Canada Express Entry
Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway to permanent residence for immigrants seeking a new life in Canada.
Canada welcomes around 110,000 skilled workers through the Express Entry system each year.
What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is an online system used by the Canadian government to organize and process applications for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence status. The system manages three main federal economic programs:
Apply for Express Entry
Applying to Express Entry is a two-step process. The first step is to submit your profile which requires the following documents:
Language test results
Educational credential assessment report
A passport or travel document
After you submit your profile and you receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence, 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.
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 Education Credential Assessment
These are the minimum requirements to apply to Canada’s Express Entry system as a skilled worker. 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.
The amounts per family size are mentioned in the table below:
|Number of Family Members||Funds Required|
|For each additional family member||$3,586|
Express Entry can take as little as six months to process, from submission of the Express Entry profile to the issuance of a permanent resident visa. However, not all cases will proceed this quickly. Your Express Entry profile will remain active in the pool of candidates for 12 months if you do not receive an invitation to apply. If after 12 months you have not received an invitation, you are welcome to resubmit your profile and remain in the pool. To break it down further:
Your profile will remain valid for 12 months in the Express Entry pool
Upon issuance of the ITA, you will have 60 days to provide the requested full application of documents
Once the immigration authorities receive your complete application, your permanent resident visa, IRCC may process your application in about six months
You do not require a job offer for Express Entry. The vast majority of candidates selected for Express Entry do not have a formal Canadian job offer.
If you do have a valid Canadian job offer, this can add up to 200 points to your CRS score.
How are Express Entry points are calculated?
When people refer to Canada’s “Express Entry points”, they are usually referring to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Canada uses the CRS score to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool using a series of factors, including:
Level of education;
Proficiency in French or English;
Foreign and Canadian work experience;
Spouse factors; and
Connections to Canada
What is the ideal Express Entry candidate?
There is no one-size-fits-all type of profile that is eligible for Express Entry. Candidates who enter the pool receive a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score. Those who rank higher, are more likely to receive an invitation to apply. 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 (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level nine 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 Ph.D. 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
To apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), candidates must first score at least 67 on the FSW eligibility points grid. Once an FSW candidate, or any other Express Entry candidate, enters the Express Entry pool, they will receive a CRS score. Canada uses the CRS score rank all candidates against each other in the Express Entry pool.
Approximately every two weeks, the Government of Canada holds an Express Entry draw, setting a minimum CRS score cut-off. Those in the pool with a CRS score above the cut-off will receive an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence.
1. RETAKE THE IELTS
2. WORK EXPERIENCE
3. SPOUSAL POINTS
4. JOB OFFER
5. PROVINCIAL NOMINATION
If you are submitting an Express Entry profile through the FSW program with an accompanying spouse, they may need to take a language exam, such as the IELTS, depending on your FSW score. If your spouse scores a minimum of CLB 4 in each area of one of IRCC’s designated language exams, you can claim an additional 5 points toward your FSW score. If your score is below 67, these points could help render you eligible to submit a profile.
Your spouse’s language results may also help to increase your CRS score, and improve your chances in the Express Entry pool.
What is an Express Entry profile?
An Express Entry profile is an electronic form submitted by eligible candidates that includes personal details such as age, work experience, education, ability in French and English, family details, and ties to Canada.
Using these details, Canada ranks profiles in the Express Entry pool against one another and determine who receives an invitation.
How to create an Express Entry profile
To create an Express Entry profile, you must first create an IRCC secure account. If a representative is submitting a profile on your behalf, they will submit the profile through their Authorized Paid Representatives Portal.
After creating an account, you or your representative will need to fill out an eligibility questionnaire to determine if you qualify for an Express Entry program.
If you are eligible, the next step is to fill out an online form with your information, including details on your age, work experience, education, and language test results. Once the form is submitted, the Express Entry system will automatically determine your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and which program you are eligible under.
What language results are required for Express Entry?
Most Express Entry programs require a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in each area of the French or English language exam (band 6 in each area of the IELTS exam).
There are some exceptions to this minimum requirement for candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program, or CEC applicants with a primary occupation in NOC skill type B.
How do I find my NOC code?
You can find your NOC code by searching the NOC matrix for your job title or industry.
It is important to make sure the majority of the main duties listed on the NOC you choose match your job description.
What is an Invitation to Apply?
An Invitation to Apply (ITA) is an invitation to submit an application for permanent residence to certain people who have submitted an Express Entry profile. To accept an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you must submit a full application for permanent residence within 60 days of receiving the invitation.
What happens if I receive an Invitation to Apply?
If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you must submit an application for permanent residence within 60 days. If you miss the deadline or decline, your ITA will disappear, and you may not receive another invitation.
What’s better: PNP or Express Entry?
If you do not have enough CRS points to be invited in a federal draw, a PNP may be an option to increase your chances.
Most PNPs require an applicant to have an Express Entry profile. Since an Express Entry profile is free to submit, you don’t stand to lose anything by creating one.
If you are selected in a federal Express Entry draw without a PNP, this is a better option as it will bypass the need for additional provincial processing time.
How does a Provincial Nominee Program affect my Express Entry profile?
Receiving a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program could increase your Express Entry CRS score by 600 points. These additional points essentially guarantee an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.