Canada’s Express Entry system, what is it?

Table of Contents

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the online client file management system used by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to invite and process most economic Permanent Resident applications to Canada.

What are the different streams?

There are 3 main streams used within the Express Entry system which an applicant must meet eligibility under.  Each stream has its own specific eligibility also.

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Provincial Nominations are separate to the above 3 streams (explained at the end).

Calculate your CRS score

Each applicant can make a profile and enter the Express Entry pool. Each applicant will have a certain total Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). The score is based mainly on age, level of education, official language proficiency in English and or French, Canadian skilled experience, foreign skilled experience with bonus points for high French language proficiency, education completed in Canada, Sibling with Canadian status living in Canada, LMIA or certain LMIA exemption approvals and Provincial Nominations. Each applicant has individual scores that can vary widely.

Express Entry Draws

Every couple of weeks IRCC conduct draws in the Express Entry system. The draws will apply to different applicants that are termed under:

  • General rounds of invitations (eligibility under any stream and higher CRS points usually required).
  • Program-specific rounds of invitations (eligibility under a specific stream like Provincial or Territorial Nominees).
  • Category-based rounds of invitations (eligibility under French-language proficiency, Healthcare occupations. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations, Trade occupations, Transport occupations, Agriculture and agri-food occupations. The qualifying CRS points under these categories can be much lower).

The frequency of the draws can vary from usually every 2 weeks to sometimes week after week or maybe none for a few weeks at all. The size of the draws usually ranges from 3000-5000 invitations in one draw or as little as 300 is some category-based draws. There is a cap each year on the amount of these applicants that can be issued invites. Dependent spouses, common law partners and children can be added to an invited applicants PR application.

As mentioned above, some applicants who are eligible under at least 1 the 3 streams can apply for something called a Provincial or Territorial Nomination with the Province or Territory they live and work in. This is a separate application but if an applicant is successful in gaining a Provincial Nomination that is linked to the Express Entry system, then 600 points would be added to the applicants CRS Score. These 600 points guarantees an (ITA) Invitation To Apply for Permanent Residency. Express Entry conducts separate rounds of ITA’s for Provincial Nominees only.  

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