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Express Entry Canadian Immigration

The Express Entry system is a new program that became effective as of January 2015. It is not a new category of immigration to Canada, but rather is a new way of filing immigration applications. Instead of simply sending a completed immigration application to the relevant visa office, potential applicants must first enter into a pool of potential applicants and wait to be invited to apply before they may submit their application. In this way the immigration authorities can manage the flow of new applications so that they do not accumulate a backlog, and can hopefully process the chosen cases in a timely manner.

Three categories of applications for permanent residence must apply under the Express Entry system:

  1. Federal Skilled Workers,
  2. Federal Skilled Trades, and
  3. Canadian Experience Class.

Step 1: Express Entry Profile

Those who qualify under one of the three categories and wish to apply for immigration to Canada must first complete an online Express Entry Profile. This is on online form that will ask the user to provide details of their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and related information. Those who appear to meet the criteria of one of the three federal immigration categories will then be placed into a pool of candidates.

Step 2: Registration with the Job Bank

Those who register for Express Entry but do not have a Canadian job offer that is supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) will be required to register a Job Seeker Account with the Job Bank, which is a government website for people seeking employment in Canada. This is intended to help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers.

Step 3: Invitation to Apply

Candidates within the Express Entry system will be ranked against each other based on a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS will measure factors such as work experience, language skills, education, and whether or not the candidate has a job offer. To demonstrate language skills a language test result must be provided, and foreign educational credentials must be supported by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to determine their Canadian equivalency. Points will be awarded based on the information provided in the Profile, and for having a job offer. A total of 1200 points are available, depending on the candidate’s qualifications. Of those, 600 points are awarded for having a job offer supported by an LMIA, or for having been nominated by a province.

Those with the highest CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Once the invitation to apply is provided, the candidate will have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence. Once received, the immigration authorities plan to process these applications within six months.

Express entry draws will take place regularly at the immigration authorities’ discretion. Each draw will have a set of Minister’s Instructions that will include the date and time of the draw, the number of candidates that will be drawn, and which specific program(s) will be included in the draw. This information will be posted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

Candidates can stay in the Express Entry pool for up to 12 months. If they have not received an invitation within 12 months they can re-register as long as they continue to qualify under one of the three categories.

If you are qualified under the Skilled Worker, Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class, and would like assistance to register for express entry, please Contact Us for further information.


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