Canada provides not less than 100,000 skilled workers with a permanent resident visa each year through Express Entry. So, if you’re a skilled worker seeking a business visa to Canada, you have a good chance through this system.

However, being a skilled worker doesn’t automatically qualify you for Canadian Express Entry. You’ll have to meet certain eligibility criteria, and knowing these criteria helps you to best position yourself for success in this quest.

In this article, we discuss in detail the requirements for Canadian Express Entry. This includes the minimum requirements and what makes a stronger profile, which increases the applicant’s success odds.

Canada Express Entry Requirements

What is the Canadian Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online system that the Canadian government uses to manage applications from skilled workers seeking to immigrate to Canada and become permanent residents.

The electronic platform allows individuals seeking business immigration to Canada to apply through any of these economic programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Express Entry comes with some eligibility criteria, meaning that not all candidates are eligible for the programs managed by Express Entry. Once you meet these criteria, you can go ahead and submit a profile on the Express Entry system.

How Does the Canada Express Entry Work?

Interested and eligible candidates for any of the programs managed by the Canada Express Entry can submit their profiles online. Once this is done, the Canadian government assesses each applicant’s eligibility using their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. 

The CRS is a scoring model used by the Canadian government to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. To calculate a candidate’s CRS score, the government depends on several factors, including:

  • Work experience
  • Age
  • Education
  • Language levels

The highest-scoring candidates from the Express Entry pool are sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. You can check your CRS score to know your chances of getting a Canadian permanent resident visa. Also, if you discover that your CRS score is low, you can take a few steps to increase it.

What are the Canadian Express Entry Requirements?

To submit a profile through the Express Entry system, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements. These criteria are dependent on the program that’s best suited for you.

Below are the eligibility requirements for the three federal programs you can apply for through the Canada Express Entry:

1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The FSWP is an economic immigration program for skilled workers who want to get business immigration to Canada and become permanent residents. To qualify for the program, an applicant must;

  • Have work experience in 1 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) job groups within the last 10 years, or at least 1 year of continuous part or full-time work (1,560 hours total). The job must be paid; unpaid internships or volunteer jobs do not count.
  • Pass the approved language ability test with a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 to show your proficiency in English or French.
  • For candidates educated in Canada: Have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution. OR

For candidates educated outside of Canada: Have a credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a recognized organization equivalent to credentials from a Canadian secondary institution or post-secondary institution.

  • Obtain at least 67 points under the FSWP points grid.
  • Show that you have sufficient funds to cater for you and your family in Canada unless you:
  • are currently able to legally work in Canada.
  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

The amount of money is dependent on the number of family members you’re hoping to bring along. The amounts for each family size are shown in the table below:

Number of Family Members
Funds Required
For each additional family member

2. Federal Skilled Trades Program

The FSTP is another immigration program for candidates who wish to become Canadian permanent residents based on having a skilled trade. Eligibility criteria include:

  • Meeting the language level requirements.
  • Having at least 2 years of full-time or part-time paid work experience in a skilled trade within the 5 years before application. The job must also meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as specified in the National Occupational Classification.
  • Showing proof of funds.

3. Canadian Experience Class

The CEC is available to skilled foreign workers who want to obtain permanent residence in Canada. To qualify for the program, candidates must:

  • Have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last 3 years before application.
  • Meet language proficiency criteria.

How Can I Obtain a Permanent Residence Visa through the Canadian Express Entry?

Here is a step-by-step guide for obtaining a permanent residence visa through Express Entry:

Step 1: Check the eligibility requirements to determine if you qualify.

Step 2: Get your documents ready. These include:

  • Language test results
  • Educational credential assessment report
  • Passport or travel documents

Step 3: Once ready, submit your profile on the website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Step 4: Wait to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence from IRCC.

Step 5: If you’re successful and receive an invitation to apply (ITA) from IRCC, you’ll have to provide extensive application materials to IRCC. These documents include:

  • Reference letter
  • Additional identity documents
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Result of a medical examination.

Once you’ve gathered these documents, submit an Application for Permanent Residence (APR) within 60 days of receiving the invitation. IRCC will then send you an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR).

Step 6: Wait to receive a message from IRCC asking you to submit your biometrics. Once you get the message, respond accordingly.

Step 7: Wait for IRCC to finalize your application. This may take 6 months or less. If you’re successful, IRCC will send you a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if your country requires a visa). Travel to Canada to complete your landing.

How Much Does Express Entry Cost?

The cost of immigrating to Canada will differ based on whether you’re migrating alone or with your family. Below is a breakdown of these costs.

Language tests
Average cost – $300
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
Average cost – $200
Government fees
$1,325/adult & $225/child
Medical examination fees
Average cost – $450/adult & $250/child
Police clearance certificates
Average cost – $100/Country

Government fees are only requested when you’re applying for Canadian permanent residence, not at the initial stage of submitting your Express Entry profile. You may also need to pay provincial immigration fees if you apply through the provincial nominee program.


If you’re a skilled worker or trades person looking for a business visa to Canada, Canada Express Entry is one of the easiest routes to take. However, before taking any major step, check your eligibility status to be sure you stand a chance to succeed. If your CRS score is low, you can extend your application and intentionally work at increasing your points.