Who is eligible for Express Entry in Canada?

Owing to Free Trade Agreements with more than 50 countries, Canada has become a haven for immigrant workers. The government also is welcoming towards skilled labour, utilizing their expertise to propel the country’s economic development. One of the most popular pathways for integrating skilled migrant workers and providing them with permanent residency is Express Entry. Refer to this blog, if you want to be sure of your eligibility for the program.


What is Express Entry?

Canada welcomes more than 110,000 skilled workers through Express Entry every year. It is an online system used for managing and processing applications from skilled workers, who wish to move to Canada and get a PR (permanent residence) status.

The Canadian government manages three immigration programs through Express Entry, which are:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)

If a person is eligible under any one of the above programs, they can apply for Express Entry.


How does Express Entry Work?

The aspirant has to submit an online profile first. The federal government will then determine if the person is eligible for an Express Entry program. Eligible candidates get accepted into the Express Entry pool. They get ranked as per their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The CRS is a points-based system used to evaluate and rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. It is determined through various factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Language proficiency (English/French)
  • Work experience (Canadian/foreign)
  • Spouse factors
  • Canadian connections (if any)

Express Entry is a 2-step process. In the first step, you submit the profile with documents, CRS assessment, and passport details. Accordingly, you are picked for the Express Entry pool.

In the next step, the government of Canada sends an invitation to the applicants deemed fit. After that, the applicant has to apply within 30 days and submit all required documents. The response usually takes up to 6 months.


What is the eligibility for Express Entry in Canada?

Each program under Express Entry has a specific set of requirements that determine the eligibility of the applicant. Let’s take a look.


Federal Skilled Worker

The program is for people with foreign work experience immigrating to Canada. One has to score at least 67 points in the CRS assessment.

The minimum requirements are:


Skilled work experience

  • Worked in any one of the NOC TEER categories (TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, and TEER 3).
  • It should be the same job as the one in your immigration application.
  • You must have worked that job role in the last 10 years.
  • It must be paid work with at least 1 year of continuous work or 1560 working hours (full-time in one job, part-time, or full-time in multiple jobs).

Part-time and Student Work Experience

  • The government does not count volunteer work and unpaid internships, only paid jobs with continuous employment without any gaps.


Language Proficiency

  • Proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking English/French.
  • A minimum language test score of 7 (CLB) in all four categories.
  • Language tests remain valid for 2 years from the date of the result.



  • If it’s a Canadian school, the applicant must submit the certificate, degree, or diploma from a secondary or post-secondary institution.
  • If it’s a foreign education system, the applicant has to submit detailed education credentials, along with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a designated organization. It should be equivalent to the Canadian educational requirement.


Proof of Funds

  • Proof that the applicant can legally work in the country and has a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
  • Or else furnish proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to settle in Canada.


Federal Skill Trades Program

This program is for skilled workers seeking permanent residency in Canada.

The minimum requirements are:

  • Proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking English/French.
  • 2 years of full-time or part-time work experience in a job role within 5 years before applying. Only experiences with paid wages count.
  • Have a job offer of full-time employment from a Canadian employer or at least 1 year or show a certificate of qualification in a skilled trade. The certificate has to be issued by a Canadian territorial, federal, or provincial authority.

Other requirements are similar to the Federal Skilled Worker Program.


Canadian Experience Class

The program is for a skilled worker with Canadian work experience who wants to get permanent residence.

The minimum requirements are:

  • At least 1 year of work experience in a Canadian company, in the last three years before applying.
  • Applicants who are refugee claimants, working without any authorization, or have gained experience without temporary resident status are not eligible.
  • There is no minimum education requirement in this category. However, the applicant can improve their rank by including education to enter the pool. The education requirements remain the same as the other two categories.
  • Minimum language proficiency should be CLB 7 for TEER 0 or 1 job and CLB 5 for TEER 2 or 3 jobs.


Wrapping Up  

While migrant workers have always remained significant to Canada’s economy, the demand has increased due to the labour shortage. A recent report cites that 9 million Canadians will reach their retirement age (65) by 2030. With insufficient young Canadians to fill those positions, labour shortage is one of the biggest concerns for the government.

Accordingly, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is taking prompt actions to strengthen the immigration system, modifying the existing programs to meet the needs. It presents great opportunity for immigrants who dream of working and settling down in Canada.

If you need help applying for Canada immigration or if you have any queries regarding Express Entry, feel free to connect with our experts. You can call us at (416) 477-2545 or mail us at info@thevisa.ca. Our team of immigration lawyers and consultants will guide you through the application process, adhering to the latest immigration regulations. Visit our website to browse through our immigration services.

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