Express Entry Immigration to Canada: All you need to know
Introduced in 2015, the Express Entry immigration selection system is a fast-track pathway for individuals and families across the world to immigrate to Canada within a few weeks. This immigration system has become a major pathway among skilled workers to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
The federal government has planned to welcome more than 90,000 people annually for Canadian PR under the 2020-2022 Canada Immigration Levels Plan.
About the Express Entry System
The federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the Express Entry system for managing and processing the applications received under the three federal economic immigration programs.
Express Entry is a dynamic and competitive immigration system, which ranks all the applicants under the Express Entry pool against each other, and the best-ranked candidates are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent resident status. There are many human capital factors that determine the ranking of candidates; these are:
- Language Proficiency
- Work Experience
- Arranged Employment
Under the Express Entry system, eligible candidates willing to settle permanently in Canada can obtain permanent resident status in a few weeks.
Step-by-Step Process under the Express Entry System
Below are the steps to acquaint you with the application process under the Express Entry system:
1. Check your Eligibility:
Prospective applicants must meet the eligibility criteria under one of the three federal economic immigration programs:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
- The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
There are many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that are aligned with the Express Entry system; however, the condition remains the same, candidates must meet eligibility under one of the above programs to enter the Express Entry pool.
There are different eligibility requirements under diverse Express Entry-aligned programs, but all candidates must have a minimum of one year of skilled work experience as well as they must meet the least level of Canadian Language Benchmark in an approved language test for English or French. Furthermore, applicants must not have any medical issues and criminal background, as the Express Entry system screens all the applicants beforehand.
2. Create an Express Entry profile:
Eligible candidates must submit an online profile to enter the pool. All eligible candidates will be ranked against each other based on their scores.
The score is rewarded to the candidates on the basis of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), in which the eligible candidates are given a score out of 1200 points. Candidates can also take steps to improve their CRS score by keeping their Express Entry profile updated, as the candidates with the highest CRS score have maximum chances of receiving an ITA.
The CRS score further serves as a cut-off score, and the purpose is to determine if a candidate will be able to adapt to the dynamic environment of the nation. There are certain listed factors, as mentioned above, which determine the CRS score. However, candidates can get additional points if they secure a provincial nomination or obtain a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
3. Create a Job Bank profile (Optional):
Job Bank is a free public resource that enables Canadian employers to recruit qualified candidates. Candidates may create a Job Bank profile if they do not have any of the following:
- A job offer
- A provincial nomination
With the effect of June 2017, this step has become a voluntary part of the process.
4. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA):
Regular Express Entry draws are held every two weeks by IRCC, under which the highest-ranked candidates are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. Moreover, if a candidate does not receive an invitation within 12 months, his or her profile will expire, and in such cases, candidates are required to submit a new profile.
5. Boost your CRS score:
Candidates who have not received an ITA can improve their CRS score by updating new information to their Express Entry profile. Some of the instances are, added work experience, improved language scores, obtaining a valid job offer, taking educational credential assessments, and receiving a provincial nomination.
6. Submit your application for PR:
The applicant who has received an ITA, have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence (application will be submitted electronically). In this application, candidates must submit extensive personal information with the required documents.
After submission of the application, candidates must wait for the final decision from IRCC. A minimum of 80% of the total applications is processed within six months, as aimed by the IRCC. In case of approval of the application, candidates will be issued authorization to activate their permanent resident status in Canada.