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Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trade Program

This stream is part of Ontario’s Express Entry Stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). In this stream, foreign skilled workers with an active profile in Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry system and work experience in Ontario in an eligible occupation receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to live and work permanently in Ontario.

Skilled workers who meet the minimum requirements as needed will be selected by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) directly from the Express Entry pool.

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Minimum Eligibility Criteria

While submitting an application under Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades stream, it is mandatory that the skilled worker be living in Ontario and hold a valid work permit.

Note: Having a job at the time of applying is not mandatory.

Other eligibility requirements in terms of work experience, language proficiency, and settlement funds are as follows:

Work Experience

  • It is necessary to have at least one (1) year of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent of paid part-time work) in Ontario with legal status.
  • Experience should be gained within the past two (2) years from the date of filling out the application.
  • Work experience should be in a skilled trade profile, listed in Minor Group 633 or Major Groups 72, 73, or 82 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • If the work experience is claimed in a compulsory trade, a valid license or certificate issued in Ontario is required at the time the application is submitted.
  • If a skilled worker gains experience in a compulsory trade, only work experience gained after becoming qualified to practice that occupation in Ontario will be considered.
  • Paid work experience while studying full-time at a post-secondary institution (for example, on a co-op work term) and self-employment are not eligible.
  • Volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count as work experience.

Language Proficiency

The skilled worker must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 5 or higher in all four modules of either the English or French language tests. Accepted English and French language tests are

For the English Language

  • International English Language Testing (IELTS) – General Training Test
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – General Test

For French Language

  • Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)

Settlement Funds

Skilled workers should have the required proof of funds to support themselves and their dependent family members (spouse, common-law partner, and children under the age of 22) at the time of settling in Canada. In order to have sufficient funds, one can show:

  • A bank balance certificate stating the available balance in a bank account or other investments such as fixed-term deposits, mutual funds, and so on.
  • Annual earnings from current Ontario job, or
  • A genuine job opportunity in Ontario


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