Express Entry, Explained

How to navigate Express Entry Canada

Your first step towards Canadian permanent residency!

Congratulations on taking the first step! Express Entry is the most popular way economic immigrants obtain permanent residency in Canada. 

What is Express Entry and who is it for?

While many people believe that Express Entry is a Canadian immigration program, it is in fact the name of the online application management system IRCC uses. The Express Entry system is used to manage applications for 3 specific economic immigration programs: 

Canadian Experience Class - For people with skilled Canadian work experience 

Federal Skilled Worker - For people with skilled foreign work experience 

Federal Skilled Trades - For people with skilled trades (plumbing, electrical, etc) work experience

What are the requirements for Express Entry?

The requirements for Express Entry can be confusing because it is different for each program (CEC, FSW, FST). Generally speaking, here are the main requirements to be eligible for Express Entry.

Eligibility Criteria
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
Level of Work Experience
Canadian work experience in NOCs:
• 0;
• A; OR
• B
Canadian or foreign work experience NOCs
• 0;
• A; OR
• B
Canadian or foreign work experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B
Length of Work Experience
1 yr in Canada in the last 3 years
1 yr continuous within the last 10 years 
2 yrs within last 5 years 
Language Test Results
English or French
• CLB 7 if your NOC is 0 or A
• CLB 5 if your NOC is B
English or French
• CLB 7
English or French
• CLB 5 for speaking and listening
• CLB 4 for reading and writing
Canadian Job Offer
Not required
Not required
• A valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or
• A certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority
Not required
Secondary education required
Not required
*This is not an exhaustive list of all eligibility requirements. This representation is to compare some of the main requirements for these programs.

How can I immigrate through Express Entry?

Express Entry is generally a 3-step process with numerous sub-steps and actions required between each step.

  1. Enter the Express Entry Pool

    You can only enter the Express Entry Pool if you are eligible for one of the 3 programs (CEC, FSW, or FST). Once you enter, you’ll be given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on your profile information.

  2. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

    IRCC regularly invites people waiting in the Express Entry Pool to apply for permanent residency. They choose who to invite by seeing who has the highest CRS score.

  3. Submit permanent residency application

    If you receive an ITA, you have 60 days to submit a full and complete permanent residency application. Be sure you are prepared to submit your application. In 2020, over 30% of people who received ITAs did not submit their applications on time!

Are you planning on immigrating to Canada through Express Entry? We provide fast, professional help putting together your entire application with required forms and documents. We even provide you with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) who will review your entire application before you submit it to the government. Get started now!

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