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How Express Entry Program
Works In 2021?

The Canada Immigration Program comes with a point-based program that helps make the immigration process more transparent and easier. This program was introduced in January 2015. The Express Entry Program is one of the fastest immigration programs in Canada, a flagship program for skilled immigrants. It allows skilled immigrants to obtain a Canada PR visa. For a typical application, processing a permanent resident visa to Canada can take about 8 to 9 months.

The Express Entry Program manages the profiles of registered immigrants under Canada's three largest skilled economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)


Profiles of registered immigrants (under FSTP, FSWP and CEC) are submitted to the Canada Express Entry Express Pool. Using a ranking system - Compression Ranking System (CRS), profiles are given a score based on which they are able to rank in the express pool.

Applications for invitations to higher profile express profiles (ITAs) are issued through frequently held express draws.

In the latest express draw, held on July 23, The CRS score cut-off is set at 445 points. This means that applicants with a CRS score of 445 points or higher were awarded an ITA award for applying for a Canada PR visa.

The main steps for the express entry program

The following are common steps to apply for a Canada PR visa under the Express Entry Program:

Step 1: Test for eligibility

According to the issues discussed above, the applicant must meet a number of basic requirements to be eligible to apply under the Canada Express Entry Program.

One of the most important requirements is to clear the 67 point qualification system. When you are able to clear the point system, you will be able to create an express profile by submitting a certificate.


Step 2: Get documents ready

For the immigration process in Canada, applicants must submit a set of documents to prove the validity of the certificates issued.

The applicant does not need to upload the following documents but will need information from the documents:

  • Passport or travel document
  • Language Test Certificate (similar to IELTS for English language proficiency)
  • Education Credential Assessment (ECA) if the candidate needs points for education outside of Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Provincial Nomination (if applicant has)
  • Written job offer letter from a qualified employer in Canada


Step 3: Submit Express Profile

In this step, the express profile of the applicant is submitted to the express pool along with the profile of other candidates.

Using a ranking system - Compression Ranking System (CRS), the express profiles of the candidates are ranked in the express pool.

Profiles with the highest rank, those profiles are issued to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Invitation to Application (ITA) to apply for a Canadian PR visa.

You can check your CRS score with our updated CRS calculator.


Step 4: Accept ITA and apply for permanent residence

Candidates have issued ITA through express draw. ITAs make the candidate eligible to apply for a Canada PR visa at the IRCC. These ITAs are given only to candidates who are able to clear the CRS cut-off. In the latest express draw, the CRS cut-off has been set at 445 points.

Canada Express Entry Program

Preliminary requirements for the Express Entry program

Some of the basic eligibility criteria that make a skilled immigrant eligible to apply for Canada PR Visa through Express Entry Program (FSWP) are as follows:

  • The applicant must score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 in the points assessment grid. Points are awarded based on topics such as education, age, valid job offer, work experience, language skills, and adaptability.
  • Candidates in a profession must have a minimum of 1 year of uninterrupted work experience which should be classified under National Profession Classification (NOC) Skill Level Type 0, A, B or C.
  • To prove language proficiency, the candidate has to take IELTS test and prove English proficiency.
  • The minimum requirement for a candidate is Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 7.
  • Educational Requirement Minimum Canadian Secondary or Post-Secondary School Certificate, Diploma, Degree or equivalent
  • The candidate must also show proof of the funds needed to support financially moving to Canada.

How to create Express Entry Profile?

When a candidate is able to meet basic requirements, he or she is allowed to create an express profile in the Canada Express Admission Program.

It is a mistake to think that being able to create an express profile means that a candidate will be able to get a Canadian PR visa.

The profile created by the candidate is submitted to the express pool along with the express profile of the other candidates.

The process of creating an express profile is done online. The instructions that will be provided while creating the profile for this candidate need to be followed.

Candidates must write their personal details. Once the candidate profile is created, the candidate will be required to collect information from specific documents and the candidate's NOC job title and code.

If the applicant wants, he / she can leave the profile created portal at any time.The candidate will have 60 days to complete and submit the Express Entry Profile.

What to do after getting an ITA?

Once a candidate receives an invitation to apply (ITA), he or she has 60 days to submit an application to the IRCC with all the correct documents to apply for a Canadian PR visa.

