How Express Entry works

The Express Entry online system is used to manage applications for Permanent Residence under three separate programs:
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

Each program has its own eligibility criteria. Candidates need to meet all requirements for at least one program to apply under Express Entry, and can't mix and match criteria from different programs. The following table shows the eligbility requirements for each of the three programs:

Eligibility Criteria Canadian Experience Class Federal Skilled Worker Program Federal Skilled Trades Program
Language skills English or French skills
  • CLB 7 for TEER 0 or TEER 1 occupations
  • CLB 5 for TEER 2 or TEER 3 occupations
English or French skills
  • CLB 7
English or French skills
  • CLB 5 for speaking and listening
  • CLB 4 for reading and writing
Type/Level of work experience Canadian work experience in an occupation listed in 1 or more of these NOC TEER Categories:
  • TEER 0
  • TEER 1
  • TEER 2
  • TEER 3
Work experience in an occupation listed in 1 of these NOC TEER Categories:
  • TEER 0
  • TEER 1
  • TEER 2
  • TEER 3
Work experience in a skilled trade under key groups of TEER 2 or TEER 3:
  • Major Group 72, technical trades and transportation officers and controllers, excluding Sub-Major Group 726, transportation officers and controllers
  • Major Group 73, general trades
  • Major Group 82, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production
  • Major Group 83, occupations in natural resources and related production
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers
  • Major Group 93, central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
  • Minor Group 6320, cooks, butchers and bakers
  • Unit Group 62200, chefs
Amount of work experience One year in Canada in the last 3 years (either combination of full-time or part-time work) One year continuous within the last 10 years (combination of part-time, full-time or more than 1 job in your primary occupation) Two years within last 5 years (either combination of full-time or part-time work)
Job offer Not required. Not required. Required:
  • a valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
  • a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority
Education Not required. Secondary education required. Not required.



The eligibility criteria was updated on November 16, 2022 when the new National Occupation Classification (NOC 2021) came into effect. The previous skill levels were replaced by the new TEER categories. The points you get in the comprehensive ranking system (CRS) and the selection factors for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will generally follow this update chart:

NOC 0 = TEER 0
NOC A = TEER 1
NOC B = TEER 2 & 3

For example, if you would have received 50 CRS points for arranged employment in Skill Type/Level 0, A or B, you will still get 50 points for arranged employment in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3.

In addition to these minimum requirements, eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program is assessed using a 100-point grid. Candidates need to score a minimum of 67 points to be eligible. Click here to learn more about this additional requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Program only.

Express Entry uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to score and rank profiles in the pool. The CRS awards points based on human capital factors such as education, language ability, work experience and skills transferability. Use the official CRS tool to calculate your score.

Besides the three regular programs, applications can immigrate through Express Entry as a provincial nominee. There are two options to do this: either apply with the province first, and once nominated, submit an application via Express Entry. Or create an Express Entry profile first, indicating the provinces of interest, and wait for a "notification of interest" from a province. In both cases, candidates will receive a provincial nomination certificate and be awarded 600 additional points that will help them get invited to apply.

During each round of invitations, IRCC selects the highest-ranking profiles from the pool and invites them to apply for permanent residence. An invitation round has a specific date and time, number of candidates that will get an invitation to apply and immigration program(s) that are included in the round. Some invitation rounds may only invite candidates for one program, for example only from Federal Skilled Trades. The date and time of the invitation round decides the tie breaking rule. If more than one candidate has the lowest score, the cut-off is based on the date and time they submitted their Express Entry profiles. Click here to see previous rounds of invitations with the respective minimum CRS score and applicable immigration programs. 

Want to know how you can qualify and apply for Express Entry? Contact us!

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