Canada has become one of the most prestigious countries for people to migrate to owing to its great social standing, high diversity of cultures, and abundant job opportunities. People arrive on work permits with a big dream for the life they will have here. As time passes, the goal is to move towards Permanent Residency, which includes the benefits of permanence of living, access to social services, and eventually citizenship. This blog will show how to move from a work permit to permanent residency in Canada and will share valuable insights on how you can move through this process smoothly.

Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is the primary gateway for skilled workers with Temporary Work Authorization in Canada and for Canadian employers seeking to hire them on a permanent basis. This system facilitates decision-making for applicants across three major federal immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class, making it crucial to understand its processes, particularly the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The CRS evaluates candidates by allocating points based on various factors, with Canadian work experience being highly prioritized. Having Canadian work experience can earn candidates up to 80 points in the Core/Human Capital Factors category and up to 100 points in the Skills Transferability category. Securing a confirmed job offer can significantly boost a candidate’s score, adding up to 200 points for certain senior-level positions.

Understanding the intricacies of the Express Entry program and the importance of a high CRS score is essential for those aiming to settle in Canada. Canadian work experience and a preferred job offer provide a significant advantage, elevating a candidate’s position on the list. By strategically accumulating work experience and securing job offers, applicants can greatly enhance their chances of being selected to apply for permanent residency. Therefore, work permit holders aspiring to become permanent residents should use the Express Entry system wisely to achieve a high score, thereby increasing their likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply.

Eligibility Requirement

Having a work permit in Canada does not provide a direct pathway to permanent residency through the Express Entry System, which includes the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class categories. Each program has specific requirements, such as language proficiency, education, and work experience, that candidates must meet.

In Quebec, the immigration process is distinct and tailored to the province’s needs. The Quebec Regular Skilled Worker (RSW) and Quebec Experience Class Programs (PEQ) have their own specific requirements. Applicants must carefully assess their qualifications to ensure they meet the standards of the chosen program and route to permanent residency.

Understanding these nuances is crucial for selecting the appropriate immigration pathway and successfully obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

Common Pathways from Work Permit to Permanent Residency in Canada

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class program offers a streamlined pathway to permanent residency for temporary workers who have accumulated one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the past three years. This experience must fall within NOC skill levels 0, 1, 2, or 3, covering roles such as management, specialist, technician, or skilled trades. Proficiency in either English or French is required, facilitating integration into Canadian society and the job market.

The CEC is particularly beneficial for temporary workers who may not meet the Comprehensive Ranking System score threshold required for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Unlike the FSWP, the CEC does not impose educational prerequisites, making it accessible to a broader range of applicants. Immigration officers prioritize applicants who have already contributed to the Canadian economy through their work and language skills.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), foreign-national workers on temporary visas with a firm job offer from a Canadian employer can apply for permanent residency. The job offer must provide permanent, full-time employment. Eligibility is determined through a points-based evaluation of education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant factors, with processing typically taking 12 to 18 months.

Eligibility criteria include a recognized diploma or degree, or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for foreign qualifications, language proficiency demonstrated through standardized tests, and one year of continuous, full-time professional experience in NOC skill levels 0 to 3 roles aligned with the offered position.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers a unique pathway to permanent residency tailored to the labor market needs of individual provinces in Canada. Eligible foreign workers can be nominated by their employers for permanent residency, with processing times ranging from one to one and a half years. PNP requirements vary by province, reflecting the economic and demographic priorities of each region.

Candidates are advised to thoroughly research the specific PNP categories of the province where they intend to reside, as these criteria can differ significantly across regions.

Quebec Experience Class (QEC)

The Québec Experience Class (QEC) provides another avenue for permanent residency based on criteria similar to the Canadian Experience Class, with a focus on individuals who have worked or studied in Québec. Unlike its federal counterpart, the QEC has more stringent admission criteria, requiring applicants to have at least two skilled job experiences in Québec and intermediate proficiency in French.

The program emphasizes cultural and linguistic integration into Quebec’s distinct environment, setting it apart from other permanent residency programs.


Meeting specific criteria can help you achieve permanent residency while working as a temporary worker. While a future job offer is not mandatory for entry into the Express Entry pool, having one can increase the likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency. However, obtaining permanent residency in Canada from temporary worker status can be challenging. Seeking personalized consultation and guidance is crucial to navigating this process successfully. Kurzfeld Law Firm offers expert assistance tailored to your needs, ensuring a smooth journey toward obtaining permanent residency in Canada.