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Express Entry

What is Express Entry (EE)?


The EE system is a 3 stage process whereby interested applicants will first submit an EE form online. It applies to Federal Skilled Worker, Canada Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trade Class and Provincial Nominee (PNP) Class.  Second IRCC then assesses these potential applicants against specific eligibility criteria.  Potential applicants who are deemed to have met the eligibility criteria are entered into a pool of candidates.  Third, those candidates whose profiles and attributes align with the identified needs of the government, as well as, certain Canadian employers, will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA).  Only those candidates who receive an invitation can then proceed to apply for permanent residence.


Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)


The applicants who registered an online profile will be ranked on the “Comprehensive Ranking System” (CRS) on the factors mentioned above.  Applicants who have a job offer or have a PNP nomination will receive additional points.  All applicants in the EE pool will be granted points (maximum of 600) that take into consideration the following factors:


  • Skills and work experience (up to 500 points)
  • Spouse or common-law partner factors (such as their language skills and education –up to 40 additional points but still a maximum of only 500 points)
  • Skills transferability (including education and work experience that, when combined, result in better chances of being employed, and higher earnings – up to 100 points)
  • Additional 600 points for those with a nomination from a province or territory or a valid job offer




For a principal applicant the point allocations break down as:




Maximum points

No spouse/partner

Maximum points

With spouse/partner

  1. Core human capital factors












Canadian work experience





460 – up to 40 points for spouse 500


A few points are important to highlight for the core / human capital factors.  One, although an applicant can collect points for a spouse/partner, the additional points do not exceed what an applicant can score on his/her own:



Maximum points for spouse/ partner



Language – first


Canadian work experience





Two, in calculating the points for the age factor, the maximum points allowable are for persons between 20 – 29 years old.  Commencing at 30 years of age, the points granted decrease by 5 for each year, so that at 45 years old, one receives 0 points.  Three, for the education factor – PhD / Master Credentials are awarded a higher score, as are the entry-to-practice professional credential ( NOC level A that require licensing by provincial regulatory bodies, like pharmacists, professional engineers, medical doctors, CPA, etc.).  Four, there are no additional points awarded for family members in Canada.  Five, the definition of Canadian work experience and full-time employment remain the same.


A maximum of 100 points is available for the combination of transferable skill factors that include varied combinations of level of education, foreign work experience, Canadian work experience, official language proficiency and certificates of qualification.  These factors are set out at sections 20 through 28 of the Ministerial instructions.  Thus, the core human capital factors plus the transferable skills factors amount to a maximum of 600 points in total.  If a job offer is available or a provincial nominee certificate – then an applicant will receive an additional 600 points, to a maximum of 1200.


The Need for Labour Market Impact Assessment Applications (LMIA)


Any candidate without a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank.  Applicants are required / encouraged to promote themselves on the Job Bank as well as in any other way, i.e. recruiters, job boards, etc. Job Bank advertising will help connect EE applicants with eligible employers in Canada.


Express Entry Draws & ITA


After ranking IRCC conducts weekly selections and invites selected candidates to submit a full, complete application for permanent residency (ITA).  The selections will be made based upon CRS ranking .  Before a selection IRCC will post instructions on their website and include:


  • Date and time of the draw;
  • Number of candidates that will get an ITA; and
  • If applicable, which specific immigration program(s) will be included in the draw.


Once issued an ITA, applicants will have 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence with exceptions only for persons with disabilities with a stated 6 month processing goal after receipt.  Applications will be held in the pool for twelve months.

[1] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/express-entry/grid-crs.asp