How Express Entry Works

Alberta Immigration

Express Entry is an online immigration system which manages skilled workers applications for permanent residence to Canada under federal and certain provincial economic programs.

It is not an immigration program in itself, but a method for selecting the best candidates for Canada’s existing skilled worker immigration programs.

Which Programs Are Covered by Express Entry?

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program
  3. Canada Experience Class
  4. Select streams under Provincial Nominee Programs

What Is the Express Entry Process?

Candidates submit a self-assessed profile online to the Express Entry Pool which is scored using a Comprehensive Ranking System

Are you eligible to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry? 


Points are awarded based on core factors such as age, education, work experience and language ability.

Significant points are also available for a qualified job offer and a provincial nomination.

The top-scoring candidates are issued Invitations to Apply for permanent residence via periodic immigration draws, usually every two weeks.

Once issued a coveted ITA, the candidate has 60 days to perfect their application for permanent residence under one of the programs above.

If they fail to make the 60-day deadline, the ITA becomes invalid.

The target processing time for applications received via Express Entry is six months, which is achieved 85 percent of the time.

What Are Some Advantages of Express Entry?

  • Ability to alter the program quickly and efficiently based on Canada’s economic needs.
  • Better aligns Canada’s immigration intake with labour market requirements.
  • Candidates can improve their scores whilst in the pool, meaning they can work towards achieving an Invitation to Apply.
  • Offers a clear and realistic picture of a candidate’s Canada immigration prospects.
  • Dramatically reduced processing times by prioritizing those more likely to be successful.
  • Gives government flexibility on immigration through CRS changes and program-specific draws.

How Can We Help You?

Have our team he the one to help you start your Canadian immigration journey now!

Find out how to increase your ranking score, if you have already submitted your profile under Express Entry.

Find out how to apply for permanent residence, if you have already received an invitation to apply.

Why Did Canada Launch Express Entry?

Canada launched Express Entry in 2015 in order to move from a “first-come, first-served” immigration system to one that selected candidates with the best chance of economic success.

Express Entry is considered as an example to the world of how to run a fluid and flexible economic immigration system.

With simple changes to the Comprehensive Ranking System, the Canadian government can use immigration to respond to economic and labour market changes.

Since 2015, a few major modifications to the CRS have taken place:

  1. In November 2016, the system was tweaked to reduce points for a job offer and introduce points for Canadian education credentials. The “job offer” definition has also been extending to include certain LMIA-exempted job offers.
  2. In June 2017, a further change provided additional points for advanced French language skills (CLB 7 or higher) and for having a sibling in Canada. On this date, the Job Bank registration has also become voluntary.
  3. In October 2020, the additional points given for advanced French skills were increased.

Previously, such changes would have meant laws through parliament and navigating red tape.

Now the government has the ability to easily change the system in response to demand.


Does Express Entry Apply to Quebec?

Express Entry does not apply to the province of Quebec, but the French-speaking province has launched its own version of the system. Quebec's Expression of Interest system, Arrima , has been enforced since August 2018 and it operates similarly to Express Entry.

The candidates with the highest chances to integrate into the Quebec society will be invited to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

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