Table of Contents
What Is Express Entry Canada?
In January 2015, the Canadian government launched a new electronic immigration system that offers express entry to Canada for skilled and qualified immigrants.
The new Express Entry program will manage applications for permanent residence for immigrants who can fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers. (View LMIA information for a related topic as well.)
Thousands Receive Permanent Residence in Canada Annually
The Canadian government has recognized the fact that Canada requires new immigrants to meet future labour market needs and to help ensure the country’s long-term economic growth and prosperity.
The new system will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to proactively assess, recruit and select immigrants who are skilled and/or possessed the relevant qualifications under federal economic immigration programs:
The Express Entry program will also allow individual provinces and territories to use the system in order to recruit suitable candidates as part of the Provincial Nominee Programs so that labour market demands are met.
Employers will play a key part in selecting economic immigrants, and will be able to access suitable candidates via Canada’s recently improved Job Bank, as well as the relevant provinces and territories where applicable.
Number of Immigrants Receiving PR Through Express Entry
How to Qualify for Express Entry
Before applying for Express Entry you will need to qualify by obtaining 67 or more points on a 100 point scale system.
There is a selection factor that asseses and assigns applicants interested in Express Entry an overall score out of 100.
If you score over 67 points you may qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program
If you score lower than 67 points you will not qualify for the program.
How Many Points are Required for Express Entry?
Language Skills (28 points)
It’s very important to be able to communicate in 1 or both of Canada’s official languages. Knowing English, French or both helps you in the Canadian job market.
Education (25 points)
If you went to school in Canada, you must have a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian school.
Work Experience (15 points)
You can get points for the number of years you’ve spent doing full-time paid work (at least 30 hours per week, or an equal amount of part-time [15 hours per week for 24 months]) at skill type 0, or skill levels A or B of the National Occupational Classification.
Age (12 points)
You’ll get points based on your age on the day we get your application.
Arranged Employment in Canada (10 points)
You can get points if you have a job offer of at least 1 year from a Canadian employer. You must get the job offer before you apply to come to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker.
Adadptability (10 points)
You and your spouse or common-law partner who will immigrate with you to Canada can earn points for adaptability. You and your spouse can earn a maximum of 10 points by combining any of the elements below. These elements assess how well you and your spouse are likely to settle in Canada.
How Express Entry Works:
Potential candidates fill out an online Express Entry form.
Candidates who are eligible for the Express Entry Canada program can complete an online profile which will include various details about themselves, including their skills, their language ability, education and previous work experience, among others. Candidates who successfully meet the criteria of one or more of the federal economic immigration programs under Express Entry will then be sorted into a pool of eligible individuals. These individuals will be ranked according to their chances of economic success, and the highest ranking candidates, along with those who have qualifying offers of employment or provincial/territorial nominations (who will automatically receive high rankings), will receive a formal invitation to apply for permanent residency.
This way of doing things will allow Canada to pick the best possible candidates who are likely to go on to achieve success, rather than simply picking whoever is next in line. Candidates who do not have a valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination must sign up to the Government’s of Canada’s Job Bank, so that he or she can be connected to relevant Canadian employers. Eligible employers will need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment via Employment and Social Development Canada for permanent residence applications. There is no guarantee that candidates who fill out an Express Entry profile will be invited to apply for permanent residence, as this will mainly be determined by their ranking and the other factors mentioned above (offer of employment, provincial/territorial nomination).
The Government will invite successful candidates and permanent residency will be processed within 6 months.
Those ranking highly in the pool (based on skills, experience, eligible job offers and relevant nominations where applicable) will then be invited to apply for permanent residency through an ITA (Invitation to Apply), and will have a total of 60 days to submit their electronic application. Electronic applications will be required to be submitted through one of the below programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Most applications will be pushed through swiftly by CIC, with many expected to be completed within six months.
Candidates who have applied for the Express Entry Canada program but who are not invited to apply for permanent residency after a year may then resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool, provided they are still eligible for the program. This is to prevent backlogs and allow for quicker processing and turnaround times. According to CIC, the Express Entry program will allow faster and more efficient immigration services to skilled immigrants. The program will also enable the Canadian Government to respond faster to Canada’s evolving economic conditions and changing priorities, and will increase flexibility.
