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Express Entry

Get Permanent Residence in Canada: Everything You Need to Know About Express Entry

Express Entry

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Since January 1st, 2015 Immigration, Refuges and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) has initiated a new immigration program called Express Entry. Think of it as being like getting a job. Your online application to migrate to Canada gets placed in a pool with other candidates and evaluated according to a list of criteria. The top ranking candidates in each pool will then be invited to immigrate to Canada. This is a significant change in Canada’s immigration system and may very well affect how you apply for and whether you receive acceptance by CIC to move to Canada and embark on a new life. It is important to take the time and familiarize yourself with Express Entry. We will give you a comprehensive overview of the program as well as a guide to understanding the steps involved.




What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online electronic system that manages those applications for permanent residence in Canada that fall under specific immigration programs: 


Who Can Apply For Express Entry?

In order to apply for Express Entry, you will need to qualify for one of the above Canadian immigration programs. This means you must have:

  • at least 1 year of full-time Canadian work experience (or equivalent part time experience), and / or
  • at least 1 year of full-time work experience (or equivalent part time experience abroad in an occupation that Canada deems "skilled" (see below), and / or
  • at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or equivalent part time experience) abroad in a trade.

If your work experience is abroad, usually you are required to have a job offer in addition.

There are additional requirements which you can learn about by reading about the individual programs.


How to Apply

To apply with IMMIgroup, 

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If you are not sure if you can apply or not, you will need to go to the Come to Canada tool and see if you qualify for acceptance into a pool of candidates. If you get a positive result you will be re-directed to MyCIC where, if you do not already have an account, you will have to create one. You will then begin to build your Express Entry profile.

You will need to support your application with a language test. If educated outside Canada, you will need to undergo an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). You will need the ECA result to qualify for the Foreign Skilled Worker Program and to gain points under the Federal Skilled Trades Program as well as the Canadian Experience Class program. You will also need to see how your job skills match up with Canada’s job classification system. Go here to find out what your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is. This will help determine if your job skills and work experience is valid under FSW, FST, or CEC.


Building Your Express Entry Profile

Remember that to complete your Express Entry online profile you will need the following:

  • Your Passport or Travel Document;
  • Your NOC code and NOC job title;
  • Your language test results (IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF);
  • Your ECA result;
  • A copy of a written job offer from a Canadian employer, if you have such an offer;
  • A copy of your provincial nomination, if you have been nominated;
  • Your personal reference code from the Come to Canada tool (for example, JM1234567890). If you began building your Express Entry profile without going to Come to Canada, you will not have one.


Step 1

Armed with the above list, you then follow these basic steps to complete your online profile:

  1. Use your MyCIC number that you will receive when you create your MyCIC account to sign in each time you want to enter.
  2. If you have undergone the test at Come to Canada use your personal reference code. If not, go to step 3.
  3. Begin to enter your personal information like work experience and education. You may exit at any time and your information will be saved but you must complete the profile within 30 days or you will have to re-start the process.
  4. Submit the Express Entry Profile you have created online. Remember to register with Job Bank as detailed below. 

Once submitted online, your express entry profile will be screened by immigration authorities to see if you are eligible for the pool of candidates.


Step 2

If you are admitted to a pool of candidates:

You will be placed in the pool for a period of 1 year from the day you get in.

If you do not have a job offer waiting for you in Canada, or a nomination from a province or territory then you should use the personal reference code that you will be given to register in Job Bank, an online labour market service that matches jobs available and skills needed as well as information on salaries with qualified job seekers. This will enable you to seek work for which you are qualified and for which there is a demand.

A points score will be calculated based on the data you give when completing your online profile. A comprehensive ranking system will be used to rank you. It is based on factors which have proven to be good predictors of an immigrant’s success in integrating into the workforce and Canadian society in general. The factors are:

  • Skills possessed.
  • Language ability.
  • Work experience.
  • Education and other factors.

