Express Entry | A new tool for hiring skilled immigrants
In Canada, Express Entry was launched in 2015 as a new passage to gain permanent residence for people who have a certain level of skills and education in their field from within Canada or abroad. As the name suggests “Express”, this system allows people to obtain a status of permanent residents of Canada in the shortest possible time within six months or even less. Express entry is an electronic process involving the selection of skilled immigrants for Canada. The express entry selects the candidate for immigration to Canada by the following economic programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
To be eligible for the Express Entry, you must come under the aforementioned programs. The first step is to create an online profile which is known as Express Entry Profile. It will include your work experience, language proficiencies, skills, and educational credentials. Once you fill in the Express Entry profile you will be added to the Express Entry pool of candidates. You will be scored and ranked according to the strength of your profile. Candidates with top scores are invited to apply for permanent residence. Different Canadian Provinces and Territories can also select candidates from this Express Entry system through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to cope with their labor market needs and shortages.
The Express Entry profile is created online and is free. You can take up to 60 days to complete it. Once your profile is added to the Express Entry pool you can make a Job Match account with Job Bank which will help you extensively in your job search. This will help you not only to find suitable jobs according to your credentials but also to help you promote yourself to top employers and recruiters. A valid job offer may lead to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LIMA) by your employer, which can add additional points to your Express Entry Profile.
It is a misconception that Canada's Express Entry is a new route of immigration. No, it is not a new route but rather can be called a new application management system to handle the applications under already existing routes of Skilled Immigration Streams. One has still to be qualified in any one of the already existing streams to get qualified for Express Entry to Canada.
Canada Express Entry system was launched to expedite the old application processing system which was taking years to process the skilled worker applications. To get rid of backlogs of skilled worker immigration applications, the Express Entry system was introduced and since then it is working efficiently.
Express Entry Ranking Criteria
The Express Entry Pool uses a points-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank its candidates. Scores are given based upon the information provided in your profile from the following categories:
- Language Proficiency
- Work Experience
- Having a Canadian Degree/diploma/certificate
- Having a valid job offer
- Having a nomination from a province/territory
Additional Points for Express Entry
Candidates can score additional points if:
- They have at least one sibling residing in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident.
- They have strong French Language Skills
How to prepare for Express Entry?
There are a series of steps you must take before applying for the Express Entry program. Some are listed below:
- Take Language tests such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English. For the French Language, the Test d'évaluation du français (TEF).
- Get your foreign credential assessed which is called Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) according to Canadian standards.
- Learn about the reasons for inadmissibility and take care of those if you may have any.
- Browse for available Provincial Nominee Programs.
The process to intake candidates through Express Entry Canada has two different stages:
Stage 1: Creation of an online profile in the Express Entry Pool of Candidates
Candidates are invited to create their Express Entry profile in the Express Entry pool and this process is called Expression of Interest (EOI). Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) is the first step towards immigration to Canada. The candidates are placed according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) in the Express Entry based on their:
- Education (foreign education or/and education from within Canada)
- Work experience (foreign work experience or/and experience within Canada)
- Siblings in Canada
- The qualifying offer of employment
- Provincial/territorial nominations
As mentioned before eligible candidates in one of Canada’s skilled immigration streams i.e. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) make an online profile by clearly and honestly stating details about their:
- Professional skills,
- Language proficiency in either or both official languages of Canada i.e. English / French
- Past work experience
- Misc. other details
The candidates who create an Express Entry profile must have to complete the profile within 60 days of creation and submit it to Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Upon successful submission of a profile to IRCC and getting a notification that the candidate meets the eligibility criteria of one or more of the federal economic immigration streams, the profile will be activated and placed in the Express Entry pool of active members. If candidates are invited to apply, they have 60 days to submit an online application for Canadian permanent residence. The processing can take up to six months or less. You can stay in the pool for up to one year. If you have not received an invitation to apply (ITA) in 12 months you will have to submit a new profile to re-enter the pool. It is advised to update your profile in case of any changes.
As mentioned before, the Express Entry profile is good for one year from the date of creation and will be considered for any subsequent express entry draws for Invitation to Apply (ITA). IRCC holds an Express Entry round of Invitations (Express Entry Draw) at regular intervals and sends Invitation to Apply (ITA) to candidates who score equal or more than a certain Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Round of Invitations for Express Entry normally held on every second Wednesday or as needed.
