The Express Entry Process:
Canada’s Express Entry refers to a system that facilitates permanent residence for skilled workers. It manages the applications for permanent residence under federal economic immigration streams, and allows provinces and territories to recruit candidates through their Provincial Nomination Programs. These applications have a standard processing time of six months or less.
Express Entry consists of a 2-step process. First, you create an Express Entry profile, providing information on your education, work experience, language, and other skills. Once you submit your profile, you will be placed in a pool of candidates. Candidates are ranked through the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and top-ranking candidates are regularly invited to apply for permanent residence. Our Canada Express Entry Calculator can help you determine how many points you would likely receive.
The second step consists of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA), after which you have 60 days to submit an online application and pay the processing fees for permanent residence. IRCC holds draws every few weeks inviting candidates to submit an application for permanent residency. The highest-scoring candidates in the pool are issued an ITA. The Express Entry processing time takes an average of six months or less once an application is complete.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score:
Your Express Entry CRS score is split into four sections. Our Express Entry Calculator will let you know how many points you would earn in each category.
Sections A and B: Core Factors and Spouse or Common-Law Partner Factors
- Level of Education
- Proficiency in English/French
- Canadian Work Experience
Section C: Skill Transferability Factors
- Canadian or Foreign Work Experience
- Higher Education
- Language Proficiency in English/French
Section D: Additional Points
- Sibling living in Canada
- French language skills
- Post-secondary education in Canada
- Qualified Job Offer
- Provincial or Territorial Nomination
What If My Information Changes?
It is crucial that you keep your profile up-to-date at all times. If your circumstances change, you must update your profile. If you got married or divorced, had a child, got a new job, or took a new language test, you will have to update this on your profile.
If the authorities determine that you gave false information or omitted important details, your application may be refused, you may be found inadmissible, and you may be barred from applying to come to Canada for 5 years.
What Documents Do I Need to Submit?
Some documents are mandatory for all applicants applying for permanent residence. Documents such as medical certificates, police certificates, and language test results are mandatory for everyone. These may take a long time to gather, and documents that are not in English or French must be professionally translated.
Language test results are only valid for two years, and they must be valid on the date you apply for permanent residence. If your test results expire before the date you will apply for permanent residence, you must retake the test. If you cannot retake the test, you can decline the ITA, and you will be placed back in the pool. If you apply with expired test results, your application will be rejected and you will have to re-apply and wait in the pool to be selected again.
If you are applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), you will be required to show proof of funds. You do not need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family if you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class or if you are authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer (even if you are applying under the FSWP or FSTP).
Some applicants may have to submit additional documents such as birth certificates, proof of studies, marriage and divorce certificates, photos, and other documents. It would be useful to have these documents prepared before you receive your ITA, as once you receive it, you only have 60 days to apply for permanent residence. If you do not submit your application within 60 days, the ITA becomes invalid.
If your ITA becomes invalid but you would still like to apply for permanent residence, you will have to re-apply and wait in the pool to be selected again.
What if I Don’t Receive an ITA?
The Express Entry profile is valid for 12 months. If you do not receive an ITA within 12 months of submitting your profile, it automatically expires. Upon expiration, you can create a new profile.
Any incomplete applications will be rejected. If your application is rejected for being incomplete, you will have to submit a new Express Entry profile if you would still like to receive an ITA.
IRCC releases the scores that were needed to be successful in the latest express entry draw and other previous rounds of invitations. They also disclose how many invitations were issued and what the CRS score of the lowest-ranked candidate invited was. You can learn more about the previous rounds here.
How Can I Improve My Express Entry CRS Score?
Fortunately, there may be several ways for you to improve your score. You can even improve your express entry score while waiting in the pool and updating your profile with your new information.
Ways to improve your score include:
- If you do not have a very high language test score, you can re-write the language test to improve your CRS score
- You can earn an additional 50 points for a high French test score, even if it is your second official language
- You can earn additional points for completing a recognized Diploma or Degree in Canada
Canadian Work Experience:
- You can add additional points to your score for up to 5 years of Canadian Work Experience
- If a province or territory nominates you, you will receive an additional 600 points added to your score
- Sometimes referred to as an “Express Entry Employment Letter”, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) recognized job offer from a Canadian employer will get you an additional 200 points on your CRS score
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has years of experience assisting applicants with their permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system and can assist you with your case.
We have years of experience assisting applicants with their permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system. See if you qualify by calculating your CRS score.