Express Entry – All You Need To Know

Express entry is a swift and easy way to immigrate to Canada and the leading pathway for newcomers to Canada.

That was first introduced by the government of Canada in 2015, and has helped many skilled workers start anew in the Great White North with better opportunities. Through express entry, one can get permanent residence (PR) status in the country, while serving as an active contributing member to strengthen the economy. The main purpose of Canada express entry is to fill labor gaps while providing a better life to skilled workers and their families.

Learn everything you need to know about Canada express entry, express entry eligibility and the three main programs that fall under this immigration pathway. 

How Does Express Entry Work?

Canada express entry is a very straightforward immigration pathway that works on a 67 points calculator system. Your qualification or express entry eligibility is determined by this point system, where you submit your profile through the online portal for immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The applicant then needs to get their required documents ready after calculating their express entry points and enter into the express entry pool. If your points meet that particularly draws threshold (or higher), you will receive the express entry ITA (invitation to apply) for permanent residency.

Eligibility For Express Entry

Various factors come together to determine whether you are eligible to apply for Canada express entry program for PR status. These factors include education, age, language skills, work experience (including past experience in Canada if any) or pre-employment, and certain adaptability factors that can strengthen your express entry points.

A detailed analysis of all these factors is made through the express entry calculator, and points are allotted to every principal applicant’s profile to enter the express entry pool. You will also need all the required documents that include language tests and attested degree/ work experience and other certificates along with proof of funds and medical tests.

Canada express entry is an ideal program for skilled foreign workers, tradespersons and graduates who have command over French or English language (or both) – as these are the two national languages of Canada accepted by the IRCC for immigration. Although age is an important factor to earn more points, there is no age limit to apply for immigration.

Here are the three programs included in Canada express entry.

The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)

The most common of the three express entry programs is FSWC. This immigration pathway is used by skilled workers all over the world to get PR in Canada. A strong educational background and young age are favored to apply for FSWC. There is no age limit, but the younger you are, the more express entry points you can get to make your case stronger. The application process for FSWC is quite simple. The applicant has to make an express entry profile online and submit it to enter the express entry pool.

In order to make sure of your eligibility, the express entry calculator helps you determine the likelihood of getting the express entry ITA. The score must be higher than 67 points according to the 67 points calculator used to assess the eligibility for express entry.

The factors determining these scores are the same as mentioned above, and the applicant also has the chance to improve these scores. FSWC is a leading pathway for express entry immigration as it fills the labor gaps, and the government needs a large number of skilled workers every year to strengthen and improve the economic conditions of the country.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

For those who have temporarily stayed in Canada for work or study purposes can make use of the CEC program for immigration. Having prior experience in Canada adds to the express entry points to make your case stronger. Temporarily living in Canada also gives the skilled workers or tradesmen the opportunity to survey and assess the market for investments. CEC is only applicable for the candidates who have stayed in Canada for at least one year within the last three years.

The application and express entry calculator is essentially the same as with all express entry programs. One thing to note here is that you shouldn’t have any negative feedback from your employer during your temporary stay, and the applicant should have clean police records with no past immigration offense. Another benefit of CEC is that there’s less documentation required as compared to other programs.

The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)

This express entry program is for skilled and experienced workers of the trades sector. The applicants can be tradespersons from any part of the world. To be eligible to apply for FSTC, the applicant should have the necessary education (post-secondary or higher) and relevant experience in their field of trades. It also helps if you are younger, even though there is no age limit to apply for this program.

The application process is the same as all other express entry programs. IRCC conducts program specific draws occasionally, and FSTC applicants are preferred and more likely to get the express entry ITA. The cut off score is also generally lower for these draws. Applicants can also apply for jobs in their field of trades, as a job offer from Canada strengthens the express entry profile, increasing the likelihood of getting PR exponentially. The language test criteria is also set lower for FSTC.

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Express Entry vs. PNP

Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) is also one of the options similar to express entry to get permanent residency in Canada. As its name suggests, PNP is only limited to one province, so that the applicant can apply for that particular province after meeting the required eligibility criteria for skilled workers or tradesperson.

The same applies to the territories of Canada. Each province or territory has their own set of requirements, and the applicant must meet the minimum requirements to be able to enter the stream for ITA. Each province/territory conducts their own streams to nominate candidates and invite them to apply for permanent residency.

Express Entry and PNP have similar application methods, but PNP has a two-step immigration pathway where a candidate has to be eligible for provincial nomination and then submit their online application to the federal government for PR status. Being eligible for PNP is a sure short way of getting selected in the express entry pool and securing your place for ITA.

Read how PNP nomination can increase your CRS points and lead you to Canadian Visa.

Invitation To Apply (ITA)

When an applicant’s express entry profile is selected from the pool, they get an invitation to apply or ITA. This is an auto-generated response that the applicant receives in their online profile when their profile meets or exceeds the CRS threshold of that specific draw. This invitation it sent by IRCC.

ITA doesn’t necessarily mean that you have gotten PR status in Canada, as there are still some documentations that need to be submitted within a 60 days’ time period (without extensions or exceptions). In this duration, any misleading or forged document can lead to a ban for applying for immigration for the next 5 years (or more). If an applicant doesn’t submit the required documents within the 60 days period, their ITA will expire and they will have to make a new profile and submit it for a new express entry pool.