  • For the applicant's application: CAD $ 1,040
  • Spouse: CAD $ 1,040
  • Include a dependent child: CAD $ 150

The IRCC will then check the background on the candidate and verify all the documents submitted by him. This whole process takes an average of 6 months to complete. This average time is added to the time of biometric delivery of the candidate. After the application is successfully evaluated by the IRCC, the candidate will be granted a PR visa to Canada.

How the Express Entry program works for PNP?

In addition to the Express Entry Program, there is another immigration program in Canada that helps skilled immigrants apply for a Canada PR visa. This is the Provincial Nomination Program (PNP).

PNPs allow the provinces of Canada (excluding Quebec) to designate skilled immigrants for permanent residence to assist in the economic development of the province.

Each PNP comes with a stream, that is in-line with the Federal Government’s Express Entry Program. This help to allows express entry registered applicants to apply for provincial nominations.

If a candidate is nominated as eligible to land the Provincial Nomination Certificate, that candidate is awarded 600 CRS points. These many points express entry greatly encourages the candidate's CRS score and ensures that the candidate is able to get ITA. Here are some PNPs, including streaming in-line with the Express Entry program:

  • Express Entry for Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Express Entry for Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  • Express Entry for British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
  • Express Entry for Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  • Express Entry for Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)

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Why is it called Express Entry?

The main motive of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is to process the application for Canada PR Visa through this program – Express entry program, in an average time of 6 months.

This does not mean that the processing time will be counted from once the candidate has created their express profile but it will be taken into account from the day the candidate has submitted their application to the IRCC with the proper set of documents after they have been issued the Invitation to Apply (ITA).

What happens when the information provided in order to enter the pool by the candidate is false?

Depending on the nature and severity of the false information provided by the candidate, this known as misrepresentation, it carries penalties. For if the candidate is found to provide false information in order to enter the pool, they will be banned from re-entering the pool for five years. Therefore, it is very important for the candidate to provide with right and accurate information. For the candidates who are unsure about how to assess the credentials, they must hire an immigration consultant to do so.

What does the Invitation to Apply (ITA) means?

ITA is offered to the candidates in the express pool who are selected by the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to apply for Canada PR Visa. For getting the ITA, the candidate must meet minimum requirements for Canada immigration including meeting the minimum required Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off.

What is an Express Entry Profile?

To show their Expression of Interest (EOI) for Canada PR Visa, immigrants create their profile in the express entry program by submitting the credentials like about their skills, work experience, language proficiency, education, and any other personal information. Express profile is self-declared to show that the information provided by the candidate is based on their own assessment of their personal information.

Can a candidate apply for Express Entry as well as Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Yes, candidates are able to apply for both the immigration program as there is a connection between Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). When a candidate update their Express entry profile when the gets a provincial certificate, it awards the express profile with 600 CRS points. These many points make sure that the candidate is able to get the Invitation to Apply (ITA). Candidates are required to be in the express pool before applying for a provincial nomination or submitting their Expression of Interest (EOI) to the provincial government.

Does having a job offer is required in order to move to Canada through Express Entry Program?

Having a job offer is not mandatory to apply for Canada PR Visa through Express Entry Program but it plays a very important/vital role for the chances of a candidate to get an ITA. Having a job offer awards the candidates with extra points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Why it is required to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

For candidates who have applied for Canada PR Visa through Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and have pursued their education outside of Canada, getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is mandatory, in order to get points under CRS for Education factor. ECA proves that the education done by the applicant outside of Canada is equal to Canadian education standards.

For how long, a profile stays in the Express Pool?

Each express profile stays in the federal government’s express pool, for a duration of 12 months or when the candidate gets an Invitation to Apply (ITA) whichever comes first. If the candidate is not able to get an ITA and the duration of 12 months have passed, they are required to create a fresh profile.

What language tests can be used for Express Entry Program?

Following are the test languages that are recognized by the IRCC:

For the English Language:

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System


For French Language:

  • TEF Canada: Test d’evaluation de francais
  • TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du francais

Can a successful candidate bring their family to Canada?

The candidate who is able to get the Canada PR is able to bring their spouse or common-law partner, as well as their dependent children, with them in Canada. For the case of married couples, only one of them needs to receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) to apply for permanent residence. Spouse or common-law partner will also receive the PR Visa as well as any dependent children. Spouse or common-law partner must submit language test results as well as security background checks. Both the spouse or common-law partner and dependent children will be required to pass a medical examination.