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Express Entry is an immigration program available to skilled immigrants who wish to settle in Canada permanently and who have the skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.  The Express Entry system is for those who intend to reside in a province other than Quebec.

Express Entry manages applications under the following 3 economic programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program
  3. Canadian Experience Class

An English or French language proficiency test is required for each program. The minimum required language score varies by program. The language test results are valid for 2 years and must be valid when you apply for permanent residence (on the day you receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA)).

Express Entry Process

Create an online profile

The first step is to create and submit an online profile in the Express Entry system. If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for one of the available programs, you will be placed in the Express Entry pool and given a score which is based on a number of eligibility criteria (age, education, work experience, job offer (if any), English/French language skills, adaptability).  Applicants are ranked using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).  Your profile will remain active for 12 months and can be updated at any time during that timeframe (before you receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA)). You have to make changes in your profile if there are changes in your circumstances.  If your profile expires, you can create a new profile.

Every few weeks, the government holds a draw and issues an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence to Canada to the top highest-scoring candidates.  Only those who receive an ITA can then apply online for permanent residence. 

Applicant ranking

Applicants are ranked using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).  The CRS provides up to 1200 points based on information in the applicant’s profile. The CRS is based on the following criteria:

CRS factors include: (up to 600 points)

  • Core/Human Capital points, such as age, English or French language proficiency, level of education, Canadian work experience;
  • Spouse or common-law partner factors, such as their language skills, education, and Canadian work experience;
  • Skills transferability factors, including a combination of education, language, work experience.

Additional points include: (up to 600 points)

  • Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates;
  • A valid job offer (supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment or exempt from one);
  • A nomination from a province or territory;
  • A brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident;
  • Strong French language skills.

Apply for permanent residence

If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), the second step is to apply online for permanent residence (PR) within 60 days from receiving the ITA.  In order to submit your PR application, you must complete a medical exam and gather additional supporting documents, including police certificates, etc. You must upload all documents relevant to your Express Entry profile and the points given.

The IRCC will usually process the PR application within 6-12 months.

To familiarize yourself with the Express Entry CRS criteria, see the information outlined on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Provinces and territories recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to meet local labour market needs. If you already have an active Express Entry profile and you receive a Notification of Interest sent by the province, we can advise you on whether to accept or reject the Notification of Interest.

Express Entry assessment service

Our immigration law group offers an assessment service that would help you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry and whether you have enough CRS points to receive an Invitation to Apply. If your CRS points are low, we will provide recommendations on how to improve your points to become a competitive candidate in the Express Entry pool.

Our team can assist you at any stage of your Express Entry application: from overview and assessment to find out whether you are eligible, to posting an Express Entry profile and submitting the required supporting documentation after you receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

If you have a family member in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Family Sponsorship Class. Contact us to discuss your immigration options.


Our Team

Learn more about Elena Ashford.

Elena Ashford

Associate - Immigration Law
Learn more about Angela Belair.

Angela Belair

Immigration Consultant - Immigration Law