After launching in 2015, Express Entry quickly became one of the most popular ways for economic immigrants to immigrate to Canada. With Express Entry, the entire process is online. This makes it more efficient for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which means faster and easier applications for immigrants.
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 immigration programs:
1) Canadian Experience Class - For people with skilled Canadian work experience
2) Federal Skilled Worker - For people with skilled foreign work experience
3) Federal Skilled Trades - For people with skilled trades (plumbing, electrical, etc) work experience
As you can see, all 3 programs are based on skilled work experience that provides Canada with an economic benefit. Express Entry made up over 55% of all economic immigration admissions in 2019 with 109,595 admissions. The remaining 45% was broken down between over 80 different economic immigration programs.
After COVID-19 began devastating our world, Express Entry has become even more impactful in the world of Canadian immigration. In 2020, IRCC increased the number of invitations to apply (ITAs) for PR by over 20%. In 2021, IRCC already surpassed the number of ITAs issued in 2020 by September 14, 2021. This number is only expected to continue to increase as Canada makes historical efforts to increase immigration targets year over year.
When taking a look at immigrating to Canada, there are 3 primary reasons for which IRCC issues permanent residency:
1) Economic - You provide an economic benefit to Canada
2) Family Reunification - Sponsorship of family
In 2019, Economic Immigration accounted for 57.6% of all permanent residency applications. Family Reunification made up 26.7%, and Refugee/Humanitarian made up 15.6%.
Express Entry is specifically for people with skilled work experience who wish to permanently immigrate to Canada.
Many people get confused about the requirements for Express Entry because even if you meet all the requirements, you may not be allowed to submit an application for permanent residency.
It helps to understand the Express Entry process to fully understand the requirements. We’ve simplified Express Entry into 3 major steps below:
The 3 immigration programs that use Express Entry are Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST). Each program has its own minimum requirements that you must meet.
Interestingly, even if you are eligible, you cannot apply for permanent residency right away. You must be invited by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to apply.
If you meet the minimum requirements for any of the 3 immigration programs under Express Entry, you’ll be able to express your interest in applying for permanent residency by creating an Express Entry Profile.
You’ll have to answer various questions when you create your Express Entry Profile. Once that’s been done, you will be given something called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on the answers you have provided. Using this score, the Canadian government will rank your profile between everyone else who has created an Express Entry Profile.
Using this ranking system, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will regularly issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residency to the top ranking candidates
Once you receive your Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency, you’ll have to prepare and submit your immigration application. This is where you will need documentation and evidence to prove all the information you provided on your Express Entry profile was correct. Make sure you are prepared for this step because if you don’t have evidence, Canada can’t “take your word for it”.
Of course there are many more steps within the simplified Express Entry process explained above. It can be overwhelming but don’t worry. You can create a free profile with ImmiSearch to check your minimum eligibility, CRS score, chances of receiving an invitation to apply, and instructions on application submission. Get started for free now and we’ll walk you through step-by-step!