Learning Moments - Express Entry Transferability Points for Certificate of Qualification
This article by Andrew Carvajal is part of the Immigration Education Alliance (IMEDA) weekly column titled "Learning Moments".
Hello fellow practitioners. Today’s column deals with the transferability points assigned by Express Entry to candidates with a provincial or territorial Certificate of Qualification in a trade occupation.
I have a potential permanent residence client who is looking to upload an Express Entry profile as someone who qualifies under the Canadian Experience Class. His qualifying work experience in Canada is under NOC 2211 (Chemical Technician) but he may be eligible to obtain a Certificate of Qualification from a Canadian provincial body for a skilled trade (more specifically one of the trades that fall under Major NOC Group 92).
What I am wondering is whether this client could potentially claim 50 Express Entry transferability points for having a provincial Certificate of Qualifications (under a qualifying trade) even though he is a CEC applicant and has no work experience under that trade. Even with the Certificate of Qualification, my client will not be eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Program because he does not have the 2 years of experience under that trade, so he will be strictly a CEC applicant.
While the answer to this week’s question is rather straightforward, it is an interesting one and involves a scenario whereby an Express Entry (EE) candidate can benefit from having a Certificate of Qualification in a “skilled trade” despite having no work experience in that trade.
In short, the answer is that an EE candidate can in fact be awarded transferability points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) if they hold a Canadian provincial/territorial Certificate of Qualification in a skilled trade, even if they are not applying under the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program nor have any qualifying experience under that trade.
The EE system currently awards either 25 or 50 transferability points to candidate with a Certificate of Qualification in a trade occupation depending on their English/French level. It is important to bear in mind that EE’s transferability points cannot exceed 100 points. As a result, if a candidate was already awarded transferability points under the education or foreign work experience matrices, the additional points for the Certificate of Qualification will be capped so that 100 points are not exceeded under the transferability factors.
While the Certificate of Qualification from a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority MUST be in a skilled trade (the same trades listed under the FST Program), it is not mandatory that the candidate be an FST applicant or that they have any qualifying work experience in that trade. This can be confirmed by reading the relevant section of the Ministerial Instructions respecting the Express Entry system:
Combination of certificate of qualification and official language proficiency
26 (1) The points that may be assigned to a foreign national for their certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a competent provincial or federal authority and their level of proficiency in their first official language, according to their benchmark level as assessed in that language under the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens, are the following:
(a) 25 points, if the foreign national has such a certificate and is assessed overall in their first official language under the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens at benchmark level 5 or higher on all language skill areas, with one or more areas assessed under level 7; and
(b) 50 points, if the foreign national is assessed in their first official language under the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens at benchmark level 7 or higher on all language skill areas.
(2) In order for a foreign national to be assigned points under subsection (1), the foreign national
(a) must hold a valid certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a competent provincial or federal authority; and
(b) must be assessed in their first official language under the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens at level 5 or higher in all language skill areas.
For our readers’ reference, the list of trade occupations (based on the National Occupational Classification) is the following:
Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades
Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades
Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks
Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers
We have in fact experienced this scenario in our own practice. We had a client who received an Ontario Certificate of Qualification as an electrician after completing a trades’ degree in Canada and writing the necessary licensing exam. His qualifying experience for the purpose of an EE application, however, was as a civil engineer and he was only eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program and not the FST. Since our client had not maxed out his transferability points under EE based on his education and foreign work experience, he was also awarded transferability points for the Certificate of Qualification.
Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer and partner at Desloges Law Group specializing in immigration law, administrative law and Small Claims Court litigation.