Canada uses the Express Entry immigration pool draws system to manage permanent residence (PR) applications. It is the most popular way to immigrate to Canada.
Express Entry is a fast-track system that foreign nationals can use to become Canadian permanent residents (PR)..
Typically, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry immigration pool draws approximately every two weeks.
In each draw, IRCC issues candidates from the Express Entry immigration pool an invitation to apply for Canadian PR.
After IRCC approves your application and you complete the landing process, you will officially become a Canadian permanent resident.
Eligibility for Express Entry immigration pool draws
In order to enter the federal Express Entry immigration pool, candidates must first create an Express Entry pool draws profile on IRCC website.
As well, you must meet the eligibility requirements for one of three programs. These are: the Federal Skilled Worker Class; the Federal Skilled Trades Class; and the Canadian Experience Class.
A job offer is not required to enter or be selected from the Express Entry immigration pool. However, additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score points are awarded to those who already have a job.
A total of 1,200 CRS points is available. Out of that, 600 points are available for a job offer or a nomination under any of Canada’s Provincial Immigrant Nomination Programs (PNPs).
A candidate’s CRS score is based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.
Individual applicant or a couple may get CRS points. Candidates do not need to have any experience in Canada in order to get ITA for permanent residence.
Your CRS is a numerical value, out of a possible 1,200, determined by your core human capital. This is essentially your age, work experience, educational background, ability to adapt and language skills.
Importantly, only a limited number of candidates with the highest CRS points in the pool get Invitations to Apply (ITAs).
What are Canada Provincial Nomination Programs?
Canadian provinces do not have the ability to give out permanent residency status. However, they can nominate you for PR if you have a profile in the federal Express Entry immigration pool.
You can receive a permanent residence invitation by applying through Express Entry directly and skipping the PNP process. However, having a provincial nomination effectively guarantees that IRCC will invite you to apply for Canadian permanent residence in any of its Express Entry draws.
For example, Akhilia has a bachelor’s degree. She’s been working in manufacturing for five years. Akhilia has an advanced English language proficiency. She registered her profile in the Express Entry immigration pool and has a CRS score of 370. However, she also recently obtained a Canada provincial immigration nomination through Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program. As a result IRCC awards her additional 600 points. Akhilia’s total CRS score jumps to 970 points! This is well above the minimum CRS score that she needs to get an invitation for PR in any federal Express Entry draw.
How Express Entry works – step-by-step
Step 1: Find out if you’re eligible
There are two ways to find out if you’re eligible for a program that is part of Express Entry:
- answer a few questions to see if you meet the minimum requirements
- read the detailed requirements for each program
Step 2: Get your documents ready
You need documents, such as language test results, to show that you’re eligible for Express Entry.
However, note that some documents take a long time to get, so you should get them ready now.
Step 3: Submit your profile into Express Entry pool
Basically, your Express Entry profile is where you give IRCC information about yourself.
A key point specifically if you’re married or have a common-law partner. One of you must be the main or principal applicant.
To clarify, this person is the ONE to submit a profile and list the spouse or partner in it.
Your principal applicant should be the one of you most likely to:
- meet the eligibility requirements
- earn the most points in the selection factors (if applying under the Federal Skilled Workers Program)
- earn the most points in Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System
If you’re eligible, IRCC will accept you, and register you into the Express Entry pool of candidates.
You’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using the CRS points-based system. Your score is based on the information in your profile.
- Quickly Check your CRS score with our simple FREE CRS Score calculator.
- THEN use the more detailed official Canada government CRS Score form for Free.
- THEN create your official Canada government Express Entry Profile.
Step 4: Receive an invitation and apply for Canada permanent residence
IRCC will send Invitations to Apply (ITA) to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool.
If IRCC invites you to apply, you’ll have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence.
IRCC processes complete applications that have all the supporting documents in 6 months or less.
Express Entry immigration pool quick check
- Create an IRCC profile/account to apply for Canada visa online
- Check your application status
- Check application processing times
How to improve your Express Entry CRS score
An Express Entry candidate typically needs a CRS score of 470-490 points in a regular draw.
To emphasize, to get to these higher scores you need to maximize your points on all available factors.
- Presentation for skilled foreign workers
- Express Entry factsheet for candidates
- Summer 2015 – Presentation deck from employer engagement sessions
Documents for Express Entry Profile
To emphasize again, you need certain documents at different stages of the Express Entry application process.
You don’t need to upload documents to submit a profile. However, you may need information from some or all of these documents:
- passport or travel document
- language test results
- education credential assessment report if
- you’re applying through the Federal Skilled Workers program, or
- you want to get points for the education you got outside Canada
- provincial nomination (if you have one)
- written job offer from an employer in Canada (if you have one)
Documents for your application for Canadian permanent residence
Most importantly, you must upload the documents referenced in your profile.
Most applicants will also need to upload the following: