News report | | 26/10/2023 | ±6 minutes reading time

Are you a skilled or experienced worker and would like to move to Canada? You could qualify for an immigration programme within the Express Entry system or the Provincial Nominee Program. If you want to work or study in Canada for a short time, you only need a visa or eTA Canada.

Work permit vs permanent residency

When it comes to immigrating to Canada, it is about obtaining permanent resident status. In fact, immigrants must become permanent residents to immigrate. So-called PR status is a visa that allows holders to stay in Canada indefinitely. A work permit, on the other hand, is a temporary visa suitable for working in Canada for a brief period, and cannot be converted directly into permanent residency. However, working in Canada does increase the chances of qualifying for PR status.

For a brief visit to Canada, an eTA or visa is sufficient

Discover Canada with an eTA
Before deciding to study or work in Canada, you could go on a short trip to discover the country. For a brief visit (up to 6 months), most travellers with a British passport may apply for an eTA Canada. The Electronic Travel Authorisation is valid for 5 years and may be used for an unlimited amount of trips. This allows you to visit Canada several times over the course of 5 years to get your bearings and then make an informed choice.
Information about the eTA Canada

Canada boasts 3 national programmes made specifically for skilled workers who aim to obtain a visa and eventually obtain permanent residency. These three programmes are part of the Express Entry system, used by the government of Canada to better manage permanent residency applications and select the best candidates.

Express Entry: PR status for skilled workers

The Express Entry programme is meant for immigrants who qualify for a job within one of the top categories of the so-called National Occupation Classification (NOC). The classification ranks professions based on the training, education, experience and responsibility (TEER) required to exercise it:

  • TEER 0 includes professions in managerial positions, for example, in marketing or hospitality;
  • TEER 1 includes professions that require a university degree, such as doctors or engineers;
  • TEER 2 and 3 includes skilled occupations and technical professions that require at least a (Canadian) college degree, or sufficient experience. These include cooks, construction workers, bakers or maintenance workers.

How the Express Entry system works

After making an Express Entry profile, you must qualify through a points system. Please note that having a profile does not guarantee an invitation to permanent residency. In fact, as only candidates with high scoring profiles will be considered.

Since the required score varies from draw to draw, there is no official minimum amount of points. Currently, the lower limit is around 400 of the total 1200 points one may obtain. The more points, the higher the chances of getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA). On average three times per month, the best profiles are selected from different categories. Sometimes, for example, there are draws for French-speaking immigrants only. Here’s a brief explanation for each category within the Express Entry system.

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class is only accessible to applicants who have at least one year of work experience in Canada within a job from TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3. In general, relevant work experience in Canada automatically earns extra points within the Express Entry system, and is therefore always an advantage.

Federal Skilled Worker

This category is open to candidates with at least 12 months of relevant work experience outside Canada. Again, this includes jobs that fall into TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3. Candidates are not required to have a pending job offer in Canada, although it does grant additional points.

This is the only category that requires a minimum score for applicants to qualify for an Express Entry profile, namely 67/100. These points are granted based on linguistic proficiency (in English or French), education, work experience, age, pending job offers, and relationships in Canada. This score is separate from the scoring model for candidates already admitted to the Express Entry system.

Federal Skilled Trades

To apply for permanent residency through this programme, candidates need a minimum of two years of full-time work experience within a job from TEER 2 or 3. Moreover, for this programme, candidates must first be offered one-year employment in Canada.

What if you don’t meet the requirements?

If your profile is not selected, it means there are numerous candidates with a higher score. There is a chance that the average score will be lower for the next draw and that you are eventually chosen. In fact, your profile will be left in the system. In the meantime, you could improve your score, for example, by finding a job in Canada, gaining more work experience, or strengthening your language skills.

Provincial Nominee Program

Enrolling for a Provincial Nominee Program earns candidates the most points. A Provincial Nominee Program is a specific immigration programme for a certain Canadian province. In other words, each province of Canada has its own immigration programmes to look for foreign workers who can strengthen its economy. For example, one province may be looking for highly skilled workers for technical jobs, while there might be a shortage of construction workers elsewhere.

These provincial immigration programmes can be paired with the Express Entry system. If your PNP application is approved, your Express Entry profile will gain 600 points, which guarantee an invitation to permanent residency. However, you will be tied for a long time to the province you enrolled for. Therefore, participate in the Provincial Nominee Program only if you want to settle down in a specific province.

Working in Canada without permanent residency

For studying or working for a short time in Canada, you don’t need permanent residency. Many people choose to study or work abroad to gain more experience. For Canada, this often requires a study or work permit combined with an eTA or visa. A temporary visa may not be converted into permanent residency, but gaining work experience or studying in Canada is the first step for those looking to immigrate to Canada. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £25.86 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.