‘Express Entry’ (EE) is Canada’s new immigration selection system, with the main objective to select candidates for immigration to Canada using the economic immigration programs. It is an electronic (online), points-based system involving the federal government, provincial governments, and Canadian employers.
With the progress so far made, the EE system has become the most promising way for prospective immigrants to achieve their dream to immigrate to Canada!
Since its launch in 2015, Canada has welcomed an increasing number of immigrants each year. Under this new system, eligible applicants are placed in a pool of candidates and are ranked using various factors, such as education, work experience, language ability, skills, and other factors. The higher the score, the more likely an applicant will be invited to apply for permanent residence in a given draw.
Moreover, applicants must qualify for at least one of three federal economic immigration programs managed by the Express Entry system:
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trade Program
However, some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are also integrated with the Express Entry system, making it one of the many immigration pathways that prospective immigrants can explore.
Under the EE system, draws are held periodically, and only the highest ranking candidates in a given draw will be invited to apply for permanent residence. A key distinction of the EE system is the speed of processing applications; the aim is to complete the processing of each application within six months of receiving a complete application package.
It should be emphasized that the new EE system selects only candidates for permanent residence in Canada. It is not for applicants mainly seeking to visit or study in Canada, though these may also serve as pathways to immigrate.
- Determine Eligibility
- Prepare Documents
- Submit Profile
- Receive Invitation and Apply
The first step toward immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry system is to become eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs earlier highlighted. Your eligibility is determined based on your responses to a set of questions, including the following:
- Marital Status
- Language Proficiency
- Work Experience
- Canadian job offer (if any)
- Family members
Note: If you determine that you might not be eligible, you should take the necessary steps towards becoming eligible by improving your core (human capital) factors. See Tips To Improve Your CRS Score.
This is the second step in the Express Entry process, which requires certain documents. Note that some documents are required at different stages of the application.
For example, you need some documents to complete your Express Entry profile, and you need some documents to support your application for permanent residence after you receive an invitation to apply. Keep in mind, however, that the Express Entry system is not paper-based. Only electronic copies of your original documents will be required for submission online.
To submit your Express Entry profile, you need some information from the following documents, though you’re not required to upload any documents at this stage:
- International passport or approved travel document
- Official language (English/French) test results
– Language test results can be either IELTS (or CELPIP) test results for English, or TEF Canada (or TCF Canada) test results for French
- Education Credential Assessment report if
– you’re applying through the Federal Skilled Workers program, or
– you want to get points for the education you got outside Canada
- Provincial nomination (if any)
- Written confirmation of job offer from a Canadian employer (if any)
Submit Express Entry Profile
All candidates who wish to immigrate to Canada using the Express Entry system must submit an online profile. If you are eligible for any of the federal economic immigration programs, then you need to create your Express Entry profile, which basically expresses your interest to immigrate to Canada.
If you meet certain requirements, based on your profile, you will be awarded points based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and put in a pool of candidates for immigration awaiting the next round of invitation (draw). The CRS will be discussed in detail shortly. You may then receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence if your points meet the minimum score defined for a given draw.
Invitation to Apply
Under the new Express Entry system, candidates are assessed against others in the pool. They are then ranked based on criteria that are known to contribute to their economic success in Canada.
Based on the type of job, candidates with a valid job offer can earn 50 or 200 points. This may increase their chances of being invited to apply.
During a round of invitations (draw), only the highest-ranked candidates, including those with provincial nominations, are invited to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Once invited, candidates have 60 days to apply for permanent residence online, which is the final step in the Express Entry process. Majority of complete permanent residence applications (including all supporting documents) are processed within six months.
This final step is very crucial, as any mistakes made in the application could have far-reaching consequences, which may include the rejection and return of a candidate’s application.