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Express Entry Canada Immigration Process: Ultimate Guide

Unlock the secrets to a successful Express Entry Canada immigration with this comprehensive guide

The Express Entry Canada immigration process can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. However, with the right guidance, you can easily navigate and become eligible.

Canada immigration express is popular among immigrants seeking for bright future. This program is designed to help Canada find skilled foreign workers and permanent residents. From creating an Express Entry profile to understanding the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and the available programs.

A team of experts with knowledge regarding immigration and consultations has carefully crafted this guide. We also gathered all the information and resources from official sources.

With this guide, you will have access to all the guidance on how to apply for Express Entry Canada. Furthermore, this guide has been reviewed and updated with the latest policies and changes in the application process.

How Express Entry Canada works?

The Express Entry Canada Immigration Process is an online system the Canadian government uses to manage applications for skilled workers. 

There are three main immigration programs: [1]Canada government, “Express Entry, … Continue reading

  1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC), 
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and 
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Candidates can apply through Express Entry for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) if they qualify. If a candidate is nominated through the PNP, they will receive extra points increasing chances of quick invitation.

Steps in the Process

The Express Entry Canada immigration process is a multi-step journey, and understanding each step is crucial for a successful application.

1. Submit your profile

To start applying for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry, you must first submit your profile to the Express Entry pool. 

While creating your profile, you will be asked a few questions to determine your eligibility. The requirements for each program may vary, so review them before submitting your profile. 

The Canadian high commission will score your profile based on language proficiency, work experience, and education. The Canadian high commission will score your profile based on language proficiency, work experience, and education. 

If you have a common-law partner, they must also meet the eligibility requirements to be considered the principal applicant. 

The highest-ranking candidates will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

2. Receive an invitation

Once invited, you must create an Express Entry profile and enter your details and reference code.

You must submit language test results and the NOC code within 60 days of receiving the invitation.

Application requirements

The success of your Express Entry Canada application is depended on meeting all of the requirements, which are divided into two parts – initial and subsequent application requirements.

Initial requirements:

  • Language test results
  • Educational credential assessment report
  • A passport or travel document

Subsequent application requirements:

  • Reference letters
  • Additional identity documents
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Medical examination results.

Express Entry cost

The cost of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry is approximately CAD 2,300 for a single applicant or roughly CAD 4,500 for a couple. 

The following are the costs associated with Express Entry immigration:

Language tests: $300

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA): $200

Biometrics: $85/person

Government fees: $1,325/adult & $225/child

Medical examination fees: $450/adult & $250/child

Police clearance certificates: $100/country

It is important to note that no government fees are required to submit your initial Express Entry profile. The prices are only requested when you are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. 

Furthermore, if you apply through a PNP, you may need to pay additional provincial immigration fees.

It is also crucial to be aware that unless you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class program or have a valid arranged employment offer, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support your resettlement in Canada. 

These settlement funds are not fees paid to the government, but you must have financial letter to be approved for a permanent residence visa.

The letter should include the following details:

  • It should be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead.
  • You should print the financial institution’s contact information.
  • The letter should mention your name.
  • It should state any outstanding debts or loans you have.
  • The letter should list all your account information, including the account numbers, opening date, and the current balance of each account. 
  • It should also state the balance statement for the previous six months.

Eligibility for Express Entry Canada

The Express Entry program is the gateway to permanent residency in the country. However, before you apply, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria for each program in Express Entry. 

In this section, we’ll break down the eligibility requirements for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

inarticle image-express entry canada-Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an excellent opportunity for temporary foreign workers who want to become permanent residents in Canada. 

To be eligible for the CEC, you must meet the following criteria: [2]Canada government, “CEC requirement, … Continue reading

  • You must have worked in Canada for at least one year in the last three years. This can be full-time or part-time work.
  • Your language skills must match the TEER category of your job, ranging from 5 to 7 and above in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
  • You must be a student in Canada.
  • A diploma is not a requirement but can help improve your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. 

Before applying, make sure you have all the necessary documents, including proof of work experience.

