Express Entry in Canada - everything you need to know

You would like to move to Canada but you are not sure which program or work permit would be the best option for you?

If you would like to move to any province except Québec, the Express Entry program may be the fastest way to make your dream of immigrating to Canada a reality!

In this article we will explain the different programs under which you could qualify to come to Canada as a permanent resident under Express Entry.


What are the advantages of becoming permanent resident (PR) ?

Express Entry is the most popular pathway for immigrants seeking a new life in Canada.

Permanent residency in Canada will give you the same advantages as a Canadian citizen except for the right to vote.

Express Entry is the best way to come to Canada as a permanent resident and eventually become a Canadian citizen!

You will land in Canada as a permanent resident and will not have to worry about obtaining a work permit, renewing it and making sure you keep a valid status during your stay as your permanent resident card will be valid for 5 years. 



How Express Entry works

Express Entry is an online system used by Immigration Canada to manage immigration applications from skilled workers.

The system manages three (3) federal immigration programs:

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

Express Entry is a competitive immigration system. The systems rank all eligible candidates against one another and candidates who are selected will them be invited to apply for the permanent residency process.

The criteria used to rank candidates depend of your age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.

Once you have assessed if you are eligible you will have to submit your profile online and wait until you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Once you are invited you will need to provide supporting documents such as reference letters, identity documents, police clearance certificates, and take a mandatory medical examination.



Langage test

You will need to take an English or French test(s) in order to determine your language proficiency and be eligible for any Express Entry programs.

💡 In it interesting to note that francophones may earn up to an additional 50 points for strong French language skills even if French is your second language.

Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades program are the following:

  • have the intention to live anywhere in Canada but outside the province of Quebec;
  • have a level CLB5 for listening and speaking and CLB4 for writing and reading either in French or English,
  • have a minimum full-time 2 years experience in a skilled trade profession (please see list below) in the last 5 years (you can also have an equivalent amount of time if you have worked part-time)
  • be able to prove that your work experience duties correspond to the essential duties described in the NOC,
  • have a full-time job offer of minimum one year or get a certificate of qualification

Group 632 - Chefs and Cooks
Group 633 - Butchers and Bakers
Group 72 - Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades
Group 73 - Equipment Maintenance and Operation Trades
Group 82 - Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production
Group 92 - Processing, Manufacturing and Utility Supervisors and Central Control Operators

To obtain a certificate of qualification, you need to be assessed by the regulatory body of the province or territory you are planning to live in.

Each province and territory has different regulatory bodies so you will have to determine if your occupation based on your NOC code is regulated in your province and territory and which organisation regulates it.

It is important to note that you may need to gain work experience and/or training in Canada in order to obtain your certificate of qualification.

Even if you do not need to have a minimum education level to qualify for the FST Program you can earn more CRS points if you have one. You will need to request an Educational credential assessment (ECA) to verify that your foreign diploma is equivalent to a Canadian one.


Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The eligibility criteria for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are:

  • have the intention to live anywhere in Canada but outside the province of Quebec;
  • have a minimum one year work experience of NOC skill type/level 0, A or B in Canada within the past 3 years (self-employed and internship experience cannot be taken into account)
  • show that you had the right to legally obtain your work experience in Canada (with a work permit)
  • depending on your job you will need to demonstrate a minimum language level in each of the four language abilities (writing, speaking, listening, reading):
  • If your work experience was obtained in a type 0 or A job of the NOC skill level you need a CLB7 level
  • If your work experience was obtained in a type B job of the NOC skill level you need a CLB5 level

Even if you do not need to have a minimum education level to qualify for the CEC Program you can earn more CRS points if you have one. You will need to request an Educational credential assessment (ECA) to verify that your foreign diploma is equivalent to a Canadian one.


Supporting documents to demonstrate your Work Experience

Not all work experience makes you eligible for Express Entry!

You will have to determine that your work experience as defined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) will be taken into account  for Express Entry.

In it important to know that you will need to prove your work experience by providing a signed letter for every job you had and that makes you eligible for Express Entry.

You have to provide signed letter from your previous employers containing details about the duties and responsibilities you had based on the duties described in your NOC.

Proof of Funds Requirements

For candidates who apply under the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) and the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) programs, you need to demonstrate that you have the funds required to support  your family and yourself during the first few months after arrival in Canada, unless you are currently in Canada and have a temporary work permit or if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer.

You do not need to prove that you have enough funds if you applied under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program.

Minimum funds required as of June 27, 2022

Family size

Funds required


13,310 CAD


16,570 CAD


20,371 CAD


24,733 CAD


28,052 CAD


31,638 CAD


35,224 CAD

For each additional family member

3,586 CAD


You do not need to bring all the money with you but you will have to be able to show a recent bank statement to the immigration officer at the airport if requested.

Please note that you need to declare the money you bring if it exceeds $10,000 or you will risk a fine. You will not have to pay taxes on it but this measure ensures that the money was not acquired through fraudulent activities.


Express entry, why wait? Start your process today!

Now that you know more aboutExpress Entry, you can start by checking which program you would qualify under.

You can do an online self-assessment directly on the Immigration Canada website by following this link to see if you have enough points to be selected.

Depending on how many points you have, you can do things like get a job offer, increase your work experience or improve your language skills.

You work in new information technologies? Are you a developer? Scrum Master? etc.

At Maplr, we accompany you in all your steps and help you find a job in Canada!

Register to our program here: Register for the Maplr program

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