Can a Work Permit Holder Apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada?

If you are a work permit holder in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency via the Express Entry system.

There are three Express Entry programs with varying requirements: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. These programs are for skilled workers seeking permanent residence in Canada. Skilled work is classified as managerial, professional, or skilled trade and technical jobs.

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Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class program as a pathway to obtaining permanent residency is available to skilled workers who have experience working in Canada. To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Meet language ability requirements
  • Have one year of full-time skilled work experience, or equivalent, in Canada in the past 3 years
  • Be able to show that you carried out the tasks and duties normally expected of an employee in that position

There is no education requirement or job offer requirement for this program. However, educational experience and a valid job offer can improve your standing and the likelihood of your application being approved.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is available to skilled workers with experience in Canada (or outside of Canada) with similar requirements to the Canadian Experience Class. There are important differences, however. To be eligible for this program you must:

  • Meet language ability requirements
  • Have one year of continuous full-time skilled work experience, or equivalent part-time, in your primary occupation in Canada within the last 10 years.
  • Be able to show that you carried out the tasks and duties normally expected of an employee in that position
  • Have a secondary institution (high school) certificate or higher
  • Be able to prove you and your family have sufficient funding to support yourselves in Canada unless you are currently allowed to work in Canada and have a valid job offer.

Federal Skilled Trades Program 

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is open only to technical or trade occupations, and it provides a path to obtaining permanent residence. To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must:

  • Meet language requirements
  • Have two years of experience in a skilled trade within 5 years before you apply
  • Meet the job requirements for your skilled trade
  • Have a valid job offer for a full-time position lasting at least a year, or a certificate of qualification within your trade issued by Canadian authorities
  • Be able to prove you and your family have sufficient funding to support yourselves in Canada unless you are currently allowed to work in Canada and have a valid job offer.

As with the Skilled Worker Program, there is no education requirement or job offer requirement for this program, but educational experience and a valid job offer can improve the likelihood of your application being approved.

Other Factors

Even if you meet the minimum requirements for one of these programs, you must still go through an approval process to obtain permanent residency. Eligibility for a program does not guarantee that you will be selected for permanent residency. This process will take several factors into consideration, including age, occupation, and education.  Each of these programs also requires you to live outside of the Province of Quebec as this province offers separate programs while not participating in the federal programs.

Move Toward Your Goals 

When facing the work permit process in Canada when you are planning to obtain permanent residence, it is wise to find and work with an experienced team like the team at Sobirovs Law Firm. We can answer all your questions and guide you every step of the way. Complete our business immigration assessment form to get started.