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Live and Work in Canada: Express Entry as an Option

WELCOME to our self-help Canada Immigration Series. In our maiden edition, we informed you of the available options you could explore to achieve your goal of relocating to Canada.
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WELCOME to our self-help Canada Immigration Series. In our maiden edition, we informed you of the available options you could explore to achieve your goal of relocating to Canada. One of the options we listed was the Economic and Business Immigration Pathways which include the popular Provincial Nominee Programs, Express Entry, Quebec Immigration, Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Programs, Caregivers Program, The Atlantic Immigration Pilot, and recently introduced Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and Agric-Food Pilot. In this edition, we will dive fully into these valuable options, starting with Express Entry.

Express Entry

Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway for newcomers seeking a new life in Canada and obtain a Canadian Permanent Residency. Applying to Express Entry is a two-step process. The first step is to submit your profile online at To do this requires the following important documents:

  1. Language test results: You will sit for the English Language test as proof of proficiency in the use of the English Language. IELTS is a common test in Nigeria. MOD IELTS or British Council IELTS are your options.   
  2. Educational credential assessment report: You will need to do a verification of your educational credentials that is WAEC/GCE/NECO certificate, university degree/post-graduate degree certificates. The way to get it done is through WES Canada.   
  3. An international passport: Of course, you know what that means!

Equipped with the above, the second step is to submit your profile on When you do, you will receive an "invitation to apply" for Canadian permanent residence and where you will need to provide a more substantial application that includes reference letters, additional identity documents, police clearance certificates, and results of a medical examination.                                                                                                                        

Can you apply for Express Entry?

You absolutely can if you have a university or college degrees, with skilled work experience and moderate proficiency in English (and/or French).

In general, to be eligible to apply to Express Entry as a skilled worker, you must:

  • Have at least one year, in the last 10 years, of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation
  • Be able to demonstrate on an approved language test a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) seven in either English or French
  • Completed post-secondary education that is assessed against Canadian standards with an Educational Credential Assessment. 

These are the minimum requirements to apply to Express Entry as a skilled worker. However, meeting these requirements doesn’t mean you will receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Candidates with stronger profiles will always be selected over candidates that simply meet the minimum requirement. 

Selection factors that can influence your CRS score are language proficiency, your age, your level of work experience, education, and Canadian connections. 

Ideal Express Entry candidates would meet the following requirements:

  • Be under 30 years old 
  • Hold at least two Bachelor’s degrees or a Master’s degree 
  • Be able to demonstrate moderate to high English and/or French language proficiency (CLB level eight or higher)
  • Have at least three years of skilled work experience

Other factors that can really boost your CRS score can include:

  • Higher language proficiency in English and/or French
  • Bilingualism in French and English
  • A Master’s degree or PhD Education
  • Canadian work or educational experience
  • A Canadian brother or sister currently residing in Canada
  • An arranged employment offer from a Canadian company 
  • A nomination from a provincial nominee program

If you don’t qualify for Express Entry, there are other options under the Economic and Business Immigration Pathways. We will look into Provincial Nominee Programs next week.