Express Entry Processing Times
After you have successfully filling out an Express Entry Form to be eligible in a Express Entry pool, foreigners will wait to receive an ITA. Each draw whether it is through a PNP or Express Entry will have a minimum CRS score and those with a ranking CRS score higher than the published one, will receive an invitation. Once one has received an ITA, there is a 60 day period where you must apply and submit all the required supporting documents to become a permanent resident. There are documents and following steps after receiving an invitation to apply including a chance to deny the ITA. Visit our page on Canada Visa Processing Times for 2022 to learn more.
Receiving an ITA (Invitation to Apply)
After you have successfully filling out an Express Entry Form to be eligible in a Express Entry pool, foreigners will wait to receive an ITA. Each draw whether it is through a PNP or Express Entry will have a minimum CRS score and those with a ranking CRS score higher than the published one, will receive an invitation. Once one has received an ITA, there is a 60 day period where you must apply and submit all the required supporting documents to become a permanent resident. There are documents and following steps after recieving an invitation to apply including a chance to deny the ITA.
Receiving an AOR (Acknowledgement of Receipt)
Once the IRCC has received your PR application, you will receive an Acknowledgment of Receipt also known as an AOR. This AOR is a confirmation that your application file has been created. You may also be referred to an “AOR date” which is the date from when your 6 months intended processing time begins.
Am I Eligible for Express Entry?
Determining whether you can apply under the Express Entry System can be confusing, but here are some of the basics.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Express Entry is a system put in place to “manage applications for permanent residence under these federal economic immigration programs.” These economic immigration programs include the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canada Experience Class.
Requirements for eligibility vary depending on the class you wish to apply under, though for all programs you must be legally admissible to Canada and be intending to live in a province or territory other than Quebec. Candidates also have to achieve a minimum score on the Comprehensive Ranking System. Points can be scored based on age, education, language ability, certifications, and Canadian and non-Canadian work experience.
Here are some of the major requirements for each of the three economic programs:
01. Federal Skilled Workers Program
As CIC explains, if you’re hoping to become a permanent resident through the Federal Skilled Workers Program, you must first meet the minimum requirements for work experience, language ability, and education.
Work experience must be a year of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work in the same job within the last 10 years, and the job must be of skill type 0 or skill levels A or B of the 2011 National Occupational Classification. The language requirements include proof of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in the form of CIC-approved language test results from within the last two years. For education, applicants need either a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or a completed foreign credential and an assessment of that credential from a CIC-approved agency that shows that the completed education is equivalent to a comparable Canadian credential.
Applications are also assessed based on federal skilled worker points. CIC will assign points based on the following factors:
- skills in English and/or French
- work experience
- presence/absence of a valid job offer, and
- the applicant’s perceived adaptability to live in Canada.
Furthermore, applicants need to be able to prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family, unless they can already legally work in or have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.
02. Federal Skilled Trades Program
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, skilled workers for the Federal Skilled Trades Program must fulfill minimum work experience and language ability requirements.
Work experience must include at least two years of full-time work experience (or equivalent part-time work experience) within the last five years in a skilled trade. Applicants must also show that they have experience performing the duties for an eligible skilled trade outlined by the National Occupation Classification (NOC) in Major Group 72, 72, 82, or 92, or Minor Group 632 or 633.
Language ability scores can be lower than those for the skilled workers program: Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for speaking and listening, and Canadian Language Benchmark 4 for reading and writing. Satisfactory results from a CIC-approved language test are also required.
Applicants must also have either an offer of full-time employment for a full year minimum or be certified in their skilled trade by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority. Individual provinces /territories have specific requirements regarding trades qualifications and the process for assessment, so finding out how the program works in the province/territory where you wish to live is important.
03. Canada Experience Class
To be eligible under the Canada Experience Class, CEC specifies that you must meet the minimum work experience and language ability requirements.
Minimum work experience is 12 months of skilled work experience (or equivalent part-time) in Canada, with the proper authorisation, within the three years prior to applying for CEC. This work must fit the requirements of the National Occupation Classification for one of the following: managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0), professional jobs (NOC skill type A), or technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B). The applicant must also be able to demonstrate that their work experience includes having fulfilled the duties detailed by the NOC.
Minimum language levels are Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs or Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs, with results proven by a CIC-approved language test.
