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The Express Entry Program is a point-based Canada immigration regulatory system developed by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2015. With this system, the Canadian government can manage skilled worker applications for professionals looking to settle in Canada as permanent residents. It awards points to professionals based on skills, experience, Canadian employment status and provincial/territorial nomination. 

Applicants with the highest points receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for PR in Canada.


Candidates with university or college degrees with skilled work experience and moderate proficiency in English and/or French are ideal candidates. Express Entry manages applications for three economic immigration programs:

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Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

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Federal Skill Trades (FST)

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Canada Experience Class (CEC)


According to the eligibility criteria of Express Entry Program, as a skilled worker you must:

  • Be able to demonstrate on an approved language test a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) seven proving adequate knowledge in either English or French

  • Completed post-secondary education that is assessed against Canadian standards with an Educational Credential Assessment and attain a positive report

  • A score of at least 67 points out of 100 to qualify for some programs

  • Have at least one year, in the last 10 years, of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation


The Express Entry eligibility is determined using a unique point-based system called the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The Canada Express Entry CRS is designed to identify potential immigrants that are likely to succeed economically once living in Canada. To do so effectively, the Express Entry CRS awards points for factors that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have found to correlate positively with future economic success for new immigrants to Canada. These Canadian Express Entry eligibilty factors include age, level of education, French or English language proficency, as well as previous work experience in Canada.

Age (maximum 110 points)

You can score the maximum points if you are between 18-35 years. Those above this age will gain lesser points. Candidates with a spouse or common-law partner are eligible for up to 100 points. Canada prefers young immigrants, and prospective candidates in their twenties receive the most points under this eligibility factor. Potential immigrants who are 45 years of age or older do not receive any Express Entry CRS points for their age.

Level of Education (maximum 150 points)

Your minimum educational qualification must be equal to the higher secondary education level in Canada. A higher level of educational qualification means more points. Canada Express Entry eligibility factor rewards prospective immigrants who have excellent educational qualifications. Well educated immigrants that do not have a spouse or common-law partner can be awarded as many as 150 points under this component. Express Entry candidates interested in immigrating to Canada with a spouse or common-law partner can obtain up to 140 points. Candidates who have not graduated from high school receive zero Express Entry points under this section.

Language Proficiency (maximum 160 points)

You must have at least 6 bands in your IELTS equivalent to CLB 7 to be eligible to apply and score the minimum points. Higher scores mean more points. English proficiency and French proficiency are determined according to four abilities: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Each of these abilities is equally weighted under the Canada Express Entry eligibility formula. Express Entry applicants without a spouse or common-law partner are awarded up to 34 points for each first language ability, for a total of 136 points (34 x 4). Applicants with a spouse can get up to 32 points per first language ability, for a total of 128 points (32 x 4). For both types of applicants, each of these language abilities is worth up to 6 points as a second language for a total of 24 points (6 x 4). This means it is possible to be awarded up to 160 points (136 + 24) under this Express Entry eligibility factor as a prospective immigrant without a spouse, while candidates with a partner are eligible for up to 150 points.

Canada Work Experience (maximum 80 points)

Previous work experience in Canada can increase the probability of a new immigrant succeeding in their career, and is consequently an important factor when calculating Canada Express Entry eligibility. To score the minimum points you should have at least one year of work experience. If you have more years of work experience you will gain more points. Applicants with a spouse or common-law partner are eligible for up to 70 points for this Comprehensive Ranking System component, while those with no spouse or partner are eligible for as many as 80 points.

Level of Education, Language Proficiency, Canadian Work Experience of Spouse/Common Law Partner (maximum 10, 20, 10 points respectively)

A spouse's educational qualifications is one of these measured factors, and applicants with highly educated spouses can be awarded up to 10 points under the Canadian Express Entry CRS sector.

If they can read, write, speak or listen effectively in either English or French can gain up to 5 points for each ability for a total of 20 points.

Work experience in Canada is a key factor when determing Express Entry eligibility, and a spouse's job experience in the country helps as well. If they have eligible Canadian work experience, they can gain as many as 10 points under this CRS category.

Skills Transferability (maximum 100 points)

The Canada Express Entry eligility score of applicants with skills that transfer well into Canadian society can gain up to 100 points under this category. There are a variety of options available under this Express Entry CRS component, each worth as much as 50 points, but the Express Entry skill transferability factor is firmly capped at 100 eligibilty points.

  • Education and Language Proficiency Points Grid (maximum 50 points)

  • Education and Canadian Work Experience Points Grid (maximum 50 points)

  • Foreign Work Experience and Language Proficiency Points Grid (maximum 50 points)

  • Foreign Work Experience and Canadian Work Experience Points Grid (maximum 50 points)

  • Certificate of Trade Qualification and Language Proficiency Points Grid (maximum 50 points)

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