As well, if you have a written job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program you will be granted additional points. Your employer will have to submit to a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

On the basis of regular draws from any pool of candidates, CIC will issue invitations to the highest ranked candidates to come to Canada. If you have a valid job offer, or a nomination under the PNP, then your chances of being invited are very good. Only once you have been invited by CIC, through a message to your MyCIC account and to your personal email address, can you then apply online for permanent residence.


Step 3

Once you have filled out all the required fields, a personalized document checklist will be generated. This shows you all the documents you will need to submit with your application for permanent residence. You will need to make digital copies of the documents using the scan function on your computer’s printer, or a digital camera. You will then upload the documents along with your application. This will include things like: passports, language test results, written job offers, provincial nominations, and proof of sufficient funds. It will also include Medical Tests and Police Certificates.

You must pay your fees, including for all accompanying family members, online through your MyCIC account using a credit card.

Once you have submitted your application along with clear, legible scans or photos of all required documents, CIC will begin to process your application. This means that all the information you have submitted will be verified by CIC before you are eligible to immigrate and admissible to Canada.


Things to Remember

Remember that if your situation changes (you get a new job or change careers, you take a new language test with better results, you get married and have children, for example), then you must update your online profile at Express Entry as soon as possible.

If, after a year of being in the pool, you do not get invited to come to Canada, then your Express Entry profile will expire. You must then re-submit your Express Entry profile with any updated information relevant to your profile, within 60 days of your expiry. If you meet the minimum entry criteria once more, you will receive a new personal reference code.

If you are invited to come to Canada, you will then have 60 days to fill out and submit your online application for permanent residence. Remember that documents like police certificates take longer than 60 days on average, so you should apply for them as soon as you are accepted into a pool so they will be ready to submit with your application for permanent residence, should you be invited.

To improve your chances of ranking highly in your pool you should consider doing at least some of the following:

  • Secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer using Job Bank or private sector job boards.
  • Get in touch with Provinces and Territories in order to qualify for a Provincial Nominee Program nomination.
  • Try to improve your language skills through courses or online sites to improve your language test scores.
  • Improve and update your education by taking additional courses and/or degrees in areas relevant to needed skills in the Canadian job market.
  • Improve your work experience by taking on jobs and careers that add to your skills.
  • Never give false information to dress-up your profile. If caught, you could be banned from re-applying for 5 years.


Express Entry Costs and Processing Time

IMMIgroup's legal fees range from around CAD$3000+HSt for those with Canadian work experience to CAD$4500+HST for those without Canadian work experience. 


Government Fees

It costs CAD$550 to submit your application.

If you are approved, you will then have to pay CAD$490 for your Right of Permanent Residence.


Processing Times

Under the new system, processing times are supposed to be significantly better than in the past. Citizenship and Immigration Canada endeavours to process 80% of applications within 6 months of submission, regardless of whether or not you have Canadian experience, and regardless of whether or not you are nominated by a province.

However, please note that this is only the stated goal and we do not yet know what the processing times will be.


Processing Times Prior to Express Entry

Program processing time
Federal Skilled Worker Varied by visa office, from 3-34 months
Federal Skilled Trades Not known
Canadian Experience Class 13 months
Provincial Nominees Varied by visa office, 11-59 months


Required Documentation


Language Test Details

In order to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident, you need to schedule and sit a language test at an agency approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in one of Canada's two official languages. Here are the acceptable tests:

Your successful language test results contribute points to your Express Entry application. See the relevant page for details:

For Federal Skilled Worker, you get a maximum of 24 points for your first langauge and 4 points for your second.

For Federal Skilled Trades and Candian Experience Class, your score has to be up to the skill level of your job.