2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

inarticle image-express entry canada-Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for skilled foreign workers who want to apply for permanent residency in Canada. 

To qualify for the FSWP, you must meet the following criteria: [3]Canada government, “FSWP requirement, https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/federal-skilled-workers.html”

  • You must have experience in a job classified as skill level 0, 1, 2, or 3 by the National Occupational Classification.
  • You must have worked in the same field for at least one year in the last decade. This can be full-time or part-time work.
  • You must score at least seven on all four components of the Canadian Language Benchmark test and have a secondary school degree.

You must be able to provide the same documents and complete the same application process as you would for Express Entry and CEC.

3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

inarticle image-express entry canada-Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is for highly skilled workers in specific trades who want to become permanent residents in Canada. 

To be eligible for the FSTP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must score a minimum of 4 (speaking and listening) and 5 (reading and writing) on the Canadian Language Benchmark.
  • You must have two years of paid full-time or part-time work experience in a skilled trade in the last five years.
  • Your skill must meet the trade standards of the provincial authority.
  • You must have a valid job offer of full-time work for one year from a Canadian employer and a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade.
  • A college degree is not a requirement, but it can improve your chances of acceptance. 
  • You also need proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses.

Each program in Express Entry has specific eligibility criteria. Make sure to understand the requirements of each program before you apply to maximize your chances of success.

Submitting an Express Entry Canada profile

inarticle image-express entry canada-documents

Submitting your Express Entry profile can be the first step in realizing your dream of moving to Canada. 

To ensure a successful application, there are several steps you should follow before submitting your profile. 

Get your documents ready

  • Gather all necessary documents for your application, including certificates, test results, and clearance documents.
  • Have all of your documents ready within 60 days of submitting your profile to avoid application rejection.
  • Properly document your work experiences, such as job letters, pay stubs, and reference letters. [4]Canada government, “Documents ready, … Continue reading

Validate your language test

  • Check that your language test results are valid and up-to-date.
  • Language test results must be valid two years from the test date and valid during your PR application date.
  • If your test results have expired, retake the test and reapply.

Obtain police certificates

inarticle image-express entry canada-Police reports

Police certificates are mandatory for Express Entry visa applicants. [5]Canada government, “Police reports, … Continue reading

  • Obtain clearance certificates for family members 18 years and above for PR eligibility.
  • Start obtaining police reports as soon as you complete your profile, as there is a 60-day deadline for submitting valid documents.
  • Check if the police certificate is in English or French; if not, seek the help of a translator.

Improve your Express Entry CRS score

inarticle image-express entry canada-Improve your Express Entry CRS score

The Express Entry score uses several factors to evaluate the applicants. Some factors that affect score are age, skills, education, and your spouse or family members. While in the pool, you can improve your score and increase your chances of getting a PR invitation.

Another way to improve your score is by contacting provinces and territories authorities. You can apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) if eligible. Furthermore, you can improve your score from language score and work experience

It’s essential to keep in mind that the competition in the pool is high. So, standing out from the crowd is essential to increase your chances of getting a PR. 

Update your portfolio

To increase your chances of getting a PR invitation, it’s important to keep your Express Entry Canada profile up-to-date. 

This ensures that the information in your profile reflects your current skills, qualifications, and other details.

Here are some tips for updating your profile:

  • Keep it accurate and up-to-date by reflecting on any changes in your situation, such as a new career or job status.
  • Update your latest language test results, which is important for PR applications.
  • Always update your marital and parental status to reflect your current family situation.

Be careful not to provide false information or leave out important details in your profile. 

Providing incorrect information can result in your application being refused and deemed inadmissible or even banned from visiting or applying for Canada PR for five years.

Stay updated

It is vital to stay up-to-date about the Express Entry system, and one way to do this is by subscribing to email updates. You will receive the latest news and updates in your inbox by subscribing. 

