Express Entry

Whether you’re seeking career opportunities or the high quality of life the country renowned offers, Canada provides a range of immigration programs welcoming foreign nationals. One of the most popular immigration programs to date—as well as being the fastest processed—is the Express Entry system that expedites the journey to permanent residency.

The two main subcategories for Express Entry are the Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW) and the Federal Skilled Trades program (FST). While well-known for being highly competitive, these two programs give skilled foreign individuals the chance of a prioritized application—greatly easing their journey to obtaining PR status. In this article, we’ll outline each program’s eligibility, application process, and what we at Cian Immigration can do to help you.

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Federal Skilled Worker Program

Who Is Eligible To Apply?

Just like all the other programs under the Express Entry system, the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program runs on a points basis using the Comprehensive Ranking System. To firstly make note: this program is specifically for those wishing to settle in any province except Quebec—for which a different, province-specific immigration pathway will be available.

The minimum requirements to be eligible span 3 areas—education, language proficiency, and work experience. Only once all these are met will the application be assessed for other factors, which will be outlined later. For education, you will need a certificate of your completed education—whether it was abroad or in Canada— as well as an Educational Credential Assessment from a recognized service for those who studied internationally. For language proficiency, you will need to obtain a Canadian Language Benchmark score of at least 7 across writing, speaking, reading, and listening.

Work experience covers more requirements: within the last 10 years, you must have had at least 1 year of full-time, paid foreign work (or 2 years of part-time work) in the same type of job that you’ll be applying with for the immigration program. The important requirement for the Federal Skilled Workers is that your job falls under one of these three National Occupational Classifications (NOC): a managerial job, professional job, or technical/skilled trades—as well as completing all the core duties as listed by the NOC for each category.

When it comes to assessing your application based on points, there are 6 criteria that are awarded points accordingly—with a minimum of 413 points needed for the chance of receiving an invitation. They are as follows:


  1. Education (maximum of 25): for secondary school to doctoral level
  2. Language (maximum of 28): for English CLB scores to French NCLC scores from 7 to 9
  3. Age (maximum of 12): scores awarded from 18 years of age to 46.
  4. Adaptability (maximum of 10): from whether you have family residing in Canada to if you have previous work experience in the country
  5. Work experience (maximum of 15): from 1 year of work experience to over 6.
  6. Your employment offer (maximum of 10): from whether you already work in Canada with a work permit to if you have yet to work in the country and don’t have a permit.

What Is The Process?

Once you meet all the minimum requirements and are confident of a points score of at least 413, you will be ready to submit an Express Entry profile to the program’s pool. A short eligibility questionnaire on Canada’s official immigration website will lead you to create an account, enter your details, and include all the required information before submitting.


However, simply being part of the Express Entry pool does not secure your permanent residence. Since your application will be given a CRS score that will be competitively assessed against other candidates in the pool, the higher your score, the better your chances of success. If selected, a process that takes an average of 6 months, you will then receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency—giving you 2 months to submit an online application for Canadian PR.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

Who Is Eligible To Apply?

While the Federal Skilled Trades program (FST) operates on a points system like the FSW, it has its own unique eligibility requirements that includes: occupation, work experience, valid Canadian employment, language proficiency, and the intention to reside in any province that excludes Quebec—which has its own dedicated immigration pathways.

Under the NOC’s classifications, the eligible occupations for skilled trades are for 3 major groups (industrial and construction, supervisors and technicians in specific industries, and trades in maintenance and equipment operations) and 2 minor groups (butchers and bakers and chefs and cooks). Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years paid, full-time work experience (or 4 years of part-time work experience) within the last 5 years.

In their specific occupation, candidates must have either a full-time job offer from a Canadian employee (totaling at least 1 year), or a certification of qualification for their trade granted by a Canadian authority. Further requirements include: a CLB French or English language score of at least 4—across reading, writing, speaking, and listening—as well as proof of funds that you are able to support yourself and your dependents during your settlement in Canada.

What Is The Process?

Submitting your application for the federal skilled trades program is a similar process to the federal skilled worker program—both running under the Express Entry system. This entails opening an Express Entry profile, completing your details, and submitting your profile into a competitive pool of candidates.

However, a key difference is that you must first be assessed for your skilled trade—a process that differs from province to province or may be federally regulated. If your application is successfully selected from the Entry Express pool, you will then be invited to apply for permanent residence in the same way skilled workers will be.


How Cian Immigration Can Help You

The Express Entry system for both federal skilled workers and skilled trades offers a brilliant opportunity for foreign nationals to work, live in, and call Canada their home. However, its points system—assessing you against the score of other candidates in the same pool—makes it a highly competitive immigration program.

From ensuring your true eligibility to submitting all the required documents, accuracy and completeness is critical to ensure your application has the best chances of success. At Cian Immigration, our team of registered immigration consultants are ready to help you as much as you need. We are knowledgeable experts that know what questions to ask you and how to guide you through the application—saving you time, the hassle, and unnecessary delays. 

For any advice or guidance on your Express Entry application, feel most free to get in touch with us.

Do you have any question? We will be happy to hear from you.