One of the fastest ways of getting permanent residency in Canada today is through the Express Entry system. However, it might not be clear exactly what it takes to qualify. Therefore, I thought I would set out a short summary of the basic requirements for each of the three programs under the Express Entry system.

It is important to keep in mind that these summaries only set out the basic requirements for getting permanent residency. The Express Entry system is a “points-based” system – meaning the more points you have, the higher your chances are of being selected for an invitation to apply for permanent residence. The highest scoring applicants are the ones that are chosen.

After meeting the minimum requirements for any one of the programs, you will be given points based on the following factors:

  • Skills
  • Education
  • Language ability
  • Work experience
  • Age
  • Language ability of your spouse or common-law partner
  • Canadian degree
  • A brother or sister living in Canada with permanent residency
  • Strong French language skills, and
  • A valid job offer

To immigrate to Canada under any of these Express Entry programs, you will have to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive. Below is a chart setting out the financial requirement depending on the number of family members you have (whether or not these family members are coming with you). 

Number of
Family Members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,475
2 $15,531
3 $19,093
4 $23,181
5 $26,292
6 $29,652
7 $33,014
For each additional family member $3,361

 Now, lets get into the basic requirements of each.

Federal Skilled Worker

To apply as a skilled worker, you should have at least one year of full-time, paid and continuous work experience in a job that falls under the accepted National Occupational Classification (NOC) Categories. The categories are:

  • 0 – management jobs
  • A – professional jobs, i.e. dentist, doctor, lawyer
  • B – technical or skilled trade jobs that require training and education, i.e. chefs, plumbers, electrician

You will have to show that you actually performed the duties set out in the occupational description in the NOC. If you want to immigrate under this stream, you will need a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 in all four abilities. Applicants will get additional points for education and age.

Federal Trade Worker

In order to be eligible under this stream, you must have at least two years of full time, paid, continuous work experience in one of the NOC categories set out below, meet all the job requirements for the skilled trade you want to pursue in Canada, and either have an offer of full-time employment for a total of at least one year (can come from two employers offering part-time) or have a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade you want to pursue in Canada from a Canadian authority.  In order to get a certificate of qualification, the specific Canadian trade authority must assess your training, experience and skills and decide whether you are eligible to write the exam to become certified.

Your job experience must be in one of the following NOC categories:

  • major group 72: industrial, electrical and construction workers
  • major group 73: maintenance and equipment operation workers
  • major group 82: supervisors and technical workers 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

You also need to have a CLB score of at least 5 in speaking and listening and a CLB score of at least 4 in reading and writing.

Canadian Experience Class

This class is for people who have worked in Canada.

In order to qualify to immigrate to Canada under this stream, a you must have at least 12 months of skilled, full-time, paid work experience in Canada in the last three years in a job that falls under the NOC Category 0, A or B. If your NOC category is 0 or A, you will need a minimum CLB score of 7 in all four language abilities but if its NOC B, then you will only need a minimum CLB of 5 in all four categories.

Required points

If on the basis it looks like you might qualify for one of these programs, it would be worth the time to take a further look into how they are assessed on a more detailed basis. In conclusion, it may be useful to know the lowest amount of points successful candidates had in some of the most recent draws.

Express Entry Draws 2018

 Draw  Date Number of Invitations Lowest CRS Score
9 May 9 3,500 441
8 April 25 3,500 441
7 April 11 3,500 444
6 March 26 3000 446
5 March 14 3000 456
4 February 21 3000 442
3 February 7 3000 442
2 January 22 2,750 444
1 January 10 2,750 446

Express Entry is one of the best ways of getting permanent residency in Canada. I you think you might be qualified. Fill out our form and we will be in touch with you soon.