Express Entry

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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

Express Entry is a file management system that’s used for anybody who’s trying to apply as a federal skilled worker, federal skilled tradesperson, Canadian experience class and certain provincial nominee programs. If you don’t meet the criteria of one of those programs you can’t use express entry. Once you go into the express entry system you’re ranked based on a comprehensive ranking system which is essentially your global ranking against everybody else trying to immigrate to Canada. If that score is not high enough you’ll just sit in that system and not get selected for permanent residence unless you can find a way to increase your score. If your score is high enough you’re given what’s called an invitation to apply (ITA) and you’re allowed then to submit an application for permanent residence. Once that application has been submitted it’s an average of six months for them to process the application and then give you a final decision. If your documents are in order your application would be approved and you and any accompanying dependents would be issued with immigrant visas. You would then be eligible to move to Canada and become permanent residents.

How Does Express Entry Work?

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

Do You Qualify?
Documents Required
Enter the Express Entry System
Wait to be Selected
Submit Application

Do You Qualify?

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 an O, A or B classified occupation and; You 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 Requirements for all programs

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

Documents Required

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 System

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 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) 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 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.

In the video below, Deanne goes over the PNP programs and how to obtain a nomination.

Submit Application

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 6 months from the day of submission. After the six months 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, 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 years.
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.

Additional or different requirements apply under certain circumstances.

Compare Available Programs

Express Entry

The Express Entry system is a file management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for certain immigration applications. The Express Entry system is used by anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, member of the Canadian Experience Class or certain Provincial Nominee programs. If you do not meet the requirements of one of those four programs, you will not be eligible to use the Express Entry system.... more

Provincial Nominee

For those individuals who may need additional points for the Express Entry System, Provincial Nominations can add 600 points to their score. Most Provincial programs require a job offer , while some will select individuals without a job offer if their skills are in demand in that specific Province or if their Comprehensive Ranking System score is high enough.... more

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class is for those who have previously worked in Canada, on a valid work permit, in a skilled occupation for one year or longer on a full-time paid basis in the past three years and are proficient in English or French.... more

Federal Skilled Trades

The Federal Skilled Trades program requires applicants to either have a full-time paid job offer in their skilled trade in Canada or they need to physically travel to Canada to write a Canadian Red Seal examination before they would be eligible to apply under this program. This program also uses the Express Entry system and would require applicants to be proficient in English or French.... more

Federal Skilled Worker

The first, and most popular option for those looking to immigrate to Canada is the Federal Skilled Worker program which uses the Express Entry System. This program is designed for those who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in any country in the world and can score high enough on the Federal Skilled Worker points system. The points system looks at age, completed education, language abilities in English and French, full-time paid work experience and previous work or study experience in Canada, or if you have any direct relatives living in Canada. This program does not require a job offer.... more
Business Programs

Business Programs

For those who have an entrepreneurial background and are looking to start a business in Canada or purchase an existing business in Canada, there is a large variety of programs available depending on the type of business you want to open or purchase. Some programs require you to have a substantial personal net worth and invest a minimum of $200,000 or more into a business, while others have no financial requirements and focus more on your business plan and whether or not you have the finances available to support your business plan. With most of these options, you would first, be issued with a temporary work permit, and then if your business was successful, you would be able to transition to permanent residency. These programs would also be used by anyone looking to own and operate a farm in Canada.... more

    Jonathan Johnson

  • 17/04/2019
  • I was thoroughly satisfied with the consultation today with Deanne, she is extremely professional, helpful and knowledgeable, I look forward to working with her during my process and would 100% recommend her to others. thank you.