If you are a skilled worker with the requisite work experience, skills and background, you might be able to make Canada your permanent home through Express Entry.

Canada aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.

The Federal Skilled Worker program, by far, has been the most popular Immigration Program for skilled workers overseas. It is one of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to settle into Canada.

To be selected under the FSW program, applicants who possess sufficient work experience and language proficiency must accumulate a minimum of 67 points out of a total of 100 points on the skilled worker selection grid. It screens all applicants based on allocating points for education, language, employment experience, age, arranged Canadian employment and adaptability. Those who don’t score the minimum 67 are not qualified to apply under the Express Entry Program.

Express Entry

Program Requirements

Foreign nationals interested in applying must ascertain first whether they meet all the minimum requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The minimum requirements are:
  • One year of continuous, full-time (1,560 hours total / 30 hours per week) paid work experience in the past 10 years in NOC skill level 0, A or B;
  • Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
  If the candidate meets all the minimum requirements, his/her application will be assessed based on the selection factors in the federal skilled worker point’s grid. The selection factors are:
  • skills in English and/or French
  • education,
  • work experience,
  • age,
  • a valid job offer, and
  • adaptability

Other Requirements

You should be admissible to come to Canada. You may be denied entry into Canada if:

  • You are a security risk;
  • You have committed a violation of human or international rights;
  • You have been convicted of a crime;
  • You are tied to organized crime;
  • You have a serious medical problem;
  • You are in serious financial debt;
  • You lied in your application and interview;
  • One of your family members is not allowed into Canada.

Proof of Funds

To participate in the program, you will need to show that you have enough funds to get you settled in Canada for the first timeThe funds you need depend on the number of family members.

This money must be readily available for use.You do not have to provide proof of funds if you are currently able to legally work in Canada, or if you have a job offer.

Program Benefits

  • Quick and Easy Permanent Residency.
  • Ability to live, work or study anywhere in Canada
  • Free education and healthcare
  • Access to social or economic benefits 
  • Gateway to Canadian citizenship
  • Protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • The possibility of sponsoring family members to live in Canada.

Apply Today with our Expert Immigration Team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • 1. What is the pass mark for the federal skilled worker selection grid?

    Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a federal skilled worker. You will need to complete an Express Entry profile and meet the minimum criteria to be accepted into the pool. If you are interested in the Federal Skilled Worker stream, you will need to meet, at minimum, the pass mark of 67 points out of 100 on the Federal Skilled Worker grid. If you are accepted into the Express Entry pool, you are not guaranteed to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. An Invitation to Apply for permanent residence will be based on your score and rank in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System.

  • 2. Can I be chosen to apply for permanent residence as a federal skilled worker if I am 47 years old or over?

    If you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool: Yes. If you are 47 or over, you will not get any points under the Age factor of the Comprehensive Ranking System, but you may get points for other factors such as a job offer, your skills, your language abilities, etc. You may still be invited to apply based on your CRS score and your rank in the pool. If you receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system under the FSW program: Yes. If you are over 47, you will not get any points under the Age factor of the FSW selection grid, but you can still apply. The applicant's age is worth 12 percent of the overall selection criteria on the FSW selection grid.

  • 3. Are any Federal Skilled Worker immigration applicants exempt from the mandatory language test?

    No, there are no exceptions to this rule. Each of the programs under Express Entry requires the submission of third-party language results. You will include the results of your test(s) in your Express Entry profile. Canada wants to assess all applicants against the same standards, no matter their language of origin, nationality or ethnicity. Even someone from an English-speaking country, who speaks English as a first language, would need to take the test. Similarly, someone from a French-speaking country, who speaks French as a first language, needs to take a test.

  • 4. Do I need an Educational Credential Assessment to apply?

    To get points for your education under the Comprehensive Ranking System, you must either:

    • have been educated in Canada, or
    • have a valid Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes for your completed foreign education.

  • 5. Can I count student work experience toward the Express Entry work requirement?

    Student work experience gained while you were studying in Canada or abroad counts towards the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if the work:

    • was paid by wages or commissions
    • was continuous (no gaps in employment), and
    • meets all the other requirements of the Program
    • This includes co-op terms and apprenticeships.

  • 6. Can my family come with me through Express Entry?

    Express Entry allows you to include your spouse (or common-law partner, or conjugal partner) and your dependent children on your application. If you are successful with your application, you and all of your accompanying family members will receive permanent resident status. For Canadian immigration, a dependent child is defined as the following:

    • under 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner, or
    • 22 years of age or older and unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition.

  • 7. Can I apply alone and then bring my family later?