Who Can Apply for Express Entry
Now, there are some criteria that they use but generally speaking anybody can submit their profile and potentially be selected. So this is really good news. Now of course if you have a job offer lined up, you are likely in a better position to qualify but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be selected if you don’t have a job offer. So this is really encouraging and as an immigration lawyer, our job now becomes to highlight and emphasize the best qualities of our applicants to try to convince the government that they would make good candidates for immigration and to be selected. So this is to me really good news. A lot of people can contribute to the Canadian economy, can make an impact, who would otherwise not necessarily be considered under the old system. So this is something that, as I said, I consider good news and I am looking forward to helping people process applications through the new Express Entry System. So, hopefully this has given you hope as well and don’t be discouraged.
How Much Money Do I Need for Express Entry?
If you are invited to apply for Express Entry then you must have written proof that you have the money required for you and any family members you intend on bringing to Canada.
Proof of Funds
Funds required (in Canadian dollars) per family members
Number of family members
Funds required (in Canadian dollars)
Each Additional Family Members
Express Entry Fees
New fee effective April 30, 2020 ($CAN)
Your Application: Processing fee and Right of Permanent Resident Fee
Your Application (without Right of Permanent Resident Fee
Include your spouse or partner: Processing fee and Right of Permanent Residence fee
Include your spouse or partner (without Right of Permanent Residence fee
$225 per child
Include a dependent child
Right of Permanent Resdience fee (may be paid at a later date)
What is "Proof of Funds"?
You must be able to have the required amount above readily available for you. This means that you can not use equity on real estate or borrow money from another person.
If your spouse is coming with you, you can count money you have together in a joint account.
For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you’re keeping money.
- be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
- include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
- include your name
- list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
- include, for each current bank and investment account, the
- account numbers
- date each account was opened
- current balance of each account
- average balance for the past 6 months
How are Express Entry Points Calculated to Determine a CRS Score?
The Comprehensive Ranking System ranks eligible candidates for immigration to Canada through Express Entry. Points are given within the following categories: Age, Level of Education, Official Language Proficiency, Second Official Language, Canadian Work Experience.
Cris, VisaPlace’s new CRS Calculator bot can help you figure out your Canada CRS score, which is used to rank your profile in the Express Entry pool.
The Comprehensive Ranking System Score is used in every Express Entry draw.
You will want to calculate your CRS score before applying for Express Entry to determine your eligibility. After using the CRS Calculator by typing with Cris, you can speak with an immigration professional on how to improve your score or find out which programs you qualify for.
If you want to improve your CRS score to get picked for an Express Entry draw there are several ways you can! Improving your CRS score is the best way to increase your chances at getting an invitation. Learn about our top 8 steps on increasing your CRS score.
What Is My Canada CRS Score?
For each section below, there is a maximum number of points that can be awarded. The pints awarded depend on age, level of education, and whether or not you have a spouse or common law partner.
Core Factors:The following five subsections are the most basic, core factors that make up the majority of the ranking process for individual candidates.
The maximum an individual can be awarded when it comes to age is 100 points (with a spouse or common-law partner), or 110 points (without a spouse or common-law partner. In order to achieve the maximum number of points in each category, you have to be in the age bracket of 20 – 29 years old.
The minimum number of points that can be awarded for age apply to those who are under 17 years of age, or over 45 (both 0 points). For those between the ages of 17 and 45, the number of points awarded varies across the age spectrum, peaking at ages 20 – 29. In order to see where you fall, take a look at the full table here.
Level of Education
The maximum you can be awarded for your education level is 150 points, which applies to a university-level credential at the Doctoral level, and without a spouse or common-law partner (with, you’d be awarded 140). Let’s look at how the points vary for those without a spouse or common-law partner (for those with spouses, points awarded are slightly less)
- Less than secondary or high school equivalent: 0 points
- Secondary school or high school equivalent: 30 points
- One-year post-secondary program credential: 90 points
- Two-year post-secondary program credential: 98 points
- Post-secondary program credential of 3+ years: 120 points
- Two or more post-secondary program credentials, at least one of which lasting 3+ years: 128 points
- Master’s level university credential, or an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation a) listed at NOC Level A, and b) requires licensing by a provincial regulatory body: 135 points
- University-level credential at the Doctoral level: 150 points
Official Language Proficiency
Language ability is split into four subcategories: reading, writing, talking and listening. The maximum number of points awarded for each of these subcategories is 32 (with a spouse or common-law partner) or 34 (without a spouse or common-law partner).
So, when each of these sub-categories are added up, the maximum number of points an individual can be awarded is 128 (with a spouse or common-law partner) and 136 (without a spouse or common-law partner).
