Minimum Requirements for Express Entry Canada

Comparing Minimum Requirements for Express Entry CanadaAksel is a citizen of Noway. He intends to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry system. Aksel holds a master’s degree in accounting. Despite his knowledge of French and English languages, he has not taken any official tests yet. Regardless, Aksel wonders if he can apply. He is unaware of the minimum requirements for Express Entry applications to Canada.

The Express Entry system covers three methods of immigration to Canada, namely:

To apply under the Express Entry, you must meet the minimum requirements of at least one of these options.

Note: IRCC introduced category-based selection for Express Entry in May 2023. While members of the favoured categories have higher chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply, they must still meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry.

Comparing the Express Entry Options

The following table compares the minimum requirements for all Express Entry options:

Criterion Federal Skilled Worker Program Canadian Experience Class Federal Skilled Trades Program
Work Experience At least one year of full-time equivalent and continuous paid job in the past 10 years under NOC 0, 1, 2, or 3. It could be inside or outside Canada. At least one year of full-time equivalent paid job in the past three years inside Canada under NOC 0, 1, 2, or 3. Self-employed jobs and intern jobs are unacceptable. Under acceptable NOC 2, or 3 jobs, inside or outside Canada, at least two years of full-time equivalent paid job in the past five years.
Language Mandatory CLB 7 Mandatory CLB 7 for NOC 0 or 1 and CLB 5 for NOC 2 or 3 Mandatory CLB 5 for speaking and listening and CLB 4 for reading and writing
Education Non-Canadian education must receive an Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) Non-Canadian education must receive an Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) Non-Canadian education must receive an Education Credentials Assessment (ECA)
Job Offer from Canada Not mandatory Not mandatory Mandatory if they do not hold a Certificate of Qualifications from a Canadian Province. The offer must be under an acceptable job title.
Certificate of Qualifications from a Canadian Province Not Applicable Not Applicable Mandatory if they do not have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer
Selection Points Must receive at least 67 points out of a 100 points grid Not Applicable Not Applicable
Settlement Funds Not mandatory at the time of entering the Express Entry pool. However, if they do not have a job offer, they later need to meet the LICO. Not Applicable Not mandatory at the time of entering the Express Entry pool. However, if they do not have a job offer, they later need to meet LICO.

Meeting the Minimum Requirements of Two or More Options

If someone meets the minimum requirements for more than one option, they won’t have any special advantage over others, but it won’t hurt to meet the minimum requirements of more than one category.

Provincial Nominees (PNP)

If someone intends to apply under a PNP Express Entry option, they must meet one of the minimum requirements. All PNP Express Entry options expect you to enter the pool of Express Entry first.

Category-based Express Entry draws.

Starting May 31, 2023, IRCC may now select candidates under specific categories. Click here for more information.

The Express Entry Pool

When you enter the Express Entry pool, you receive a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). While meeting the minimum requirements allows you to enter the pool of Express Entry, if you do not receive a significant CRS score, your chances to succeed diminish. Currently, a good score means 460 or more CRS points. However, you still have a chance to succeed if you receive between 440 to 460 points. Unfortunately, under 440 points, your chances are meagre unless a Canadian Province selects your profile.

Please note that these numbers are approximate. The actual selection score could change drastically over time. Visit the IRCC website for official figures. Also, keep in mind IRCC usually conducts two special rounds of invitations for FSTP applicants per year. The minimum CRS scores for those two rounds are significantly lower than usual.

Let us help!

If you are interested in immigrating under the Express Entry system, please fill out the following form. For other options, you may fill out our assessment form or book an appointment with me.

    The highest level of education with issued diploma

    Have you assessed your educational credentials in Canada

    Age

    Your knowledge of the English language:

    Your knowledge of the French language:

    Work experience inside Canada in the past 10 years

    Work experience outside Canada in the past 10 years

    Your current job title

    Do you have a job offer in Canada

    Please share more information to help us better assess you:

    Are you currently inside Canada?

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.