    Yes. You may choose to immigrate without your spouse and/or children and then sponsor them through a family sponsorship immigration program later on. But having said that, you must include your spouse and dependents in your application, even if they don't plan to come with you. Once you become a permanent resident and meet the desired income and other qualifying obligations, you may sponsor your parents and grandparents to Canada. It should be noted that this is an extremely high-demand program and is frequently undergoing changes to the eligibility requirements and application procedure.

  • 8. What changes have recently been made to Express Entry?

    The CRS scores of all profiles in the pool will be updated automatically before the next invitation round after the updates. This could take up to two weeks.

    Changes as of October 20, 2020:

    You can get additional points for good French skills

    If you score NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), you will get
    • 25 additional points if you scored CLB 4 or lower in English (or you have not had an English test); or
    • 50 additional points if you scored CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills
    This is in addition to points you get for official languages.

  • 9. What is arranged employment for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

    Under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program, arranged employment means you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
    Having a valid job offer affects you in two different ways: for eligibility under the FSWP, and later, for points towards your total score.
    Arranged employment is worth 15 points on the FSW selection factors.
    Under Express Entry, if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, you can earn between 50 and 200 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. This depends on the type of job. It will give you a better chance of being invited to apply at the next round of invitation.
    For either, a job offer must be in writing, and must set out details of the job they are offering you, such as:

    • your pay and deductions
    • your job duties
    • conditions of employment, like your hours of work.
    A work permit on its own is not a job offer, even if it is an open work permit.

  • 10. Can I re-use my Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to submit my Express Entry profile?

    Yes, provided that it is still valid and that it’s an ECA for immigration purposes. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept ECA reports for five years from the date they are issued.

  • 11. The employer I work for temporarily in Canada wants to offer me a full-time job. Will I need a new LMIA for Express Entry?

    In most cases, your current employer does not need to re-apply if they already got a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you. For example, they do not need to re-apply if:

    • your work permit is still valid
    • you still work for the same employer (in a skilled job) as listed on your work permit
    • you work in a job listed as Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B in the 2016 National Occupational Classification, and
    • that employer already got an LMIA to hire you before.
    If you are working in Canada on a work permit that does not need an LMIA, your employer doesn’t need to get one to make your job offer valid.
    But, if you plan to work for a different employer and want job offer points (or a valid job offer for the Federal Skilled Worker or the Federal Skilled Trades programs), your new employer will usually need to apply for a new LMIA (unless the job is exempt).

  • 12. Under the FSWP, who may be included in an application?

    Under the FSWP, the following family members may be included in an application:

    • the principal applicant's spouse or common-law partner;
    • the principal applicant's dependent children and the dependent children of the accompanying spouse or common-law partner, up to 22 years of age;
    • the dependent children of the principal applicant's dependent children, and the dependent children of the dependent children of the accompanying spouse or common-law partner.

  • 13. Does a FSWP candidate's work experience have to be related to his or her education in order to be recognized?

    Work experience does not have to be related to the candidate's education, as long as he or she is performing or has performed the duties of the occupation for which he or she is claiming points.

  • 14. How can I improve my Express Entry CRS score for the FSWP?

    Ways to improve your score include:

    • Obtain all the CRS points you are eligible for
    • If your spouse or partner (if applicable) has a higher CRS score than you, list them as the principal applicant
    • Study hard for your language test. Retake the test if necessary to get a score you are satisfied with
    • Try to secure an eligible job offer or try to secure a provincial nomination

  • 15. Can points be awarded if a candidate has a close relative in Canada?

    Yes, a candidate will be awarded points under the Adaptability Factor if he or she, or his or her accompanying spouse or common-law partner, has a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who is currently residing in Canada. To qualify as a close relative, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be a child, mother or father, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, grandchild or grandparent.

  • 16. Is there an eligible occupations list?

    There is no eligible occupations list in place. Applicants need to have at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in an occupation classified under Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC) as skill level A or B or skill type 0.

  • 17. Will I be interviewed by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officer?

    Applicants for a Canada Immigration Visa under the Skilled Worker category may be required to attend a personal interview with a Canadian Immigration Visa Officer. Such interviews are held to ensure the information in the application is accurate, to clear-up any uncertainties and to verify. Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may, under all categories of immigration, grant an interview waiver, depending on the qualifications of the applicant, the quality of the supporting documentation, and the overall credibility of the applicant. The likelihood of an interview waiver varies from one Canadian Immigration Visa Office to another.

  • 18. Is there anything I can do to obtain an interview waiver?

    Applications which are complete in every detail increase the chances of an interview waiver. However, interview waivers are granted at the discretion of the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer in charge of your file. It is not possible to apply specifically for a waiver. Even if an interview is waived, the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer reserves the right to call you to an interview at a later date.