Points are awarded based on CLB level, with CLB 4 or less being awarded 0 points. Those who have achieved CLB 10 or higher are awarded the maximum number of 32/34 points (depending on whether you have a spouse or common-law partner).
Second Official Language
For second official language proficiency, the sub-categories are the same as above, with the maximum number of points being 22/24. You will be awarded 6 points for each sub-category, with the total number of points being capped at 22 if you have a spouse or common-law partner (you will be awarded the maximum 24 points if you do not).
Canadian Work Experience
The maximum points you can be awarded for Canadian work experience is 70 (with a spouse/common-law partner) and 80 (without a spouse/common-law partner) for five years or more. Let’s take a look at how the points system works for those without a spouse or common-law partner:
- Less than a year: 0 points
- 1 year: 40 points
- 2 years: 53 points
- 3 years: 64 points
- 4 years: 72 points
- 5 years or more: 80 points
That brings us to the end of this subsection. The maximum number of points you can score for this section are: 460 points (with a spouse/common-law partner) and 500 points (without a spouse/common-law partner)
Spouse or common-law factors (if applicable)
Now, we’re aware not everyone has a spouse or common-law partner, so if this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to skip the following subsections entirely. If it does, then read on:
Spouse / Common-Law Partner's Level Of Education
Points awarded for this category range from 0 -10. The maximum-level categories are Master’s Degree university level, and university-credential at Doctoral level, both 10 points. To see how your spouse/common-law partner would rank, check the CIC table.
Spouse / Common-Law Partner's Official Languages Proficiency
Again, the official languages proficiency section is split into four different categories: reading, writing, talking and listening. For each sub-category, your spouse/common-law partner can be awarded up to five points, with a maximum score of 20 points.
Spouse / Common-Law Partner's Canadian Work Experience
The maximum number of points your spouse/common-law partner can be awarded for this section is 10 points, which applies to five years or more Canadian work experience. Points awarded are as follows:
- Less than a year: 0 points
- 1 year: 5 points
- 2 years: 7 points
- 3 years: 8 points
- 4 years: 9 points
- 5+ years: 10 points
The maximum number of points your spouse/common-law partner can score for this section is 40 points, taking your maximum total up to 500 points (core/human capital factors + spouse/common-law partner factors).
Skill Transferability Factors
This is the final section for Express Entry 2015’s CRS criteria, and covers your level of education, Canadian work experience, foreign work experience and relevant qualifications for trade occupations. Some of these sections also take language proficiency into account to add to your overall score.
The first subsection for skill transferability is education, and based on two factors. These are: a) a post-secondary degree with good official language proficiency and b) a post-secondary degree with Canadian work experience. The maximum you can score for this subsection is 100 points (a maximum of 50 points for each section) and varies depending on your level of education.
Education (With A Post-Secondary Degree With Good Official Language Proficiency)
In order to score for language proficiency, you must have a CLB 7 or more for your official language abilities; your score is then calculated based on your level of education. In order to score the maximum 50 points, you must have a CLB 9 or more for your official language proficiency, and the highest level of education (two or more post-secondary education program credentials, at least one of which lasting three years or longer).
Education (With A Post-Secondary Degree And Canadian Work Experience)
This section takes into account your education level combined with the number of years of Canadian work experience you have (either 1 year, or 2+ years of work experience). The maximum you can score for this section is 50 points.
Foreign Work Experience (With Official Language Proficiency)
The maximum you can score for foreign work experience is 50 points, although this also takes into account your language proficiency. Like the education sub-section, you must have a language proficiency of CLB 9 or over to score the maximum number of points, along with 3+ years of foreign work experience.
Canadian Work Experience + Foreign Work Experience
In order to score the maximum 50 points, you must have completed the maximum 3+ years of foreign work experience (like the last section), combined with the maximum 2+ years of Canadian work experience.
Certification Of Qualifications (Applies To Trade Occupations) (With Official Language Proficiency)
If you have a certificate of qualification combined with a CLB 5+ on all of your first official language abilities (with one or more under 7), you will be awarded 25 points. The maximum 50 points will be awarded if you have a certificate of qualification combined with a CLB 7+ on all four first official language abilities.
The subtotal for this section is 600 points.
- An additional 600 points can be awarded for:
- Arranged employment
- Provincial or territorial nomination
The maximum you can be awarded for the Express Entry 2015 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is 1200 points.