What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry system was implemented by the government of Canada to administer and evaluate permanent residence applications of people seeking to immigrate to Canada. Unlike the previous system, which accepted immigration applications by mail, Express Entry accepts online applications. The EE system aims to reduce the time required for processing of immigration applications for Canada. Candidates with highly qualified skill sets can use this program to be considered for permanent residence. Under this system, the applicants are allotted points based on a publicly available scale known as the Comprehensive Rating System. If the applicant meets the necessary criteria they are invited to apply for permanent residence based on their score.

Who Can Apply for Express Entry?

The programs in Express Entry system target three groups of people:

  • foreign workers in highly skilled jobs, with higher education, with or without job offers from Canadian employers;

  • foreign workers in the trades with or without job offers from Canadian employers;

  • foreign workers with at least one year of skilled Canadian work experience.

The system specifically targets individuals applying as economic immigrants and does not cover Canada’s other categories of immigrants.

The immigration programs that are included in the express entry system include:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: This program is for people who have university or college education for their job, or managerial experience and want to apply for permanent residence in Canada based on these skills.

  • Canadian Experience Class: People who have work experience of more than 12 months while working full time at managerial, professional, technical or other skilled job positions in Canada can apply under this program.

  • Federal Skilled Trades Program: The federal skilled trades program covers the trades and allows Canada to recruit needed trained and certified workers who can do jobs Canadians are currently shunning.


How Express Entry Works

To apply to one of the programs covered under the Express Entry system, the candidates must meet the requirements laid down under the specific program. Candidates are required to submit a profile to be considered for the Express Entry system. It is a point-based system and awards candidates scores based on various skill factors. The candidates are then ranked in a pool. Qualified candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residence based on their rankings, Provinces and the territories of Canada may go through the available pool of applicants in the Express Entry system and select suitable candidates for their provincial nominee programs, which prioritize their economic needs instead of the country’s at large.

How to Apply for Express Entry

There are a few steps involved for applying to express entry system.

Create an Express Entry Profile

Candidates are required to create and fill an online Express Entry profile. This contains information regarding their skillset and knowledge area, educational background and work specialization, and language capabilities. Based on this information, the applicant will be evaluated to determine if they meet the requirements of the immigration programs covered under Express Entry system.

Ranking of Candidates

If a candidate meets the requirements for one of the programs, they will be included in the pool of candidates. The individuals are allotted points depending on the information they have provided in their profile. Points are given for various aspects that include their skills, the years of experience they have, their educational background and languages they speak.

The Comprehensive Ranking System is the what the ranking system is called. The maximum points that a candidate may score is 1200. These points are divided into four parts each having multiple factors.

Skills and Experience

The skill and experience factors determine the chance of a candidate contributing economically in Canada. These include the age of the candidate, their educational qualifications, the different language they have proficiency in and any prior work experience they may have in Canada. These factors in combination account for 500 points for single candidates while candidates with spouses have 460 points allocated for their evaluation and the remaining 40 for their spouse.

Skills Transferability

The factors under skill transferability predict the chances of the individual being employed in Canada. Education and work experience are the constituent factors with each of these accounting for 50 points.

Additional Points

The additional factors account for a maximum of 600 points. Extra points may be given to candidates that have employment offers from employers in Canada or those who have Provincial Nominees. A candidate having a post-secondary educational qualification from a recognized institute in Canada will score more Additional Points.

Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence

The candidates in the pool are ranked based on the number of points they are allotted. The top scoring individuals in the candidate pool are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Their applications will be process by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada within next six months.

History of Express Entry

Traditionally, permanent residence applications were processed on first come, first served basis. The abilities and skill-sets of the individuals were used to evaluate applicants, not prescreen them before they applied, meaning that there were way more applications from people who didn’t qualify to apply . The points system was not necessarily geared towards the needs of the Canadian economy at the time, and was pretty much permanent in its structure.

The country needed a better system so a committee was formed in 2013 that consisted of nine members that assisted Citizenship and Immigration Canada with designing and developing an immigration system that focused primarily on the economic growth of the country.

The Express Entry system was a result of this process and was introduced in January of 2015. In the Express Entry system, the skills of immigration applicants are assessed against each other, and the system only invites the best candidates. The candidates are ranked based on their capabilities and skills and their chances to succeed in their career. The system is aimed at filling the gap in the availability of skilled work force that Canada has because of its declining birth rate. Persons with expertise in various fields while working in Canada will aid in the economic growth of the nation.

Latest Revisions to Express Entry System

A few revisions have been made to the Express Entry system to improve the chances of an individual’s application being accepted. Immigration applicants who already have a sibling in Canada with a citizenship or permanent residence will be granted additional points. As these applicants already know a person in the new environment, it will be easier for them to adjust and succeed in it.

Individuals with strong command of the French language will also be awarded more points while applying for a program covered under the Express Entry system. Registering with job bank while applying for the program is no longer mandatory. A new method has been introduced to rank candidates who are tied with similar points under the Express Entry system.

The Express Entry system has been revised to include these changes from the sixth of June of 2017.

If you need help with your Express Entry profile or responding to your Invitation to Apply, contact Mary Zhang at Maxcan Immigration in Markham, Ontario. Maxcan serves the Greater Toronto Area.

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