Express Entry

Express Entry is a popular approach for aspiring immigrants to Canada who are exploring ways to become Canadian permanent residents through different economic immigration pathways. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implements the Express Entry application management system to invite candidates with the highest eligibility scores to apply for permanent residence.

Eligible candidates create their online Express Entry profiles on the IRCC website to receive individual scores in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). IRCC conducts regular Express Entry draws for the online selection of candidates with high CRS scores. Consulting a knowledgeable immigration expert improves your chances of becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident through Express Entry.

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What is the Express Entry system?

Express Entry is Canada’s online application management system to help skilled workers become permanent residents under various immigration programs. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) operates the Express Entry system by ranking candidates on a few eligibility criteria, such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency.

The Express Entry profiles of eligible candidates enter the selection pool with relevant CRS scores. The highest-scoring candidates receive Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after Express Entry selection through periodic draws.

Which immigration programs does the Express Entry cover?

Candidates can leverage the Express Entry system to fast-track the permanent residency process under four popular immigration pathways in Canada.
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – The FSWP immigration program is suitable for candidates with a minimum of one year’s skilled work experience and superior language proficiency in English or French.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) –  Eligible candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades have a minimum of two years’ work experience in a skilled trade besides language proficiency in English and French
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – International students and workers with a minimum of one year of work experience in Canada are eligible to become permanent residents through the Canadian Experience Class immigration pathway.

How does the Express Entry system operate?

The point-based selection process of the Express Entry is straightforward. The standard processing time after submitting the profile to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) is between six months and one year. The final selection depends upon the individual’s CRS scores.

  1. Candidates submit their profiles in the Express Entry pool
  2. The profile remains active in the pool for up to 12 months
  3. The immigration authorities assess profiles to grant a specific Comprehensive Ranking System score to each applicant
  4. The Express Entry draw selects candidates with the top CRS scores issuing an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence
  5. Successful candidates get a maximum of sixty days from receiving an ITA to apply for permanent residence with relevant documents 
  6. IRCC issues a Permanent Residence visa along with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) within a maximum of six months after verifying the documents

 Candidates can re-submit their profiles after one year if they do not receive an Invitation to Apply.

What are the costs of the Express Entry process?

Candidates need not pay any charges for submitting the Express Entry profile in the pool. One should consider other charges like the cost of language tests, Educational Credential Assessments, and consultation charges to get thorough support to complete the Express Entry process. Hiring a dependable immigration consultant is crucial to maximizing CRS scores for a positive outcome.

Costs for other formalities after receiving Invitation to Apply include:

  • Processing fees 
  • Medical examination fees
  • Fees for background checks
  • Fees for biometrics

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About Express Entry eligibility and CRS scores

What are the main eligibility criteria for Express Entry?

Express Entry manages applications for Canada’s three main economic immigration programs. Candidates should be eligible for any of these programs to qualify for entering the Express Entry pool. The minimum basic qualifying criteria for these immigration programs are:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

  • One year of full-time skilled work experience within the last ten years
  • The work experience must be in a skilled occupation as per the National Occupation TEER category 0, 1, or 3
  • Language ability of intermediate or higher
  • Canadian equivalent education of certificate, diploma, or degree
  • Minimum 67 points in the points grid

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

  • Minimum of two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the last five years
  • Qualifies for skilled trades job requirements
  • One-year full-time job offer from a Canadian employer 
  • Language proficiency in English or French

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • A minimum of one-year Canadian work experience 
  • Work experience in a technical, skilled, or professional job
  • Meet language proficiency criteria

Becoming eligible for the Express Entry selection process

Candidates aspiring to choose the Express Entry selection process to become permanent residents can explore several options to be eligible.

  • Understand factors that may disqualify you for FSTP, FSWP, or CEC program
  • Address the issues that prohibit you from being eligible for the three main immigration pathways
  • Explore study programs in Canada
  • Get a minimum of one year’s work experience in Canada

There are over a hundred streams for skilled workers to get permanent residence status and settle in Canada if one is not eligible for Express Entry. A reliable immigration consultant can show you the way by assessing your profile.

Significance of CRS scores

The Comprehensive Ranking System of the Express Entry assigns scores to candidates, which we know as CRS scores. A CRS score represents the points as per various selection criteria. These are:

  • Age
  • Educational credentials
  • Language proficiency
  • Job offer
  • Work experience
  • Accompanying spouse or common-law partner
  • Provincial nomination

An experienced immigration consultant can help you know your probable CRS score before submitting an Express Entry profile. You can find minimum CRS thresholds of recent Express Entry draws to assess the possibility of your Express Entry selection. It will enable you to take proactive steps and increase the CRS score to receive an Invitation to Apply through the Express Entry draws.

How to improve the CRS score for Express Entry selection?

There are several strategies to improve the CRS score to boost the chances of one’s selection through Express Entry. You can improve your CRS score before or after entering the Express Entry pool. These are a few approaches to boost the CRS scores:

  • Claiming all points in the Comprehensive Ranking System
  • Retaking the language exam to improve language score
  • Making a spouse or common-law partner a principal applicant 
  • Improve education scores by getting more educational credentials
  • Increase work experience 
  • Get a job after completing a study in Canada
  • Get a provincial nomination 

Submission of Express Entry profile

What document should one provide while submitting an Express Entry profile?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada requires the candidate to provide the following while submitting Express Entry Profile:

  • A valid passport and other travel documents
  • Verified language test results
  • Canadian education proof
  • Educational Credential Assessment for foreign education
  • Document of provincial nomination if applicable
  • Canadian job offer if applicable

Express Entry profile after one year

Your Express Entry profile remains active in the pool for one year. One can stay in the Express Entry pool if there is no Invitation to Apply (ITA) until the expiry of the Express Entry profile. Resubmission of the Express Entry profile enables you to be in the pool once again. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada recommends taking expired Express Entry profile’s screenshots to facilitate resubmission.

Improve your chances of Express Entry selection

Express Entry is Canada’s most popular and fast-growing immigration pathway, helping over 110,000 skilled workers settle in Canada annually. Royal Citizen Immigration walks with you at every step of your immigration journey. Our expert immigration advisors will assist you in choosing the right immigration pathway by assessing your profile. We help you enhance your CRS score to improve your chances of receiving ITA for permanent residence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Express Entry is Canada’s application management system for federal immigration programs. It remains open throughout the year to help applicants upload their profiles under various immigration pathways.

Express Entry draws do not follow a set schedule. However, as a general trend, the draws occur on Wednesdays every two weeks.

All immigration programs under the Express Entry system require a minimum of one year’s work experience.

The processing time for an Express Entry application depends upon the completeness of the application, the type of application, and the country of residence.

The validity period of the Express Entry profile is one year.

The candidate receiving an Invitation to Apply should submit supporting proof of information in the Express Entry profile to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Applicants over 35 can submit an Express Entry profile and score higher CRS points with Canadian connections and higher education.

The Express Entry system does not permit more than one application per candidate.

There is no restriction on the resubmission of the Express Entry profile. One can submit a profile once again if the existing profile is in the pool for up to twelve months if there is no Invitation to Apply.

Candidates are free to update their profiles to improve their CRS scores. Updating language scores by retaking an exam is possible by making the necessary changes to the profile to boost CRS scores.  

The Express Entry system may refuse the application if a candidate cannot meet eligibility criteria, such as education or work experience. The applicant will only see a ‘view profile’ option after logging into the account. There will be no option to update the profile.

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