Express Entry was launched at the start of 2015 and IRCC has recently issued a mid-term report on the success of the new program. The news is mostly good:

Express Entry will increasingly be the best (and soon perhaps the only) way to apply to immigrate to Canada under the following economic programs:

As IRCC states: “the majority of admissions in 2015 are likely to come from applications submitted before January 1, 2015, i.e. not through Express Entry.” That means that the large backlog of applications must first be worked down in order for the rounds of Express Entry invitations to increase substantially from where they are now (around 1,500 per round although this can vary from round to round).

Also, most of the early invitations have gone to foreign nationals already working in Canada. They already have job offers supported by LMIAs which guarantee them an additional 600 points in the Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS. This will change in the near future however: “Future rounds from the Express Entry pool will become the main source of applications to meet the annual immigration targets for certain immigration programs.”  This means that the rounds of invitations will start becoming larger in the near future, and Express Entry will be the best way to ensure your application is given the best consideration possible by IRCC.

Remember that to be eligible for Express Entry you must meet the criteria of one of the 3 programs listed above (FSW, FST, or CEC) even if you are a provincial nominee. Here is an overview of Express Entry Profiles submitted to the Express Entry pool from January 1, 2015 through July 6, 2015. It does not include rounds 12 and 13 which occurred after July 6, 2015. 

Number of Profiles completed (as of July 6, 2015) 112,701 100%
Number of Not Eligible profiles  48,723 43.2%
Number of Pending profiles (job bank, PNP validation) 4,302 3.8%
Withdrawn Profiles 6,441 5.7%
Invitations 12,017 10.7%
Number of Active Candidates Remaining in pool 41,218 36.6%

This means that out of all the profiles submitted to Express Entry, you have a 1 in 10 chance of being invited. While that may sound a little tough in terms of the odds, the picture gets brighter when you only consider eligible applications: the total number of profiles completed minus the number of ineligible profiles. 

Eligible Profiles Submitted for Express Entry

Out of the 63,798 profiles that are eligible:

Pending Profiles (Job Bank Registration, PNP Validation) 6.7%
Withdrawn Profiles 10.1%
Invitations to apply 18.8%
Active Profiles Remaining 64.4%

In other words, if your Express Entry Profile is eligible, then you have an almost 1 in 5 chance of being issued an invitation by IRCC or by a Provincial Nominee Program. That’s double your odds of succeeding compared with total profiles. Assuming as well that some of the pending profiles are rejected, then your odds are even better. 


Do you have a permanent, full-time job offer backed by an LMIA? And do you already live and work in Canada on a temporary permit? Then you would be in the overwhelming majority of those invited to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry as shown below. As this backlog of temporary workers wishing to settle in Canada gets worked down, both the countries of residence and the countries of origin will shift. 

Country of Residence of Invited Candidates under Express Entry as of July 6, 2015
Country Number Percentage
Canada 11,047 85.5%
India 420 3.2%
U.S.A. 231 1.8%
Philippines 153 1.2%
U.K. 111 0.9%
China 99 0.8%
Nigeria 77 0.6%
France 66 0.5%
UAE 57 0.4%
Australia 43 0.3%
Top 10 12,304 95.2%

When it comes to country of citizenship, India and the Philippines dominate, with the rest spread around the globe.

Express Entry Acceptance by Country of Citizenship

A majority of those candidates invited to apply had a job offer with an LMIA. As this pool of foreign temporary workers is processed by Express Entry, more candidates will come from abroad and without a job offer. This depends on the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System, CRS, scores that Express Entry requires in each round of invitations. In the table below you can see how the CRS scores were distributed among Active remaining members of the Express Entry Pool as of July 6, 2015:

Express Entry by CRS Score

If you compare the above distribution of CRS scores with the CRS Cut-off point for each round of invitations up to July 6, 2015 shown below, you will note that the largest number of scores (between a CRS of 300 up to a CRS of 449) fall below every Cut-off point so far. In other words, 35,884 out of 41,218 active candidates are close but still not at the minimum required level. That works out to 87.1% of active candidates who need to add at around 150 points to their CRS scores to become eligible based on previous Cut-off points of slightly more than 450.

Express Entry Cutoff Scores 2015

What this table shows is given the falling CRS Cut-off points, active candidates are within shooting distance of the magic number. In the 2 rounds of invitations that have taken place after July 6, 2015 the CRS Cut-off points have been:

Express Entry Rounds
Since July 6, 2015
CRS Cutoff Score
Round 12: July 10, 2015 463
Round 13: July 17, 2015 451

This means that a great majority of active candidates are within slightly more than 150 points of the CRS Cut-off. Improving your CRS score becomes vital seeing that any individual active candidate has a lot of competition with similar CRS scores. As we have mentioned in other articles, the following are steps that every candidate with an Express Entry profile should consider in order to boost their CRS scores:

  • Re-take the Language Test;
  • Add to your post-secondary Educational Credentials by completing programs related to your chosen occupation;
  • Acquire additional Work Experience relevant to your chosen occupation and any additional degree, diploma or certificate that you acquire.

The number of invitations issued have in general been slowly increasing with each round, but for now the numbers have been small in each round (less than 2,000). This will change as Express Entry evolves over the coming months and years. Here is a summary of the CRS Scores of those who were invited in each round:

Percentage of Express Entry Applicants with CRS Scores 600 Points

What this graphic shows is that in the first 4 rounds an applicant had to have a job offer or a provincial nomination in order to have enough points to be invited. As the rounds have progressed, you no longer necessarily need a CRS score over 600 to be invited. That means that while it is always best to have a job offer with an LMIA, it is becoming less necessary as Express Entry evolves. But again, it is always a good idea to be constantly seeking ways to improve your Express Entry Profile by increasing your CRS scores.

Finally, which of the 3 immigration programs are attracting the most invitations from Express Entry? The following chart shows the proportion of invitations categorized by immigration program. Keep in mind that for any given round of invitations the amounts that go to any individual program vary greatly from previous rounds:

Percentage of Express Entry Invitations by Canadian Immigration Program

80% of Invitations have gone to FSW and CEC program applicants, while the Provincial Nominee programs have attracted slightly more than 5% of invitations. As provinces add Express Entry programs, as we have mentioned in previous articles, these numbers will change. But they do indicate that in the first few months of Express Entry, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Workers have done the best at providing qualified candidates for Canada’s Labour market.

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