What are the key eligibility criteria under the Express Entry Program for skilled immigrants in Canadian Immigration Law?

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Title: Key Eligibility Criteria under the Express Entry Program in Canadian Immigration Law: An Insight by LexLords Lawyers


The Express Entry Program was launched by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage applications for economic immigration programs. It is a system used by the Canadian government to select skilled immigrants as permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and contribute towards the economy positively. Analyzing this comprehensive and intricate system, the legal experts at LexLords, a leading Canada Immigration Law firm, shed light on the key eligibility criteria needed for applying through this program.

Key Eligibility Criteria:

1. Skilled Work Experience: The applicant must have at least one year, or 1560 hours, of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience within the last ten years in a skilled occupation listed under the Canadian National Occupational Classification. The experience must be classified as Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B.

2. Language Proficiency: Applicants must prove proficiency in English or French – both the official languages of Canada. The testing must align with the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for English and Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (NCLC) 7 for French.

3. Education: The candidate’s foreign education degree, certificate or diploma might be considered equivalent to a Canadian one. For this, candidates must get an Educational Credential Assessment from an approved organization.

4. Admissibility: Candidates must be admissible to Canada, i.e., they should not have any criminal records or pose a threat to Canada’s security or public health.

5. Arranged Employment (optional): Having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer can improve the candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

6. Financial Stability: Candidates must show sufficient funds to prove their ability to support themselves and their families after moving to Canada.

Case Laws and Judgments relevant to Express Entry Program:

1. In the case of Singh v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2019 FC 1435, the court ruled that immigration officials must give reasons when refusing an Express Entry application, enhancing the transparency and fairness of the system.

2. The case of Gauthier & Anor v. Canada (Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration), 2018 FC 396, highlighted that immigration authorities must meticulously evaluate all aspects of an applicant’s profile, including work experience, before making a decision.

3. In Patel v. Canada, 2017 FC 202, the Federal Court held that while evaluating English language proficiency for Express Entry application, standardized test results are a valid criterion but shouldn’t be the sole determining factor.

4. The Court in Komolafe v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2019 FC 1093, emphasized that the immigration officer should critically analyze the applicants’ source and availability of funds to determine their genuine intention to settle in Canada.


The Express Entry Program runs on a comprehensive ranking system that allows Canadian authorities to assess immigrants on critical factors that relate to their potential contribution to Canadian society. The legal framework around it is complex, but with expert guidance from a seasoned law firm like LexLords, navigating the process can be made easier for immigrants. The judgments listed outline the level of scrutiny in the evaluation of Express Entry applications and highlight the important role played by legal professionals in ensuring the observance of due process and fairness.