Minimum Requirements for Express Entry Canada
Aksel 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 not aware of the minimum requirements for Express Entry applications to Canada.
Express Entry system covers three methods of immigration to Canada, namely:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class/Program (FSWC or FSWP),
- the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
To apply under the Express Entry, you need to meet the minimum requirements of at least one of these options.
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 full-time equivalent and continuous paid job in the past 10 years under NOC 0, A, or B. 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, A, or B. Self-employed jobs and intern jobs are unacceptable.||At least two years of full-time equivalent paid job in the past five years under acceptable NOC B jobs, inside or outside Canada.|
|Language||Mandatory CLB 7||Mandatory CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A and CLB 5 for NOC B||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 still need to meet one of the minimum requirements. All PNP Express Entry options expect you to enter the pool of Express Entry first.
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 diminishes. Currently, a good score means 460 or more CRS points. However, if you receive between 440 to 460 points, you still have a chance to succeed. 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 invitation 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.
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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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