Canada Express Entry System

Canada Express Entry is an online and fully electronic application management system to select potential economic immigrants for its economic immigration programs leading to permanent residence status.

Latest Update on Targeted Express Entry Draws: Canada launches a new process to welcome skilled newcomers with work experience in priority occupations as permanent residents. The category-based selection process will enable Canada to issue invitations to apply for permanent residency to individuals with specific skills, training, or language proficiency.
Learn more about Targeted Express Entry Draws here.

Express Entry is an invitation-based immigration system prioritizing skilled workers with high human capital. First, Applicants must create an online profile and provide information about their education, skills, work experiences, language proficiency, and other details. This online profile is important because the system automatically determines an applicant’s eligibility based on it.

Federal Express Entry Programs Canada

There are 3 economic immigration programs under the Express Entry system:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: The program is intended for skilled workers with human capital. This program allows skilled workers with foreign experience to apply for permanent residence.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program: This program allows skilled workers qualified in a skilled trade. There must be a valid job offer or a valid certification of qualification.
  • Canadian Experience Class: The program allows candidates with at least 3 years of Canadian work experience.

A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) under the Express Entry system allows provinces and territories to recruit economic migrants. If you qualify for one of these three programs, you can apply for the Provincial Nominee Programs through Express Entry. You will receive up to 600 extra points and an invitation faster if nominated.

It is to be noted that with the FSW program, you are eligible to stay in any province in Canada except Quebec.

What is Unique about the Express Entry System?

The most unique part of the system is the Express Entry pool. Even if an applicant meets the minimum criteria, it does not guarantee the right to immigrate to Canada. Instead, all eligible candidates who successfully complete the initial screening process will enter an Express Entry Pool.

Express Entry pool is where all candidates are ranked vis-à-vis all other potential candidates who have passed the initial screening. To determine the ranking, a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) assigns scores to applicants based on various components such as work experience, language proficiency, education, job offer, etc.

In the next step, only candidates with the highest rankings in the Express Entry pool are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. One key aspect of system management involves deciding the number of Invitations to Apply issued in each round rather than focusing solely on the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System score.

Canada Express Entry Process: Step-by-Step

Express Entry is an online system that allows candidates to submit their profiles and be considered for immigration to Canada. It is a complex process, and you need to be very careful about every single aspect of it. Here is a step-by-step guide to the Express Entry process:

STEP 1 – Determine Your Eligibility

Meet the eligibility criteria before you begin the Express Entry process. You should consider factors like age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. Each program under the Canada Express Entry system has unique eligibility requirements outlined below:

1. Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program remains one of the most popular programs under the Express Entry System. You may be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if you meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 12 months of full-time, continuous work experience in occupations under NOC TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 3 or TEER 4.
  • Scoring CLB 7 or higher on an IRCC-approved language test in English or French.
  • Education credentials that are equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma or higher.

2. Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program provides a permanent residence pathway for skilled workers with 24 months of continuous or part-time equivalent work experience in a qualifying skilled trade in the past five years. These trades must fall under TEER 2 or TEER 3 category.

In case you do not have the full 24 months of work experience mentioned above, you will need to also meet the following requirements:

  • Possessing a valid job offer for a full-time position lasting 12 months or more.
  • Or, you must possess a qualification certificate in your skilled trade from a provincial or territorial authority.
  • Scoring CLB 4 or higher on an IRCC-approved language test in English or French.
  • Intending to live in a province other than Quebec.

3. Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class program is ideal for candidates with Canadian work experience. Many international students use the CEC as their preferred pathway for Canadian immigration. You may be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class if you meet the following requirements:

  • Possess 12 months of paid work experience in the last 36 months. This experience must be gained in occupations under NOC TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3.
  • Scoring CLB 7 or higher on an IRCC-approved language test in English or French if work experience is from TEER 0 or TEER 1 Jobs. This requirement changes to CLB 5 for TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs.

STEP 2 – Language Proficiency Test & Education Credential Assessment (ECA)

We club two steps in one because these two are prerequisites for profile creation, and the order of the steps does not matter. To save time, it is better to finish these two steps simultaneously.

ECA is used to verify whether your education is valid and equal to that of a Canadian. Several institutions can verify your ECA. University of Toronto, ICAS, World Education Services (WES), IQAS, and BCIT.

WES takes the minimum time to verify your education. The cost differs from institute to institute, but generally, it takes approximately $200-$250

You can either take the IELTS or CELPIP English language proficiency tests. If you opt for the French language proficiency test, there are two tests—Tef Canada and TCF Canada. You need to score several points in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. You can read through our FAQ section to learn more about it.

STEP 3 – Create an Express Entry Profile

You 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.

The CRS score is based on many factors, including:

  • Age
  • Level of education
  • Language proficiency (English and/or French)
  • Canadian work experience
  • Foreign work experience
  • Arranged employment in Canada
  • Provincial nomination (if applicable)
  • Additional factors, such as having a sibling in Canada or having completed a Canadian educational program

STEP 4 – Wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

The highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are periodically invited to apply for permanent residence. You will need to wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Express Entry draws are held at regular intervals, although the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA can vary from draw to draw, depending on the number of candidates in the pool. ITAs are sent to only those candidates who can clear the cutoff score. It is not a lottery system, but you will be given an ITA based on your score and application date.

