Canada’s Express Entry (EE) system was introduced in January 2015 so Canada could meet its future labour market needs and sustain growth in the future. Through federal economic programs, such as Express Entry, the immigration target was set at 195,800 in 2020, and it is expected to significantly increase as the year advances. It was estimated that Express Entry would issue 91,800 Invitations to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency; however, it issued an impressive number of 107,950 ITAs in 2020.

Express Entry applications are still accepted and processed in Canada despite the current pandemic travel restrictions. Over 1.2 million newcomers are expected to arrive in Canada within the next three years, according to Canada’s new immigration statistics.

Would you like to know more about the Express Entry system?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced the Express Entry system for selecting candidates for immigration to Canada through various Federal Economic Immigration programs. Applicants intending to apply for immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class must do so through the system.

Providing a fast-track route to Canadian immigration, Express Entry is seen as the main driver of economic migration to Canada.

How Does the Express Entry System Work? 

Step 1: Check if you are eligible.

Express Entry requires you to meet the minimum requirements of one of three federal immigration programs. Confused? Here’s what you need to know. Find out the best visa program for you to come to Canada by completing our comprehensive eligibility evaluation.

Express Entry Programs

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Step 2: Create your Express Entry profile online

Fill out details about yourself to create an Express Entry profile online. You must always answer questions honestly, especially during the final stage of the application process when you’ll need to submit supporting documents. For your language proficiency, you will need the results of your English or French language tests.

Step 3: Receive your CRS score

Upon completing your Express Entry profile, you’ll receive an Express Entry score calculated based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Step 4: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Stay up-to-date with Express Entry draws that occur bi-weekly and check your profile to see if an invitation to apply for permanent residence has been sent.

Note: Each draw requires a different score to qualify for permanent residence changes. You remain in the pool for a year even if you are not selected for a specific round. You can increase your chances of success by boosting your CRS score.

Step 5: Gather the supporting documents

Express Entry applications with all required documents must be submitted within 60 days of receiving your ITA.

Required Documents*

  1. Passport;
  2. National Occupation Classification (NOC);
  3. Recent language tests;
  4. Provide Proof of Funds to show you can support your family;
  5. Education credential assessment report;
  6. Provide Police Certificates;
  7. Prepare for a medical exam from certified health professionals;
  8. Contact previous employers to provide job letters to prove you have valid work experience;
  9. Canadian job offer (If you have one); and;
  10. Provincial Nomination (If you have one)

Step 6: Pay your fees and submit your application

The fee for submitting your application is $1,325. This fee also covers your right to permanent residency.

The Comprehensive Ranking System

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) determines who gets selected from the Express Entry Pool first. Four main factors determine your score:

  • The Human Capital Factor;
  • Spouse or Common-Law Partner;
  • Transferrable skills;

Based on these factors:

  • Age;
  • Work experience;
  • Education qualifications;
  • Language proficiency;
  • Adaptability;
  • A job offer; and
  • Married couple or common-law partners.

CRS scores are an important determinant of whether or not an applicant will become a permanent resident. This system allows you to score up to 1,200 points.*

The following is a breakdown of what will determine your score:

Core points = 600 points; and

Additional points = 600 points

Core CRS Points

These are how you can earn Core CRS points:

  1. Skills and experience factors
  2. Spouse or common-law partner factors eg. language skills and education; and
  3. Skills transferability eg. education and work experience.

Additional CRS Points

You can earn additional CRS points for the following:

  1. Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates;
  2. A valid job offer;
  3. A nomination from a province or territory;
  4. A brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident.
  5. Strong French language skills.

How to Improve Your CRS Score

You can improve your CRS score in several ways, such as by receiving a provincial nomination, which gives you an extra 600 points, or by accepting a Canadian job offer, which can earn you 50 – 600 points. Getting a job offer from a level 00 job will give you an additional 200 points under the National Occupation Classification (NOC). You will gain an additional 50 points for any other job level for an offer from a Canadian employer. However, a job offer made under a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is worth 600 CRS points.

Core Human Capital Factors (600 points) is another way to enhance your score. Points are awarded for education credentials like certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The higher your educational qualifications, the higher your score will be.

In addition, if your spouse or common-law partner has the right educational background and work experience you may increase your score. Additional work experience may also boost your CRS score.

Developing language skills can help to improve your CRS score. Results are better when applicants score higher on recognized French or English tests, such as IELTS, TEF, and CELPIP. Language skills can add 150 points in total.

Want to apply for a Canadian visa through the Express Entry system? Click below to start the process with our help.