Learn more about IELTS



Draw Number of invitations issued CRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited
#67 - July 12, 2017 3,202 440 points
#66 - June 28, 2017 3,409 449 points
#65 - May 31, 2017 3,877 413 points
(All Time Low excluding FST)
#64 - may 26, 2017 400
(Federal Skilled Trades Only)
199 points
(Federal Skilled Trades Only)
#63 - May 26, 2017 143
(Provincial Nominees Only)
775 points
(Provincial Nominees Only)
#62 - May 17, 2017 3,687 415 points
#61 - May 4, 2017 3,796 423 points
#60 - April 19, 2017 3,665 415 points
#59 - April 12, 2017 3,923
(All Time High)
423 points
#58 - April 5, 2017 3,753 431 points
#57 - March 24, 2017 3,748 441 points
#56 - March 1, 2017 3,884 434 points
#55 - February 22, 2017 3,611 441 points
#54 - February 8, 2017 3,644 447 points
#53 - January 25, 2017 3,508 453 points
#52 - January 11, 2017 3,334 459 points
#51 January 4, 2017 2,902 468 points
#50 December 22, 2016 2,878 475 points
#49 December 16, 2016 1,936 497 points
#48 November 30, 2016 559
(year low for 2016 to date)
786 points
(year high for 2016 - PNP only)
#47 November 16, 2016 2,427 470 points
#46 - November 2, 2016 2,080 472 points
#45 - October 19, 2016 1,518 484 points
#44 - October 12, 2016 1,518 484 points
#43 - September 21, 2016 1,288 483 points
#42 - September 7, 2016 1000 491 points
#41 - August 24, 2016 750 538 points
#40 - August 10, 2016 754 490 points
#39 - July 27, 2016 755 488 points
#38 - July 13, 2016 747 482 points
#37 - June 29, 2016 773 482 points
#36 – June 15, 2016 752 488 points
#35 – June 1, 2016 762 483 points
#34 – May 18, 2016 763 484 points
#33 – May 6, 2016 799 534 points
#32 – April 20, 2016 1,018 468 points
#31 – April 6, 2016 954 470 points
#30 – March 23, 2016 1,014 470 points
#29 – March 9, 2016 1,013 473 points
#28 – February 24, 2016 1,484 453 points 
(year low for 2016)
#27 – February 10, 2016 1,505 459 points
#26 – January 27, 2016 1,468 457 points
#25 – January 13, 2016 1,518 453 points 
(year low for 2016)
#24 – January 6, 2016 1,463 461 points
#23 – December 18, 2015 1,503 460 points
#22 – December 4, 2015 1,451 461 points
November 27, 2015 1,559 472 points
#20 – November 13, 2015 1,506 484 points
#19 – October 23, 2015 1,502 489 points
#18 – October 2, 2015 1,530 450 points
#17 – September 18, 2015 1,545 450 points
#16 – September 8, 2015 1,517 459 points
#15 – August 21, 2015 1,523 456 points
#14 – August 7, 2015 1,402 471 points
#13 – July 17, 2015 1,581 451 points
#12 – July 10, 2015 1,516 463 points
#11 – June 26, 2015 1,575 469 points
#10 – June 12, 2015 1,501 482 points
#9 – May 22, 2015
1,361 755 points
#8 – April 17, 2015 715 453 points
#7 – April 10, 2015 925 469 points
#6 – March 27, 2015 1,637 453 points
#5 – March 20, 2015 1,620 481 points
#4 – February 27, 2015 1,187 735 points
#3 – February 20, 2015 849 808 points
#2 – February 7, 2015 779 818 points
#1 – January 31, 2015 779 886 points


Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score distribution of candidates in the Express Entry pool as of April 13, 2017

CRS Score Range Number of Candidates
601-1200 108
451-600 354
401-450 9,120
441-450 93
431-440 136
421-430 2,115
411-420 3,165
401-410 3,611
351-400 21,028
391-400 3,249
381-390 3,992
371-380 4,393
361-370 4,593
351-360 4,801
301-350 15,526
0-300 2,778
Total 48,914