Express Entry

Canadian Express Entry system is a point-based immigration program for skilled immigrants seeking to settle in Canada developed by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in 2015. The program awards points based on six section factors such as:

  • English and French language skills 
  • Education 
  • Work experience 
  • Age
  • Arranged employment 
  • Adaptability 

Invitation to Apply (ITA) will be issued to those who meet or exceed the minimum CRS points at the time of the Express Entry draw. These draws usually happen every two weeks. In most cases, PR applications submitted through this route are processed within six to twelve months.


How does the Express Entry System work?

Using this system, the Canadian government can manage applications for the immigration of skilled workers as permanent residents.

There are two parts to the program:


At this stage, you will need to have a minimum of 67 points out of 100 to qualify. You can open an Express Entry profile if you meet the other program’s requirements as well.

The second part of the program is the Express Entry pool. In this pool, you will compete against other candidates using CRS points Criteria: 


The maximum amount of points you can claim in this pool is 1,200. You can see historically what the minimum amount of points was for every draw: Express Entry rounds of invitations – Canada.ca

What is the difference between an Express Entry eligibility points and a CRS score?

As a prerequisite for applying to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), candidates must achieve a score of at least 67 on the FSW eligibility point grid. In the event that an FSW candidate, as well as any other Express Entry candidate, is accepted into the Express Entry pool, a CRS score will be assigned.

As part of the Express Entry pool, Canada uses the CRS score to rank candidates against each other. An invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency will be issued to those who scored above the CRS cut-off.

Express Entry manages three programs with different minimum eligibility requirements: 

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
  2. Canada Experience Class (CEC)
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)


Step 1: Pass your Language Test. 

FSW: Pass your English or French Language test in every category with a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark 7 (CLB 7). If you wish to claim points in another language, you must obtain CLB 5 in each category. 

CEC: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 7) for TEER 0 or TEER 1 jobs or Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs in each category

FST: Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 5) for speaking and listening. Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4) for reading and writing. 


Step 2: Satisfy educational requirements. 

FSW: Minimum is a High-school degree. The higher education you have, the more points you will obtain. You would need to show proof of a Canadian degree or get Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from approved institutions in Canada. 

CEC: There is no education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class. However, you will not be able to claim points under this category, and your profile will be less competitive. 

FST: There is no education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class. However, same like with CEC class, you will not be able to claim points under this category.


Step 3: Demonstrate work experience. 

FSW: you will have to prove 1 year of continuous full-time employment or 1,560 hours total (30 hours per week), either in Canada or abroad. You can meet this in two different ways:

  • full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours)
  • equal amount in part-time work: for example, 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours
  • You can work as many part-time jobs as you need to meet this requirement

CEC: you will have to prove 1 year of continuous full-time employment (1,560 hours total or 30 hours per week) or an equal amount in part-time work in Canada. 

Ineligible employment: Self-employment, employment while studying and co-op work term.  

In both CEC and FSW categories, this experience will need to be skilled under TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2 or TEER 3. 

FST: you will have to prove 2 years of full-time employment (1,560 hours total or 30 hours per week) or an equal amount in part-time work in Canada or abroad in the past 5 years. You will also need to have a valid job offer for 1 year or a Provincial Certificate of Qualification. 


Step 4: Register with the IRCC by submitting your profile. 

Other factors such as age, job offer, admissibility and proof of funds will determine your final eligibility and points. For example, if work in Canada or have a full time employment offer under the Temporary Foreign Worker program and your position is skilled, you may claim additional 50 or 200 points.


Step 5: Analyze how to improve your points. 

Our firm can take an analytical and strategic approach to create a successful Express entry strategy. We will calculate points for you and present you with a plan to reach and exceed the necessary minimum number of points. 


Step 5: Receive an Invitation to apply for PR (ITA). 

Upon receiving an ITA, you must submit your completed electronic application for permanent residency (e-APR) to the Immigration and Refugee Council and pay your fees within 60 days. As part of this step, your medical examination and police certificate must be attached. After receiving your payment, IRCC will provide you with an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR).


Step 6: Biometrics. 

IRCC will request that you submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photo).


Step 7: Final decision. 

IRCC will make a final decision regarding your application. If you come from a visa-required country and reside abroad, you will receive a request for a permanent resident visa. Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR) will be issued to you if you reside in both Canada and outside Canada. You will indeed become a Permanent resident once you land if you are living abroad or confirm your residency through a PR Portal if you live in Canada. You will then have a chance to apply for PR cards. 


How much does Express Entry cost?

Using Express Entry, a single applicant can apply for immigration to Canada for approximately CAD 2,300 including all government fees and additional expenses, or a couple can apply for immigration to Canada for roughly CAD 4,500. There are several components to the cost breakdown, including:

  • The average cost of a language test is $300
  • An average price of $200 is associated with Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs)
  • The cost of biometrics is $85 per individual
  • l Fees to the government: $1,365 for adults and $230 for children
  • The average price for a medical examination is $150-280 for an adult and $250 for a child
  • Certificates of police clearance cost an average of $10-$100 per country
  • No government fees are required for the initial submission of your Express Entry profile. To apply for Canadian permanent residence, you must pay fees only when invited. In addition to the government processing fee, you may be required to pay a provincial immigration fee if you apply through a PNP.
  • Our fees? Please get in touch with us today!


Can I obtain additional points through Provincial Nominee Program?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) though the Express Entry is available in every province and territory (except Quebec and Nunavut). The provinces regularly review the pool of candidates in the Express Entry pool. Often, candidates eligible for one of the Express Entry programs who meet specific criteria that align with a particular province’s needs, can receive an invitation to apply for a nomination.

It is also possible for candidates to indicate in their applications that they wish to settle in a particular province. The candidate will be awarded an additional 600 CRS points if the provincial government nominates them.

Does Express Entry take long?

IRCC caught up with pre-pandemic processing time. It can take at least six months up to twelve months for the process to be completed from the point of submission of the Express Entry profile to the moment a permanent residency visa is issued. That is quick in the ‘world of immigration’. 

However, it is essential to note that not all cases will proceed this way. The profile of a candidate who has yet to receive a response from Express Entry regarding an invitation to apply will remain active in the pool of candidates for 12 months if the application is not invited.

It is possible to stay in the pool for a further 12 months after resubmitting your profile if, for some reason, you have not received an invitation after 12 months. 

Please contact us today to schedule consultations! 

What changes have recently been made to Express Entry?

On November 16, 2022, we switched to the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). This means that

  • the NOC 2016 skill type and skill level structure (NOC 0, A, B, C and D) was replaced with a 6-category system representing the training, education, experience and responsibilities (TEER) needed to work in an occupation
  • 4-digit occupation codes became 5-digit codes
  • Eligibility criteria was updated for all programs that use the NOC.


I am in the Express Entry pool. How can I look for a job now?

  • You can create your own Canada’s Job Bank and start applying for available jobs.
  • Promote yourself to employers in Canada using private job boards. Create a successful Motivational letter and Resume.

You can use both while you are in the Express Entry pool. Application for a job and potential work permit will not deem you ineligible for a Permanent Residency application.

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