Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements |

Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements


Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements depend on the Canadian immigration program used.

You may have come across the word “Express Entry” before, but what does it really mean to have Express Entry into Canada? What are the requirements or expectations you need to grant you Express Entry into “The Land of Maple Leaf”? 

How “Express Entry” Works

The Canadian Express Entry is built for skilled workers who seek permanent residence in Canada. It is important to note that the Express Entry is an online system, the implication is that the whole process will be done online and not physically.

Immigration Programs Managed by the Express Entry System

There are three economic immigration programs managed by the Express Entry: 

1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This category is for skilled workers who have work experience in Canada and want to apply for permanent residence. The minimum requirements to be eligible is to:

1. Meet the required language levels for each language ability, which include: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. 

2. Have skilled work experience of at least one year in Canada in at least three years before application. The work experience must be full time or an equivalent amount in part-time.

3. Candidates must have gained Canadian work experience by working legally in the country.

2. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program

This program is for skilled workers with foreign experience who want to migrate to Canada permanently. Skilled work experience means that you have work experience in at least one of these National Occupation Classification groups: Managerial jobs (Skill type 0), Professional Jobs (skill level A) or technical jobs and skilled trades (skill level B)

3. Federal Skilled Trades Program

This program is for skilled workers who have an intent to become permanent residents based on their qualifications in a skilled trade. The minimum requirements to be eligible is to:

1. Meet the required language levels, which include: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. 

2. Have full-time work experience of at least two years (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before application.

3. Meet the job requirements set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) that was set for skilled trade.

4. Have a valid job offer of full-time employment for at least one year or a skilled trade certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.

To meet local labour market needs, Canadian provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry Pool, through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The workers who can take part in this program include:

• Workers who want to live in that province.

• Workers who wish to obtain Canadian permanent residency.

• Workers who can contribute to the economy of a specific territory or province with their education, skills, and work experience.

Each province and territory has its own immigration programs and requirements targeted at specific groups. For example, the program pool of a province or territory may be targeted towards:

• Semi-skilled workers

• Students

• People who plan to do business

• Skilled workers

Understanding the Options for Applying for PNP

The method of application depends upon the Provincial Nominee Program pool you are sending your application to. There is an option for the online process, and it’s through the Express Entry. On the other hand, you can choose to select the paper-based process if it is more suitable.

A medical exam and a police check (certificate) is also a requirement, and no matter where you plan to reside in Canada, you must pass these checks.

Express Entry Process

 As stated previously, this is the online Express Entry Process, and there are two methods of applying:

• If the province or territory nominates you, you create an Express Entry profile. Or, if you already have an existing Express Entry profile, you can simply update it, and show that a province or territory has nominated you.

• You can apply for a nomination under an Express Entry pool by contacting the province or territory.


• You can contact the province or territories directly if they send you a “notification of interest” to your account.

• You can show the provinces and territories you are interested in, by creating an Express Entry profile.

• You can apply to their Express Entry pool: The province will offer you an 

Express Entry electronically through your account if you are nominated.

In both scenarios: 

• You must submit an electronic application to IRCC if you are invited to apply.

• You must meet the province or territories eligibility requirements.

• You must be eligible for one of the immigration programs covered by the Express Entry, and you must submit an Express Entry profile, including meeting the minimum criteria for Express Entry.

Paper-Based Process

In this process: 

• A medical exam and a police check (certificate) is a requirement, and no matter where you plan to reside in Canada, you must pass these checks.

• The time of processing the paper-based is longer when compared to the Express Entry process.

• The application process to a province or territory is under a non-Express Entry pool.

• Upon nomination, you are required to submit a paper application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence (PR).

Select a Province or Territory for Your PNP Application

As part of the Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements, to be nominated by a territory or province, you must contact them directly and follow the instructions on their website.

It’s important to understand that the criteria by province and territory can vary and change without prior notice.

Alberta – Alberta Immigration Nominee Program (AINP)

is run by both the Alberta government and the federal government. This program allows nominated persons to apply for Canadian permanent residency together with their spouse or partner by common-law and dependent children. To ensure eligibility for a Canadian permanent residency, the program nominees must meet the following federal checks.

