Moving from the Phillipines

Express Entry: Moving from the Philippines

The Philippines was once the third-largest source of foreigners coming into Canada after India and China year in and year out across various Canadian immigration routes.

Since the launch of the Express Entry program in 2015 however, the number of Filipino candidates invited has been on the decline from 3500 candidates in 2015 to 900 in 2019. One of the first things you have to do is figure out if the Express Entry route is right for you based on these factors:

Your age

Marital status (and your spouse’s information)


Work experience

Language proficiency  (English or French)

Level of educational qualification

Filipinos and The Express Entry

As mentioned above, there has been a gradual reduction in the number of Filipinos invited since the introduction of Express Entry in 2015.

One of the reasons for this is the education system in the Philippines. Express Entry is a competitive immigration process that has to do with points for human capital factors like Age, Education, and work experience. For points to be awarded for education, an applicant is required to have Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) done to compare their education to Canadian Standard. However, the difference in the duration of high school education between Canada (12 years) and the Philipines (10 years) means that a Filipino applicant with a high school and 4-year bachelor’s degree might be valued two years lesser.

If you then want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, you will need to get an ECA done to know where you stand. Although in 2012, the Government of Philipines introduced a 12-year high school education system, the Filipinos that will benefit from it are likely not the ones currently in the pool. are eligible, and understand the requirements and information to provide.

In the paragraphs below, we have put together to handy information to ensure you get a good shot at Express Entry.


Which Express Entry Program Is Right For a Filipino?

The three immigration programs under the Express Entry system have distinct requirements.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for applicants outside Canada with foreign education and work experience.

The Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program is suitable for those with Canadian tradesperson qualifications.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program has a requirement of Canadian work experience which is usually gotten after studying in Canada.

From the above, It can be seen that If you have never worked or visited Canada, the FSW program is the Express Entry route that is best for you.

We are going to reiterate this, With Express Entry(especially now that there is uncertainty in cut-off when all programs draw resumes in July 2022) it is not enough to meet the basic requirements as it is point-based and quite competitive. Hence you need to score high points on all requirements to meet possible cutoffs.


FSW Requirements:

  • minimum of one year full-time, continuous skilled work experience;
  • high school education or above;
  • proof of language ability via test scores at or above CLB level 7 which is the Canadian Language Benchmark

For instance, the minimum level of education is high school but it only attracts 5 points on the FSW points grid while Bachelor’s degree holder gets 21 points! The same applies to language, (if bi-lingual with test scores to claim points) age, work experience, and adaptability factors.


Now that you are familiar with the basics. The next step will be checking what your CRS would be. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is the singular determinant of applicant’s success in Express Entry. This is why it is advisable to attempt a sample of the CRS score, you can check receivable points for each factor here. The points gotten is as a result of your documents profile and you can gauge your chances of success.

Documents Needed

Language Tests:

There is no escaping this requirement. The Philippines is English-speaking, majority of Filipinos opt for English tests to show proficiency. However, If you are bi-lingua that will be a way to make up for lost points in education or any other factor.

Canada and Saskatchewan approve two English Language Tests. They are the IELTS General Training and the CELPIP General Training both of which are available in the Philippines. The Philippines has well over 25 IELTS centers and there is equally a CELPIP test center in Manila. It is up to you to choose an appropriate test center closest to you or the most suitable one based on availability and location.


That being said, to have an edge, an applicant should aim at achieving CLB 9 in any of these tests.

The following are scores to achieve CLB 9

IELTS General

Listening – 8.0, Speaking – 7.0, Reading –  7.0, Writing –   7.0


CELPIP General

Listening – 9.0, Speaking – 9.0, Reading –  9.0, Writing –   9.0


Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

We previously mentioned the disparity between the Filipino and Canadian education system and that high school education is the minimum required for Express Entry, the truth is, high school on its own can’t give you enough points to make you competitive in the pool.

The CRS points for education are based on the Canadian educational equivalence and this is where ECA comes in. The ideal level of education (not that there is something bad with others, but this has more points) you should go for is:

” Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years”

In simpler terms, you need an education level like this for instance:

  • A Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree
  • A Bachelor’s degree and a one-year college diploma


The process of ECA is quite simple but can be costly and time-consuming, so start early. You will need to get the official transcripts of your degrees, certificates, or diplomas and submit it for processing, getting transcripts can be a cumbersome process, please check with the issuing organization in your home country for possible expediting services to avoid delays. For your ECA, the widely used platform is WES – World Educational Service.


Work Experience and Age

Work Experience: Even though the minimum required non-Canadian work experience is 1 year. If you want to maximize your CRS points, you would need three years of full-time skilled work experience.

Age: Let’s just say Saskatchewan and Canada generally favor those in the younger age group when it comes to awarding points. This is why the maximum number of points for applicants age is between 20 and 29 years old. Once you hit 30, you lose points downward



Let’s talk about Funds: How much do you need to show?

Remember we have been talking about FSW that doesn’t require a job offer, because of this you will need to show immigration you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Saskatchewan.

Please note that these funds have to be in your account that has your name or that of your spouse, It must be accessible to spend. The following is in Canadian dollars and the actual amount in Philippine pesos will vary according to exchange rates as at the time of your application.

Number of family members/Required funds (in CAD)


1 (single applicant $13,310→

2  → $16,570

3  →  $20,371

4 → $24,733

5→  $28,052

6  →   $31,638

7→  $35,224

For each additional family member, you will have to add $3,586

Before committing yourself, time and money to the Express Entry route, We have some tips for you:

First, check your eligibility by going through the requirements for each of the programs under Express Entry and be convinced on which you qualify.


Make an estimate of CRS Score: There is a tool on the government page to calculate your CRS. While we understand you might not have actual documents yet like Language tests, an estimate can be made to give you an idea of what is achievable.

Get your ECA and sit for Language Test: Your ECA should come first as you would want to be certain of a high result. Doing both at the same time might lead to wasting money and effort should your ECA return lower results.

Should you not score high enough to earn you an Invitation to Apply (ITA) after doing the above and comparing your points with cut-off scores in current draws, look towards other immigration programs such as Provincial nomination programs in Saskatchewan and Temporary Foreign Worker Programs like the Caregiver program.