work experience Express Entry criteria constitute the funnel by which potential immigrants to Canada may be invited to apply for immigration. The Express Entry criteria are one set of criteria that foreign workers must pass. The other criteria cover that of Federal Skilled Worker (or Canada Experience Class, likely the more utilized program). Setting aside the Canada Experience Class program for the moment, the Federal Skilled Worker criteria must be followed to qualify to place an Express Entry profile.


Foreign Work Experience Components

At its most essential element, the Federal Skilled Worker criteria allocate the maximum points for experience if a candidate possesses at least three years of work experience. To qualify, the work you do must fall under one of the following National Occupation Classification Levels:

  • B.
  • A.
  • 0.

Work experience counted under the Federal Skilled Worker must occur after you finish your post-secondary schooling, unless there has been one year of continuous full time work experience in your job history. Thus in some cases any work you do while attending college or university may not count.

You must present evidence that you received pay or received reimbursement for the work experience. This requirement presumably eliminates volunteer work experience as a pathway to fulfilling the Federal Skilled Worker criteria.

However, a lesser-known requirement is a need for Federal Skilled Worker candidates to have one year of work experience at one venue or place of work. In other words, you must minimally have worked at one employer for one year. Your work history would not be counted if you worked for 11 months at one place of work and one month at another.


Work Experience Examples

Qualified Example

Below are two examples of qualified work experience:

  • After graduating from your university, you started working at Fred’s Phalanges for 12 months. You possess the one-year minimum of qualifying work experience and can place an Express Entry profile.
  • You worked for 11 months at Fred’s Phalanges. You left that job to work for 11 months at Ted’s Topography. You left that job and worked for 12 months at Sally’s Saddles. In this example, the 12 months of work experience at Sally’s Saddles would qualify you for an Express Entry profile.


Unqualified Example 

Below are similar yet unqualified examples of work experience:

  • You started working in your career after graduating from your university. During this time, you worked for 11 months at Fred’s Phalanges, followed by 11 months at Ted’s Topography. You have more than one year of work experience since you have been working for 22 months total. However, you do not have a minimum of one year of qualifying work experience to place an Express Entry profile. The reason is that you didn’t work for one year for one employer.
  • You worked for Fred’s Phalanges for 11 months and worked for Ted’s Topography for one month. In this situation, you wouldn’t be eligible to place an Express Entry profile. The reason is that you don’t have one year of work experience at one place of employment.

Canada has another main economic immigration program, called the Canada Experience Class. This program doesn’t require applicants to have at least one year of work experience at one place of employment.


Next Step: Professional Assessment of Your Work Experience

If you’re thinking about your work experience and whether it may be a good fit for Canada’s immigration program, contact us at Chaudhary Law Office. We’ll help you understand the criteria for the foreign work experience Express Entry criteria.

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