Express Entry

On January 1st, 2015, the Canadian Government introduced the Express Entry system. Express Entry is a file management system used by the Canadian Government for certain immigration applications, it is not actually an immigration program itself.

This express entry system is now used by anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, member of the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee.

If you do not meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, Canadian Experience Class or the Provincial Nominee programs, you will not be eligible to use the Express Entry system.

Express Entry Explained

How does Express Entry work?

The Basics of the Express Entry system and process are outlined in the steps below...

Required documents
Wait in the pool to be selected
Immigrate to Canada ????

Do you qualify for Express Entry?

In order to be eligible to submit an application through Express Entry you need to meet the criteria of one of the four immigration programs below and be able to show the minimum amount of required settlement funds for your family size.

Federal Skilled Worker

You have one year or more of full-time paid work experience in National Occupation Code (NOC) 0, 1, 2 or 3, and have achieved 67 points or higher on the Federal Skilled Worker Points System (this is based on age, education, language, work experience and adaptability. If you do not have any post-secondary education, you will not be likely to qualify.)... more

Provincial Nominee

You have been given a nomination certificate by one of the Canadian provinces or territories. It is important to keep in mind that you can become a Provincial Nominee, but you first have to already be in the Express Entry pool under one of the other three categories if you do not already have an existing nomination.... more

Federal Skilled Trades

At least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past 5 years and; Have a job offer from a Canadian employer of at least one year OR a Canadian skilled trade certificate or qualification.... more

Canadian Experience Class

Have at least one year of full time paid skilled work experience in Canada.... more

Settlement Funds

For many of the Express Entry pathways you will be required to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada unless you are already working in Canada on a valid work permit. This money cannot be borrowed and must be available at the time of application. This money cannot be used for the immigration process and must remain available up until the day you arrive in Canada.

Number of family members
Funds required (in Canadian dollars)
For each additional family member

View the list of settlement funds required for skilled immigrants – (Express Entry) – on IRCC website


Do you have the required documents?

Once you know that you qualify under Step 1 you will have to write an approved language test and obtain an educational credential assessment. Be sure to have your credentials assessed by one of the agencies recognized by Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada. We personally recommend World Education Services as we find them to be the quickest, but you can use any of the approved agencies.

Book an Approved Language Test

If you know, or think that you know that you need to complete an approved language test for your application, ensure it is going to be recognized by the Canadian government. For Express Entry applications, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will only accept the General Training IELTS and the CELPIP-General Test for an English test. For those who speak French, they will only accept the TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français or the TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français. Click below to learn more about what you will be tested on and the minimum scores you need to achieve to apply through Express Entry.

Educational Credential Assessment

If you completed your education with a non-Canadian educational institution, you will need to have your qualifications assessed by a recognized organization to show that they are equivalent to a Canadian qualification. There are seven different organizations that you can use as follows:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service
  • International Credential Evaluation Service
  • Medical Council of Canada (Doctors must use this organization)
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (If you need a license to practice as a Pharmacists, you must use this organization)

Enter the express entry pool of candidates

Once you have the documents required to enter the Express Entry system, follow the instructions on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to create your Express Entry Profile online. As long as you qualify you will receive a message letting you know you have met the criteria and they will give you a Job Seeker Code and Profile Code number. If you did not meet the criteria you will receive an ineligible message. They will not explain why you were found ineligible.

Ineligibility Status

If you have been found ineligible and you think there was an error, contact us today to have your profile reviewed to find the error.... more

How a Job Offer Improves Your CRS score

Please keep in mind that even if you receive a job offer, you will only earn 50 – 200 additional points for your CRS score if the employer obtains a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for you, the offer itself is not enough.... more

Register With The Job Bank

Once you have received your eligibility message and your codes, you can then use these codes to register with the Job Bank, which will also be outlined in your introduction letter from MyCIC. You will then receive another message on your account confirming your entry into Express Entry.... more

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

At this stage you will also be issued your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on the information you have entered. This is the score that will be used when Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) selects people from the Express Entry pool. If you feel that your score is too low and are looking for ways to increase it, listen to our podcast.... more

Wait in the Express Entry pool to be selected

After you have been entered into the Express Entry Pool you wait to be selected based on your Comprehensive Ranking System Score. If your score is too low, you can begin to apply to the Provinces, which have specific Provincial programs in place for Express Entry applicants.

Canadian Province or Territory CRS Scores

If you are selected by a Canadian Province or Territory 600 points will be added to your CRS score.

Just remember, you will be required to work and live in the province that has nominated you so ensure you are willing to comply with these requirements before applying to a province.

How to obtain a Canadian Provincial Nomination (PNP)

Submit Permanent Residency application to IRCC

Once you have been issued with an Invitation to Apply you will be given 60 days to submit your full application for Permanent Residency. If you do not submit your application within the specified 60-day period you will not be able to submit your application and will have to re-submit your Express Entry profile and start again. At this stage, you will be required to complete further application forms and submit additional documents to the ones done with your Express Entry Profile.

There are mandatory documents that all applicants will require, regardless of whether they are classified as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, a member of the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee. If an applicant fails to upload any of their required documents on their Express Entry checklist, their application will be cancelled as incomplete and will not be processed. The applicant will then have to re-enter the Express Entry System and wait for a new Invitation to Apply and then re-submit their full application for Permanent Residence again.

To view a complete checklist of the documents you will/may require, watch our video below outlining the requirements, read our blog, or download a PDF version of the checklist and also view: “Express Entry checklist for Canadian Immigration“.

Immigrate to Canada

Once you have submitted your application, you will be sent a message later on to request that you complete biometrics at your closest visa application centre. For some, this will require travelling. Once you receive your biometrics letter you will have 30 days to complete the biometrics. The full processing time for applications submitted via the Express Entry system is 12-18 months from the day of submission. After processing, you will be notified if your application was approved or rejected. If approved, you will then be issued with your immigrant visa and will be able to immigrate to Canada.

Permanent Residence Approved: Next Steps

Your application was approved, and your passport was likely requested, and you were issued with an immigrant visa in your passport and a confirmation of permanent residency document. We can advise you on the next steps; relating to landing in Canada, meeting their residency requirements, and obtaining Citizenship.

Landing Information Consultation

Book a Landing Information Consultation to learn more about the next steps relating to landing in Canada.

Living in Canada

While this is an exciting time, it can also be quite stressful. Where do you go when you arrive, how do you get there, what is the first thing you need to do once you get there? The list of questions goes on and on.

How to become a Canadian Citizen

To be eligible to become a Canadian citizen, you must:

Be a permanent resident
Have lived in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 year
Have filed your taxes, if and when you need to
Pass a test on your rights, responsibilities and knowledge of Canada
Prove your language skills