• Security checks

• Medical checks

• Criminal checks

•     British Columbia (BC)

British Columbia’s Nominee Program offers three ways that you can become a permanent resident in B.C. Application to these three depends on your international student status, National Occupational Classification skill level, or job level. The three pathways to becoming a B.C permanent resident are:

Entrepreneur Immigration: This category is for experienced entrepreneurs who intend to manage a business in B.C actively. The invitation system is based on points, and applicants must ensure they have the personal funds and investments required.

Express Entry BC: For this category, you do not require B.C work experience. However, you must possess relevant work experience and meet other education and language requirements.

Skills Immigration: International students or potential residents who are skilled or semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations in British Columbia are eligible for this pathway. Just like the entrepreneur immigration, this category uses a points-based invitation system. If you intend to obtain permanent residency, then you need to register and apply online for the BC PNP and follow the paper application process. 

•     Manitoba

If you plan to study in this province, then there are a few processes for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). You would be required to go through the following procedure:

• Permanent Resident application

• Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA) issuance

• Expression of Interest (EOI) submission

• Procedural fairness

• Nomination and withdrawal of nomination

• MPNP application submission.

There are several policies and terms that are required: 

• Settlement funds and LICO

• Eligible dependents

• Language proficiency

• Immigration representatives

• Commitment to settle in Manitoba

• Manitoba Capital Region

• Truthful and correct information

• Information change requests and information accuracy

• Change in your contact information

• Document translation

• Important Program Terms

•     New Brunswick

This stream is concerned about Foreign Nationals who embody the education, work experience, and skills that can contribute to the New Brunswick’s economy. To gain entree into this Express Entry method, you will need to have a full intent to live and work permanently in the province. You will also be required to meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the program and have a genuine offer of employment from a New Brunswick’s Employer.

•     Newfoundland and Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program is an economic immigration program that’s designed to assist immigrants with skills and their families, to come work and reside in Newfoundland and Labrador. To gain entree into Newfoundland and Labrador, you will need to have a full intent to live and work permanently in the province. You will also be required to meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the program and have a genuine job offer in order to be nominated. This program is more explanatory as it provides the applicants with an immigration officer that is dedicated to this purpose and who will remain available for further program explanations and processes until you receive their status of permanent residency.

•     Northwest Territories


•     Nova Scotia

To move to the beautiful Nova Scotia, you would be required to apply to a Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) stream The NSNP ensures that immigrants with the necessary skills and experience are nominated by Nova Scotia to immigrate.

• The different NSNP streams to review that determine your qualification include: 

• Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities

• Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

• Physician

• Entrepreneur

• International Graduate Entrepreneur

• Skilled Worker

• Occupations in Demand

• Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

• Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

•     Ontario

To move to Ontario, you would be required to apply to an Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Applications can be accepted under the following streams:

• Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream

• Ph.D. Graduate Stream

• French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

• Human Capital Priorities Stream

• Skilled Trades Stream

• Entrepreneur Stream

•     Prince Edward Island (PEI)

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is responsible for nominating individuals to the federal government who wish to apply for permanent residence. Individuals are chosen based on their ability to add economic value and their intention to live and work in PEI. Essential needs that are being met by the PEI PNP are filling the loopholes in their labour market and doing their best to attract entrepreneurs.

•     Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) offers you a way to immigrate or move to Canada. Through the SINP, Saskatchewan:

1. Nominates successful applicants to the federal government for them to gain a Canadian permanent residence.

2. Sends an invitation to non-Canadians who intend to make Saskatchewan their home.

•     Yukon

For you to be eligible to apply to the Yukon Nominee Program, you will need to be a business owner, and your application is meant to hire foreign workers to fill a permanent or full-time job with a permanent resident. The Government of Yukon does not recruit workers. As a foreign worker, you can bring a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children under the age of 18 to Yukon, if approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Steps of How “Express Entry” Works

There are four steps to how it works, as follows:

  1. Find out your eligibility,
  2. Get your documents ready,
  3. submit your profile,
  4. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and apply for Canadian Permanent Residence (PR).

