Express Entry

Express Entry is one of the most sought-after Canadian immigration streams. Canada welcomes about 100,000+ Express Entry immigrants per year. Express Entry is an electronic system used to manage the applications of skilled workers who wish to become permanent residents of Canada. Once an interested candidate submits an online profile, the federal government determines if the candidate is eligible for a program managed by Express Entry. Eligible candidates are accepted into the Express Entry pool and are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System – CRS used by the government to assess and rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. The CRS score is calculated based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, language skills, as well as other factors.

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.


Programs Under Express Entry

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

The FSWP is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway. The minimum requirements include at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B; validated intermediate or better language ability in English or French; for candidates educated outside of Canada, an educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. In addition to meeting the FSWP’s minimum work, language ability, and education requirements.

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

The FSTP is available to candidates who want to become permanent residents on the basis of qualifying for a skilled trade. Eligibility criteria include having a minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the 5-year period of submitting an application; meet the job requirements of the skilled trade; have a full-time job offer in Canada for a period of at least 1 year or possess a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade that has been provided by an official Canadian authority, and meet language proficiency criteria.

  • Canadian Experience Class

The CEC provides international students and foreign workers who have Canadian experience with the opportunity to obtain permanent residence. Candidates must have obtained at least one year of skilled, professional, or technical work experience in Canada within 3 years of the application date and also meet language proficiency criteria.


How The Express Entry Program Works

 Find if you are eligible for the Express Entry program.

  • Complete your language testing and obtain an Education Credential Assessment.

  • Potential candidates fill out an online Express Entry form.
  • Wait to receive an ITA (invitation to apply).

  • Submit your completed Application for Permanent Residence.

  • You need to include your medical exam and police certificates as part of this step

  • Submit your biometrics once IRCC asks you to do so.

  • Wait for the final decision on your application.

How much does Express Entry cost?

Submitting an Express Entry profile to the government pool of eligible candidates is free of charge.

Fee for Express Entry

Principal Applicant                                   $1325

Spouse or Dependent Partner               $1325

Dependent Child                                      $225

Do I need a Job Offer?

No, you do not need a job offer to be successful under Express Entry. Obtaining a job offer does not guarantee you will succeed, however, it will help to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. You can obtain either 50 or 200 CRS points if you receive a job offer that is eligible under Express Entry.


Can I include my family under my Express Entry File?

Yes. Under Express Entry, you can include your wife, husband, or common-law partner. In addition, you can include your dependent children, your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent children, and the dependent children of dependent children. If you are successful under Express Entry, your accompanying family members will also receive permanent residence.

Dependent children are defined as:

  • being under 22 years old and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or
  • being 22 years of age or older, rely on the financial support of their parents before the age of 22, and cannot support themselves financially because of a physical or mental health condition


How Can I Improve my CRS Score?

Ways to improve your Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System score include:

  • Ensure you claim all the CRS points you are eligible for
  • Improve your language test score
  • Have your spouse as the principal applicant
  • Obtain more education
  • Obtain more work experience
  • Study and work in Canada


What makes a job offer valid under Express Entry?

IRCC states that a valid job offer under Express Entry generally meets the following criteria:

  • is full-time and not a seasonal job
  • is at least one year
  • is a skilled job that falls under skill type 0, A, or B in the NOC
  • be recent (e.g., within the last 1 year)
  • not be from an embassy, consulate, or high commission


Job offers must be written and outline the likes of your duties, pay, and conditions of employment (e.g., which hours you will work.

Job offers often need to be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) but there are jobs that are exempt from the LMIA requirement. If an LMIA is required, your employer must apply for one by submitting an application to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada.

Valid job offers under Express Entry are worth either 50 or 200 additional CRS points. Valid job offers under NOC skill types O, A, or B are awarded 50 additional CRS points. Job offers under NOC skill type 00 are eligible for 200 additional CRS points.

Which Express Entry job offers are exempt from requiring an LMIA?

An LMIA is not required for an Express Entry job offer to be valid if all three of these conditions are met:

  • you have continued to work full-time for the employer on your work permit for at least 1 year (or you have worked for the employer part-time for an equivalent length of time like 1 year)
  • the job offer fulfills other requirements for it to be valid such as it falling under NOC 0, A, or B skill type, being recent (e.g., within the last 1 year), and not being from a diplomatic mission in Canada
  • you have a work permit that is exempt from an LMIA under an international agreement such as CUSMA (formerly known as NAFTA), federal-provincial agreement, or the “Canadian interests” category.