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Express Entry System

Embarking on the journey to immigrate to Canada is an exciting prospect, and the Express Entry system stands out as the fastest route to realize this dream. However, understanding whether this pathway aligns with your goals requires careful consideration.


What is an Express Entry System?

Introduced in 2015, Express Entry is a pivotal player in Canada’s immigration landscape, facilitating the swift immigration of skilled workers. Managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), it incorporates three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trade program.

Express Entry operates as a competitive system, evaluating candidates based on criteria such as age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and more. Successful candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent resident status, making it a cornerstone for economic immigration.

The Express Entry system runs three federal economic programs to support candidates with different skills and experience to settle in Canada:

Related Links:

Express Entry Process
Documents for Express Entry
Submit an Express Entry profile: Online form
Apply for permanent residence: Express Entry
If your Express Entry application is approved
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for Express Entry
Express Entry Invitation to Apply explained

What are Category-Based Express Entry Draws?

In category-based Express Entry draws, the IRCC invites candidates eligible for specific categories established by Canada’s immigration minister to achieve specific economic objectives. These targeted draws complement other forms of Express Entry draws. However, it’s important to note that even if a candidate falls under a targeted category, they still need to meet IRCC’s minimum CRS score to have a chance of receiving an ITA for that particular draw.

How does Express Entry work?

The Express Entry process is straightforward and consists of two major stages. In the first stage, eligible candidates express their interest in obtaining Canadian permanent resident status. The second stage involves inviting the highest-scoring candidates to immigrate to Canada.

Express Entry Draw Types

General Rounds of Invitation

The IRCC invites candidates with the highest-ranking CRS scores to apply for permanent residence, regardless of their specific program eligibility.

Program-Specific Rounds of Invitation

Invites candidates with the highest-ranking CRS scores who are eligible for a specific Express Entry program.

Category-Based Rounds of Invitation

The IRCC invites candidates with the highest-ranking CRS scores who are eligible for specific categories designated by IRCC to meet specific economic goals.

To submit your Express Entry profile and obtain a permanent residence visa, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Check your eligibility for Express Entry.
  • Step 2: Complete language testing and obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
  • Step 3: Submit your profile on the IRCC website.
  • Step 4: Wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence from IRCC.
  • Step 5: Submit your completed Application for Permanent Residence (APR) along with the necessary fees, medical exam, and police certificates within the given deadline.
  • Step 6: Provide your biometrics when requested by IRCC.
  • Step 7: Await IRCC’s final decision on your APR. The aim is to process applications within six months or less. Upon approval, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and, if required, a permanent resident visa, allowing you to travel to Canada and complete your landing.

How Long Does the Express Entry Process Take?

An Express Entry profile remains valid for up to one year. Candidates who receive an ITA can expect the Canadian government to process their permanent residence applications within six months.

Pros and Cons of Express Entry System

Express Entry offers numerous advantages over the previous application system. It was introduced in 2015 to streamline the processing of skilled worker applications and provide a faster experience for immigration candidates. Under the old system, applicants often faced long wait times for a permanent resident visa.

Express Entry’s strengths include its speed and alignment with successful immigrant characteristics. It allows the Canadian government to issue visas within six months, compared to the previous system’s average of six years. Based on extensive government research, the CRS system ensures that immigrants who possess qualities such as youth, education, work experience, and language proficiency excel in the Canadian job market.

The uncertainty of receiving an ITA is the only limitation of the Canada express entry system, as applicants with high CRS scores have an opportunity to obtain permanent resident status. However, the regular occurrence of draws every two weeks provides candidates with multiple chances to receive an invitation. Additionally, there are ways to improve CRS scores, such as securing a Canadian job offer, obtaining a provincial nomination, pursuing studies in Canada, gaining more eligible work experience, and enhancing language test scores. Canada also offers over 100 different skilled worker immigration pathways alongside Express Entry.

How Much Does Canada Express Entry System Cost?

Submitting an Express Entry profile is free of charge. However, there are certain costs associated with the process. Before submitting your profile, you may need to bear expenses for English or French language exams, Educational Credential Assessments, document translation, and possibly hiring an immigration professional.

After receiving an ITA, additional costs include Canadian government fees for processing permanent residence applications, medical exams, police background checks, and biometrics fees. The current government fees for Express Entry permanent residence applications can be found on the official IRCC website.

Do I Need to Hire an RCIC for Express Entry?

While hiring a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. An experienced RCIC can significantly help increase your chances of success in the Express Entry system. They provide guidance on maximizing CRS points, assist in the entire process from profile submission to preparing your permanent residence application, and ensure the accuracy and integrity of your Canadian immigration application.

Canada Express Entry Eligibility Criteria

Take various steps to become eligible. Begin the process by recognizing the reasons for your ineligibility. Working towards those factors may help you with a successful Express Entry profile.

Another major pathway to eligibility is pursuing an education in Canada. By studying in Canada and gaining eligible Canadian work experience, you can become eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program, and subsequently, for Express Entry. This approach offers the added advantage of earning more CRS points due to your Canadian education and work experience.

Apart from Express Entry, Canada offers over 100 different immigration streams for skilled workers. These include the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Quebec’s immigration system, other federal immigration programs, study pathways, and work permits leading to immigration status.

What is the Difference Between Express Entry and the PNP?

Express Entry is a federal system that manages several economic immigration programs. It allows provinces and territories to nominate candidates who meet their specific economic needs. The provinces and territories take care of the nomination process, and the federal government decides whether an applicant can obtain permanent residence or not. A provincial nomination is highly beneficial within the Express Entry system, as it adds 600 points to a candidate’s CRS score, significantly improving their chances of receiving an ITA.

Canadian Express Entry FAQs

Q1. What is the Points System for Express Entry?

Before Entering the Pool:

  • FSW applicants need a minimum of 67 points out of 100 in the points grid to enter.
  • FST and CEC applicants aren’t subject to a points requirement initially.

In the Pool:

CRS scores determine rankings. The cut-off threshold varies across draws, indicating competitive points for invitations.

Q2. What Costs are Associated with Express Entry?

  • No government fees for submitting the Express Entry profile.
  • Costs include ECA, language tests, police clearance certificates, medical reports, representation fees (optional), processing fees, and right of permanent residence fees.

Q3. What is the Timeline for Express Entry Immigration?

For eligible candidates receiving an ITA soon after entering the pool and prompt application submission, the process may take six months. Variables affecting this include ITA timing, applicant readiness, and IRCC processing times.

Q4. What is the Success rate of Express Entry?

Prospective candidates can gauge their chances by comparing CRS scores to recent cut-offs. Strategies to improve CRS scores should be implemented actively.

Q5. What is the difference between Express Entry and PNP?

Express Entry is the federal system, while Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) operate at the provincial level. Understanding the skilled worker element is crucial, with PNPs offering options for candidates with varied experience.

Q6. Can we create Simultaneous Express Entry and PNP Profiles?

Candidates can maintain both profiles simultaneously, with PNPs often reinforcing Express Entry profiles. Upon provincial nomination, an additional 600 CRS points boost the chances of receiving an ITA.

Q5. What is the Express Entry Roadmap?

The Express Entry system offers a swift pathway to Canadian permanent residence, but success demands strategic planning, vigilance in profile management, and active pursuit of opportunities to boost CRS scores. With careful consideration and informed choices, prospective immigrants can navigate this journey seamlessly, realizing their dream of becoming Canadian permanent residents.

For more information and extensive guidance on the Canadian immigration process, we welcome you to connect with our professional Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC).