It is the dream of every immigrant to get settled with a job as soon as they arrive in Canada.
While Canada offers a lot of employment opportunities to its residents, not all job offers are considered valid under the Express Entry immigration pathway.
Express Entry is one of the immigration pathways through which foreigners can come in to live and work in Canada.
Of all these immigration pathways, Express Entry is the most popular, most effective and the fastest.
Basically, the Express Entry is a system for collecting and organizing the profiles of all applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada and obtain Permanent Residence.
When you apply for Express Entry, your profile becomes part of what is known as the Express Entry pool.
This is simply a collection of the profiles of all the numerous applicants who wish to immigrate to Canada.
Because there is usually a high number of applicants in the Express Entry pool per time, certain points, known as CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) points are given to each applicant.
The points are awarded based on specific information in the profile of each applicant.
This point is what is finally used to select those who will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence in Canada.
Although it is not compulsory to have a valid job offer to immigrate to Canada, getting one will increase your CRS points for the Express Entry pathway and can make you easily eligible for ITA.
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What Makes a Job Offer Valid Under Express Entry?
In Canada under Express Entry, a job is considered valid if:
- It is full-time (not part-time or seasonal)
- run for at least one year
- It is a skilled job listed under Skill Type O, A, or B in the updated National Occupational Classification
A job offer must be validated by a form of documentation that will expatiate on details of the job such as:
- Pay and pay time
- Job duties or job description
- Hours and days of work
- Other employment conditions
A valid job offer in Canada is usually supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which your employer is required to apply for from Employment and Social Development Canada or Service Canada.
However, not all job offers require the support of an LMIA. If your job requires one, your employer will hand it over to you alongside a written document to validate your job offer.
Getting LMIA support for your job will grant you a LMIA number which you can use to prove your job offer
Once you get an LMIA number, you can include or update it in your Express Entry profile as proof of your valid job offer in Canada.
You may also be required to provide your original LMIA document once you get an ITA under Express Entry.
The LMIA is therefore an important document which you should keep safely.
If your job offer does not require LMIA, the IRCC will understand this and will not demand it from you.
When Is a Job Offer not Valid?
A job offer is not valid if:
- Your employer is an embassy or a high consulate in Canada
- Your employer has been found non-compliant and is therefore on the list of ineligible employees in Canada
- Or employer does not get a positive LMIA for the job when it is not LMIA
An employer is termed non-compliant and therefore no longer able to give valid job offers to foreign workers or potential immigrants to Canada if he does (but not limited to) any of the following:
- The employer couldn’t provide any valid document that provides details of employment, and documents that show that previous foreign worker(s) met the conditions for a period of six years, beginning from the day the employee started working.
- An employer couldn’t prove that the details provided for the job with the LMIA is true for a period of six years, beginning from the day the employee started working.
- An employer couldn’t provide the wages or salary he ought to for the foreign worker(s).
- The employer did any of the following:
- Wasn’t available for an inspection
- Didn’t show up for a meeting with the inspector
- Could not give the inspector the documents required
- Didn’t provide necessary information to the inspector when asked to.
- The pay and working conditions did not match or were not better than what the employer indicated in the initial offer of employment
- Job description was different from what was indicated in the offer of employment
- The employer did not adhere to federal or provincial or territorial laws on hiring employees (including foreign workers).
- The employer did not ensure that his workplace was devoid of:
- Financial abuse
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
You can also read more about the eligibility criteria to work in Canada.
Applying to Express Entry with a Valid Job Offer
Certain programs are included under the Express Entry immigration pathway through which applicants can apply to express their will to immigrate to Canada.
If you have a valid job offer that falls under any of these programs, then you will be able to use Express Entry as your immigration pathway. The programs are:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Each of these programs have their unique eligibility criteria and will require you to have certain educational qualifications or job experience.
It is only when you meet the eligibility criteria for any of the programs that you can apply through them.
Therefore, it is first about your eligibility for the program and not the job offer.
A job offer can increase your CRS point in the Express Entry pool. However, it is not a compulsory requirement in the pathway.
The larger percentage of foreigners who immigrate to Canada through Express Entry did not have a valid job offer before during their immigration process.
If you however get a job offer, the job offer must meet the criteria for the Express Entry program you are applying for.
A job offer can also help you if you have qualified for FSWP or FSTP in proving sufficiency of funds to take care of yourself and your immediate family when you immigrate to Canada.
Job Offer Vs. Work Permit in Canada
Getting a job offer in Canada does not necessarily require you to have a Work Permit as you may not be residing in Canada yet.
However, you will need a Work Permit to be able to start work in Canada especially if you are not a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen.
Also note that a Work Permit is not a job offer, nor does it automatically grant you one, even if it is tagged as an Open Work Permit.
If you are already working in Canada very recently through a Work Permit and you apply for Express Entry, you can include your job offer in your profile if it meets the criteria for a valid job offer in Canada. Such a Work Permit might be a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
However, if you do not have an LMIA before, you will need to get one now that you are applying to Express Entry as your LMIA number is the only way you can indicate your job offer in your Express Entry profile.
Job offer Letter Vs. Employment Letter
A job offer letter is not the same as an employment letter and should not be mixed up to mean the same thing.
A job offer letter is a formal document you receive from a Canadian organization that indicates you’ve been offered a job.
The letter contains brief information about the organization and your position or job description.
An employment letter or an offer of employment on the other hand in a signed contract between you and your employer.
This is usually more detailed than a job offer letter and comes after you have already received a job offer letter.
It clearly defines your role as an employee and states explicitly your working conditions, wages, working days, and other important information.
The employment letter is contractual and legal and can be used to sue either you or your employer should there be any breach in contract or any deviation from whatever was written in the letter.
Q. How many Points can a Valid Job Offer in Canada add to your Express Entry CRS Points?
Ans. A valid job offer in Canada that qualifies under any of the Express Entry programs can add anything from 50 to 200 points to your Express Entry profile.
For these points to be awarded, you will need to have updated your LMIA number in your profile as proof of the job offer.
Q. Why didn’t I get CRS Points in Express Entry for my Canadian Job Offer?
Ans. The only reason why you will not receive CRS points for your job offer is if the job offer is not valid. That is it does not meet up with the requirements for a valid job offer in Canada. Such requirements have already been highlighted in this article.
Q. Do I need a Job Offer to Apply for Express Entry in Canada?
Ans. You do not need a job offer to apply for Express Entry in Canada. A job offer can improve your CRS points but is not a requirement to apply for Express Entry in Canada.
Q. What is an Open Work Permit?
Ans. An Open Work Permit allows you to work as a foreigner in Canada for a specific period. The permit is only issued to those whose job offers are exempted from the LMIA requirement.
You may also be issued an Open Work Permit if your original Work Permit will soon expire but you have applied for Permanent Resident under any of the Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs.