Express Entry was launched by the Canadian government in 2015 to make it easier for skilled workers to obtain legal permanent residency status. The Express Entry system takes place online, allowing candidates to fill out profiles with their language skills, age, job experience, education, transferable skills, spousal qualifications, and more. The profiles are assigned points, and then matched with high-demand labour fields. Applicants with the highest scores are invited to apply for the Canadian permanent residence visa. The visa will be processed in six months, which is much faster than other immigration routes.
This post explains the step-by-step process for Express Entry.
Step 1 – Online Profile
Applicants must begin online, where they create a profile. Once you have registered your online profile, you will be registered with the Job Match account. This is a job bank that helps employers connect with prospective applicants. You can begin searching for a job right away.
Step 2 – Document Checklist
In order to properly score your application, the system will need relevant documentation. To that end, the system will generate a personal document checklist. Mandatory documents at this stage include birth certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, evidence of common law marriage, adoption and custody records, job offer letters, proof of educational credentials such as a CV or resume, proof of work experience, digital photos, and proof of funds. Some people will also be asked to provide medical exam or other special documents. You will also need to send your Educational Credential Assessment, or ECA, along with language test results, to the CIC.
Step 3 – Scoring
The Express Entry tool will rank you with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which is a points-based system that will give you a numerical score. The CIC will invite applicants with the highest scores in the pool to apply for permanent residency.
There are no minimum points required for Express Entry. However, CRS scoring is transparent. A person will receive points for the following factors:
- Age: the maximum score is 110 points if the applicant is between 20 and 29 years’ old
- Education level: the maximum score is up to 150 points for a PhD
- Language proficiency: up to 160 points for proficiency in English and French
- Canadian work experience: the maximum score is 80 points for people with five years of experience
- Skill transferability: the maximum score is 100 points
- Education of spouse/partner: up to 10 points
- Language proficiency of spouse/partner: up to 20 points
- An additional 600 points are available if a person is nominated through the Canada Provincial Nominee Program after receiving a job offer or graduating from a post-secondary institution in Canada.
- Siblings: in 2017, CRS was changed to award up to 15 points if you have at least one sibling living in Canada.
Step 4 – Invitation to Apply
If your score was high enough to be selected from the applicant pool, you will receive an invitation to apply (ITA). Within 90 days of notification you must submit a completed electronic application for permanent residence. Most complete applications can be completed in six months or less.
Step 5 – Remaining in the Pool or Reapplying
If you are not invited to submit an application for permanent residence, you can still remain in the pool for up to 12 months, as long as you continue to meet the criteria for at least one of the federal immigration programs. If your situation changes or you acquire new skills, you should update your profile.
If the CIC does not invite you to apply for permanent residence within this timeframe, you can start over with a new profile. Assuming you continue to meet the criteria, you will be re-entered into the pool, where you can try your luck again.