STEP 5 – Prepare Your Documents

Once you receive an ITA, you’ll have a limited time (usually 60 days) to submit a complete application.

Documents required at two stages of the process:
1) Profile submission
2) Application submission

For profile submission, you would need the following:

✔ Passport
✔ ECA Report
✔ Results of the language test
✔ Employment offer (if received)
✔ Provincial nomination (if accepted)

For application submission, you need:

✔ Proof of funds
✔ Police clearance certificate
✔ Medical examination report

Proof of Fund

You should have some money in your bank account as savings. The government has specified different amounts depending on the number of family members.

Number of family members (in Canadian dollars)Funds required
If more than 7 people, for each additional family member$3,958

Learn more about Express Entry Proof of Funds here

Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program applicants must demonstrate proof of funds. However, applicants under the Canadian Experience Class do not need to show proof of funds. It is also essential to update your funds in your profile.

STEP 6 – Medical & Criminal Checks

As part of the application process, you and your family will be required to undergo medical exams and provide police clearance certificates.

STEP 7 – Submit Your Application

Log in to your Express Entry account and submit your application for permanent residence. Pay the application fees and submit all required documents and information.

Express Entry Application Fee

Application processing fee – CAD $850
Right of Permanent Residence fee – CAD $515
With Spouse or partner – CAD $850
With a dependent child – CAD $230 (per child)

Additional fees for other procedures:

IELTS Exam – CAD 315
ECA fees – 255 CAD (approx.)
Medical Exam – Vary from country to country
Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) – Vary from country to country

STEP 8 – Application Processing

The IRCC will process your application and may request additional documents or information during this phase. To avoid delays, it’s essential to respond promptly to any requests.

STEP 9 – Receive Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)

If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a Permanent Resident Visa (if required).

Canada immigration Express Entry Process

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How is PNP Different from Express Entry?

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are special immigration programs that are run by each province in Canada. They do not fall under the Express Entry System, which covers only the economic Federal immigration pathways.

However, it may be possible for candidates to earn 600 additional points on their CRS score if they receive a nomination under a qualifying Provincial Nominee Program. This will help them improve their odds of receiving an Invitation to Apply via the Express Entry System.

Learn more: Express Entry vs PNP which is better?

All Provincial Nominee Programs
Canada immigration Express Entry Process

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How to maximize your CRS Score?

The CRS system awards candidates with points in different areas. This includes:

  • Age
  • Level of Education
  • Work Experience
  • Language Proficiency

Younger applicants with high levels of education, extensive work experience in qualifying occupations, and high English or French language proficiency generally receive preference under the Express Entry System. It may be possible to increase your CRS score by gaining additional work experience, earning more education credentials, and by improving your language test scores.

Another option is to try for a provincial nomination. This will earn you an additional 600 CRS points towards your Express Entry Profile. Please get in touch with Elaar Immigration to learn the different ways to boost your CRS score.

Express Entry Points Calculator

Check Your CRS Score

Check if you have enough score for Express Entry Canada.

CRS Calculator

Express Entry Processing Time

All the Canada Express Entry federal economic immigration programs take 6–8 months to process. The moment a complete application for permanent residency is received, the government starts tracking the processing time. When a decision is made about the application, the processing period is complete.

Candidates must visit the IRCC’s official website to check the most recent processing time for Canada Express Entry.

How ELAAR can help you?

If you need assistance with your Express Entry profile, please get in touch with ELAAR. Our team of experts is headed by Keshav Sharma, a Licensed and Regulated Immigration Consultant with many years of immigration experience. Together we can help you optimize your Express Entry profile and maximize your odds of receiving an Invitation to Apply. Book a consultation here.

FAQs: Express Entry Canada

What makes you an eligible candidate for Express Entry?

You may be eligible for Express Entry if you meet the requirements for any of the three programs under this system:

  • Federal skilled Workers Program (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

How much money is required for Express Entry in 2022?

You need a minimum of $13,213 if you are applying through the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

How many CRS points are required for Express Entry in Canada?

You typically require a minimum of 67 points out of 100 if you wish to be eligible under the Express Entry System.

What is the general processing time for Express Entry in 2022?

It takes around 6 months for Express Entry applications to be processed in 2022.

What is sufficient proof of funds in Canadian Express Entry?

You can show proof of funds in the form of:

  • bank account statements in your name or in the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.
  • cashable investments that are in your name or in the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.
  • cashable fixed deposits that are in your name or the name of the spouse/common-law partner accompanying you to Canada.

What is the frequency of Express Entry draws?

Express Entry draws occur every two weeks.

Immigrate to Canada through Express Entry Pathways

Get Canadian PR as a skilled worker, or international student through Canada’s Express Entry Programs.