Step 1 – Find out if you’re eligible to get Express Entry into Canada

Express Entry has diverse programs. There are two ways to know if you are eligible for any program that suits your skill.

1. You need to read the detailed requirements for each program: Skilled workers are chosen based on their ability to contribute to the economy of Canada, which is based on the skills they possess.

2.   You will be asked to answer a few questions as a step to confirm that you meet the minimum requirements for a Canadian permanent residency: 

Do you intend to live permanently and work in Canada in a skilled job? Then you will be required to answer a few questions to ensure you can apply under Express Entry. The three existing immigration programs under Express Entry all have diverse requirements, and you will be required to fill out this form in a duration of 10 to 15 minutes.

Category of Questions to expect:

• Details on job offers

• Education

• Work experience

• Language ability

• Nationality

• Age

• Family members

The answers you provide will determine the program you may be eligible for.

For those who are not eligible for Express Entry, you will be required to follow a detailed list of instructions on the next steps to take. One of these steps includes filling out a profile online. If you meet the requirements based on the profile provided, you will be put in a pool of candidates for immigration, and possibly sent an application to apply for immigration.

Step 2 – Get your documents ready

Thee are some required documents such as language test results that show your eligibility for Express Entry. Most documents take a longer duration, so it’s advisable to get them on time.

Documents required for your Express Entry profile

 To submit your profile, you do not need to upload documents. Still, you may need information from a few or all of the following documents:

• Provincial nomination (if available).

• A written job offer from a Canadian employer (if available).

• Education Credential Assessment (ECA) report: If you are applying through the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) program, or you want to obtain points to further your study in Canada.

• Language test results (English and/or French).

• Passport or travel document. Note: Venezuelan passport holders may need to complete extra steps while creating their profile.

Documents required for permanent resident (PR) application

If you are invited to apply, you will be required to upload copies of the documents used in your profile.

Most applicants will also need to upload some more documents, as shown below:

• Proof of funds

• Police certificate

• Medical exams

RELATED POST: What is the Cost of Express Entry in Canada?

RELATED CONTENT: Total Cost of Express Entry Canada Visa in Nigerian Naira(₦)

Step 3 – Submit Your Express Entry Profile

Since you give out information about yourself on the Express Entry, you will be accepted if you are eligible and will be ranked using a points-based system. The information on your profile determines your score.

Check your score

Comprehensive Ranking Systems (CRS) tool

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a point-based system that is used to assess and score your profile and give it a ranking in the Express Entry pool. It’s is also essential to note that the CRS is an integral part of the Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements. This will help you calculate your CRS score based on the answers provided by you. It is used to access to your:

• education

• Skills

• Language ability

• Work experience

• Other factors

Fill out the online form

As a skilled immigrant planning to immigrate to Canada, submitting your profile to the Express Entry pool is your first step.

If you’re eligible we will:

• Place you in a pool with others who are also eligible

• Score and rank you by several factors

• Invite you to apply to become a permanent resident (PR) of Canada (if you’re one of the top candidates)

Note: Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence (PR).

Eligibility Questions

You will be required to answer a few questions to show eligibility for Express Entry, and it usually takes about 15 minutes. These questions are part of the Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements. 

If you have a spouse or common-law partner, one of you must be the primary or principal applicant. It is required that the main applicant will submit a profile and list the spouse or partner in it. The principal applicants should be the one among the two of you, who is most likely to:

• Earn the most points in Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

• Meet the requirements for eligibility.

• Earn the most point in the process of selection when applying under the Federal Skilled Workers Program.

In the end, you get a reference code that resembles JM1234567890. This is your personal reference code, and it’s used for moving information from the Express Entry profile.

How the Express Entry profile is ranked

The selection process is done by eligibility to migrate to Canada and is determined from the candidates’ profile. Your points grid is based on the information, skills, and experience in your profile. 

For you to be chosen from the pool and invited to apply, you would be required to have one of the highest-ranking scores when invitations are sent out.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

This system is point-based and was created to access and score the Express Entry profile of people candidates who want to apply for immigration programs.

You will have the ability to get up to 600 core points from CRS and a set of additional points of up to 600. This means that your total score will be out of 1,200.

