Individuals and families around the world can immigrate to Canada within just a few months through the Express Entry immigration selection system. Express Entry, first introduced in 2015, has become the main driver of skilled worker immigration to Canada and one of the most popular immigration systems globally.
Under the 2019-2021 Canada Immigration Levels Plan, the number of new permanent residents admitted through Express Entry over the coming years is set to increase.
Express Entry Program
Express Entry is an application management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage and process applications received through three of Canada’s federal economic immigration programs for skilled workers.
Express Entry is a competitive immigration system, ranking all eligible candidates against one another and then inviting the best ranking candidates to apply for Canadian permanent resident status. Candidates are ranked against one another based on their age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.
Under Express Entry, individuals and families wishing to settle in Canada can become new permanent residents within just a few months.
How To Immigrate To Canada Using Express Entry
Potential applicants will need to be eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs.
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are aligned with Express Entry, but candidates still must be eligible under one of the three federal programs in order to enter the Express Entry pool.
Though the eligibility requirements differ for each of the Express Entry-aligned programs, all candidates are required to have at least one-year of skilled work experience, as well as a certain level of proficiency on an approved language test in either English or French. Also, Canada screens all Express Entry applicants for criminal history and medical issues that could make a person inadmissible.
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Express Entry Profile
Eligible individuals must submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates. The Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI). Eligible candidates will automatically receive a score based on their profile and will be ranked against the other candidates in the pool.
The ranking score for Express Entry is based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and is out of 1,200 points. Candidates can improve their rank by taking steps to improve their CRS score. The higher a candidate’s CRS score, the higher the likelihood they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA),
The CRS score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws. It is designed to project a candidate’s likelihood of being economically successful in Canada. It ranks different candidates based on their career and educational history, language skills, and whether they have already received a qualifying job offer or provincial nomination in Canada, among other factors.
Candidates can receive additional points if they have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, or if they’ve received a provincial nomination.
Create a Profile For Job Bank (Optional)
Candidates without a job offer or a provincial nomination may then register in the Canada Job Bank, a free public resource used to help Canadian employers identify and select workers possessing the skills they require. This step used to be mandatory, but became voluntary as of June 2017.
Receive an Invitation to Apply
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry draws at regular intervals (usually every two weeks). In these Express Entry draws, candidates above a certain rank are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. If a candidate is not invited, their profile will expire after 12 months, at which point they may submit a new profile. Visit this page for details of the latest Express Entry draw.
Submit Your Application
If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will be given 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence. In this application you will have to provide extensive personal information along with supporting documentation. The entire application is submitted electronically.
After you’ve submitted your application, you have to wait for a final decision to be issued. 80 percent of Express Entry applications are processed in six months or less. If your application is approved, then you will receive authorization to activate your permanent resident status in Canada.