To sign up, provide basic information, work, and location choices. All your personal information is protected under Canada’s Privacy Act. The data are stored in the personal information bank PSU 914. [6]Canada government, “Email updates, https://ircc.canada.ca/english/immigrate/express/express-entry/sign-up.asp”

In addition,  you can stay updated by following the social media channels of Express Entry.  This is also a great way of receiving tips and advice on improving your profile. [7]Canada government, “Social media, https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/social-media.html”

The minimum score for Express Entry

inarticle image-express entry canada-minimum score for express entry-01

The Canadian government uses six selection factors to qualify for the Express Entry Canada program. These factors determine if you are a good fit for the PR program. 

The minimum score requirement is 67 out of 100 to qualify for the program. [8]Canada government, “Six selection factors, … Continue reading

The required score is divided into sections, so you must score in each part to be in the program. Each of these factors has a maximum number of points you can achieve from.

  • Language skills: 28 points
  • Education: 25 points
  • Work experience: 15 points
  • Age: 12 points
  • Arranged employment in Canada: 10 points
  • Adaptability: 10 points

The Canadian government uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank applicants in the Express Entry pool. The CRS considers various factors, such as work experience, language skills, education, and more, and assigns a score based on these factors. 

This score can earn up to 600 core points and an additional 600 points for beneficial but non-essential factors like having a job offer or strong French language skills.  [9]Canada government, “CRS, … Continue reading

The immigration office then invites the top-ranked candidates  eligible for permanent residency in Canada.

How competitive is Express Entry Canada?

inarticle image-express entry canada-How competitive is Express Entry Canada

The government holds rounds of invitations to apply for Canada PR. They issue PR to candidates with the highest CRS scores. You have 90 days to apply. The government processes 80% Express Entry applications within six months. 

A total of 360,998 Express Entry profiles were submitted in 2020. This is a 9% increase from 2019 and a 30% increase since 2018. Among those profiles, 74% were eligible for at least one of the federal programs. This trend has been rising, with 72% of profiles eligible in 2019 and 70% in 2018. [10]Canada government, “Submissions, … Continue reading

 In 2020, a majority (63%) of individuals who submitted profiles did not meet the criteria for any additional points. This is a gradual reduction since 2018 (71%). The criteria met by most candidates were for Education (17%) and Siblings (13%). Candidates who met the criteria for additional points from siblings and French proficiency have been stable since 2017. [11]Canada government, “Eligibility, … Continue reading 

As data shows increasing profiles, Express Entry has become more competitive than ever. As applicants increase, CRS scores are more concentrated in the higher ranges. Most candidates need to meet the criteria for additional points to boost CRS scores. 

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How to apply for Express Entry Canada?

To apply for Express Entry, candidates must create an online profile on the IRCC website. This profile will include age, education, work experience, language score, and more.

How many points are required for Canada Express Entry?

You will need 67 out of 100 qualifying points to be on the Express Entry Canada pool.

Based on your documents, they’ll give you a score of 1200, and you will compete with other applicants. Only the top qualifying applicants will get the PR invitation.

How to get a provincial nomination for Express Entry Canada?

You must create and submit an Express Entry profile to apply for the provincial nomination. When submitting your profile, ensure all your information is accurate and meets specific criteria.

This includes being accepted as eligible for at least one of the three federal immigration programs.

Does Express Entry programs give PR?

Express Entry is a system the Canadian government uses to manage applications for permanent residence.

Candidates selected from the Express Entry Canada pool receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canada PR.

Final thoughts

Express Entry Canada is a way for the Canadian government to manage applications for people who want to apply for PR.

They use a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rate applicants based on qualifications and work experience.

The process is competitive, and the rankings can change depending on the number of profiles submitted and updated.

Candidates must stay informed and updated to increase their chances of being invited to the Canada Express Entry program.

About the author

Raju Chopra
Raju Chopra
Immigration Attorney | + posts

Raju Chopra is an experienced immigration attorney with a Master's degree in Law from the University of Colorado Boulder. He has worked on international immigration matters for the past ten years, helping clients navigate the often confusing world of global visa laws and regulations. Raju is passionate about offering practical legal advice and guidance to those looking for work abroad or seeking visas for travel.


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