Core: At least 600 points

1. Skills and experience criteria

2. Spouse or common-law partners criteria, such as their education and language testing or language skills.

3. Ability to transfer skills, including work experience and educational credentials.

Additional: At least 600 points

1. Canadian degrees, diploma or certificates

2. A valid job offer

3. Provincial or territorial nomination 

4. A relative or sibling living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident

5. Strong ability to speak the French language

From the above, Core points + Additional points = your total score

Create Your Express Entry Profile

All eligible candidates are sent an online profile to fill out for the Express Entry profile.

1. If you do not have an already existing account, follow the instructions to create a new one.

2. Input your personal reference code when prompted (ignore if you already own one).

3. Enter your personal information

4. Create or sign in to your account.

To complete your profile, you will need:

• Your National Occupational Class (NOC) code and job title. Your information is saved even if you exit the profile at any timeline.

• Information from some certain documents like (Language test).

You can now submit within 60 days if you have completed your Express entry profile. Otherwise, you will start all over again.

After filling your profile, submission can be made online. The immigration program you are eligible for will be chosen for you based on the Express Entry that suits you.

Need Help Creating and Submitting Your Express Entry Profile?
Contact Us!

What you’ll get from us:

  • A detailed list of documents that are required to create your Express Entry Profile.
  • Create your Express Entry Profile for you and submit it to IRCC.
  • Assist you in determining your National Occupation Classification (NOC) job title and code.
  • Ensure that you submit an accurate Express Entry profile, so that you can avoid mistakes that could cause delays or refusals.
  • Assist you in uploading your profile on the Canada Job Bank, and provide you with tools and resources to help you find work in Canada.
  • Evaluate your profile and advise you on how to improve your ranking.
  • Monitor other Canada immigration programs, such as Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and advise you quickly about new programs as they are announced.

The Express Entry system may change or become more competitive in the future as more candidates upload profiles.
Hence, quick submission may maximize a candidate’s chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) before any change occurs.

Step 4 – Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and apply for Permanent Residence (PR)

Candidates with the highest scores are sent Invitation to Apply (ITA). If you receive an ITA, you have a 60 day period to submit your application for permanent residence. 

IRCC aims to process all applications that have complete supporting documents in 6 months or less.

Steps to Apply for Permanent Residence (PR): Express Entry

1. Fill the online form.

2. Scan and upload the required documents.

3. Pay your fees.

4. Submit your completed application.

5. 5 Check your application status after you apply.


• You would be required to pay $1,040 CAD for your application.

• You would be required to pay $1,040 CAD to include your spouse.

• You would be required to pay $150 CAD to add a dependent child.

Processing time

This time is the duration given for your biometrics to be checked with your application. So it entails that you give your biometrics together with your application.

You are invited to apply within 60 days, as this is the valid period. You should begin to fill the online form immediately so all the necessary information and documents Immigratiopn, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires can be gotten before the invitation expires.

Steps to fill the online form to apply for permanent residence:

• Sign in to your account.

• apply for permanent residence (PR) under Express Entry, and you click on the link.

Things to do when filling out the form

• Ensure that all your answers are complete and true.

• Ensure that you fill all mandatory fields, to enable you to submit your application.

• Your progress and information can be saved, and you can go back as often as you need to.


We know there’s a lot of information here, so we have included a Pin, so that you can easily come back to this.


Need help creating your Express Entry Profile? Contact Us!

Are you aware of any new Canada Express Entry Eligibility Requirements that we did not include here? Feel free to share in the comment section below.



Charee Oisamoje is the founder of CanadaWiz. She leads the editorial team, which is comprised of subject matter experts that aim to create well-researched, highly detailed content related to studying, working, immigrating, and settling/living in Canada as a newcomer.

Charee's personal experiences as a Canadian immigrant and her professional competencies make her uniquely qualified on the subject matter.

With extensive educational credentials, she is an expert at collecting details, verifying facts, and making complex subjects easy to understand. ✔️MBA in Finance ✔️MScIB ✔️CCEA (#CCG 271) ✔️CPA Candidate ✔️CIP ✔️BSc Accounting

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