Canada picks the best possible candidates who are more likely to become successful in their new life in Canada through the Express Entry system. Candidates are ranked based on their credentials and additional factors can increase their chances of getting an invitation to apply like siblings in Canada, qualifying offer of employment from a Canadian employer, and provincial/territorial nominations.
Those candidates who do not have a valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination can sign up with the Job Bank of Canada to get a job offer. Before registration with Job Bank, Canada was mandatory but now it is optional, but it is a good way to get connected to relevant Canadian employers who are looking for suitable candidates. If an employer is willing to hire a candidate from the Express Entry pool of candidates then most often they will need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This will give an additional 50 or 200 points (depending upon NOC type) to candidates and can make their ranking better.
There are certain cases when there is no labor market impact assessment (LMIA) report are required and a candidate can still get additional points. These job offers come under LMIA-exempt job offers.
In no way, it is a guarantee that candidates who created and submitted their Express Entry profile will be invited to apply for permanent residence, as it will primarily be dependent on their standings or ranking in the Express Entry pool of candidates.
Stage 2: Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence (PR)
Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada often hold Express Entry draws called “Express Entry rounds of Invitation” and send an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence status in Canada, to a certain number of candidates (as per requirements). These draws are most often held on every second Wednesday or as required.
The Candidate who ranked high in the Express Entry pool of candidates will be invited to apply for permanent residence status in Canada. Candidates have only 90 days to submit their completed electronic application once they receive an invitation to apply (ITA).
Those candidates who have successfully submitted their Express Entry profile but failed to get an invitation to apply due to their low CRS score can remain in the Express Entry pool of candidates for twelve (12) months, from the creation of their profile. Upon reaching twelve (12) months their Express Entry profile will be eliminated from the Express Entry pool of candidates. Candidates can resubmit their profile provided they meet the minimum eligibility criteria of any skilled stream as mentioned above and meet the entry criteria of the Express Entry pool of candidates.
In this way, Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada make sure that there are no backlogs and allow them to process the application quicker.
What to do next?
Once you have uploaded your profile and received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada, make sure that you have submitted your complete application and paid your fees. The application will be assessed making sure that all information provident was true and you are eligible to immigrate and enter Canada. In case there is any change of detail regarding the following it must be updated as soon as possible:
- Births or deaths in the family
- Marriage or divorces
- Change in address or phone numbers
- Changes in a job offer
- Addition of a new education credential
- Updated language test results
How to Apply after Invitation to Apply (ITA) in Express Entry
- Fill out the online application
- Attach requisite Documents
- Pay Fees
- Submit complete application
Documents Required for Express Entry
The following documents must be attached to the online application:
- Language Test Results
- Provincial Nominations (if applicable)
- Valid Job offers (if applicable)
- Financial proof
- Valid Passports
- Educational Credential Assessment reports
- Medical Exams
- Police Certificates
- Other documents mentioned on the document checklist
Note: If your passport expires within six months from the day you applied to be sure to renew and update all new information.
Fees for Express Entry Application
When applying for a permanent residence the following fees must be paid:
- A non-refundable processing fee of $825 for each adult(s) (above 22 years of age) and $225 for each dependent(s) (under 22 years of age and unmarried)
- The right of Permanent Residence Fee of $500 per person (This fee is refundable in case you wish to withdraw your application, or your application is refused.)
If you need to learn more about the Express Entry program or need a professional assessment of your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, team The Visa Canada can help you!
How Team The Visa Canada, can help you in Express Entry?
- We conduct a FREE preliminary assessment and determine the client’s eligibility for Express Entry.
- We generate an honest and unbiased assessment report about the client’s suitability for the Express Entry program, based on our years of experience.
- We provide comprehensive advice about different immigration programs available to clients which may best suit clients as per their credentials.
- We provide complete guidance regarding the documents required for the Express Entry program.
- Once hired, create the client's error-free Express Entry Profile to give them maximum chances for selection.
- Once hired, we provide complete assistance if clients get an invitation to apply (ITA) until they get the decision rendered on their application for permanent residence in Canada.
If you would like to know more about the Express Entry program or wanted to know how you will rank in the Express Entry program or if already registered with the Express Entry pool of candidates and wanted to know how to enhance your CRS score, we invite you to complete our assessment form for detailed information.