Express Entry is an application process for skilled workers who want to settle in Canada. With the growing number of people immigrating to Canada, there has been a lot of interest in understanding the express entry process and the different programs within it.

By now, you would already know the 3 programs within Express Entry: CEC (Canadian Experience Class), FSW (Federal Skills Worker), and FST (Federal Skilled Trades).

When creating an online Express Entry profile, the information you provide not only helps determine your CRS points but also helps in determining your eligibility for one of the three programs within Express Entry. For this reason, you may be asked to provide information that may not be relevant to calculating your CRS points, but might be required for checking your eligibility. One such example is the question of how much money you will bring to Canada. FSW requires that the candidate have a specific amount of funds to be used for settling in Canada, while CEC has no such fund requirement. If you provide no fund information, or funds less than the amount required for FSW, you may not be eligible for FSW.

The below table highlights the high-level differences between the 3 programs. The 2 terms you should know about before starting to compare programs are CLB and NOC.

CLB stands for Canadian Language Benchmark. It is used to describe, measure, and recognize the English language ability of applicants applying to settle in Canada.The Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens is used to assess French language abilities. You can learn more about CLB in this post.

NOC stands for National Occupation Classification. It describes each job according to its skill type and skill level. Below are the major job groups:

Skill Type 0: Management Jobs

Skill Type A: Professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university

Skill Type B: Technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice

Skill Type C:  Intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training

Skill Type D: Labour jobs that usually give on-the-job training

Eligibility Criteria CEC FSW FST
Language Skills English or French skills

– CLB 7 if your NOC is 0 or A

– CLB 5 if your NOC is B

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 experience in 1of these NOCs:

– 0

– A

– B

Canadian or foreign experience in 1 of these NOCs:

– 0

– A

– B


Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B


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.


But you can get selection criteria (FSW) points for having a valid job offer.


A valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or

certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority

Education Not required. Secondary education required.

You can get more selection criteria (FSW) points for your post-secondary education.

Not required.


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