Express Entry is an electronic system, introduced January 2015, that manages applications for permanent residence in certain economic categories. Express Entry allows Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants under the following federal economic immigration categories:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC),
- The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), and
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Provinces and territories are also able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs.
Step 1 Online Express Entry Profile
Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. To complete the first step, i.e., to successfully submit an Expression of Interest and enter the EE pool, an applicant must be qualified under one of the federal non-business economic classes: CEC, FSWC or FSTC. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration categories will be placed in a pool of candidates.
Candidates are awarded points for skills, education, age, work experience and language ability. Additional points are awarded to those who have completed post-secondary studies in Canada, have a valid job offer, have Canadian Work experience or if they have received a nomination from a province or territory. Extra points are awarded for strong French language ability and having a sibling in Canada who is either Citizen or Permanent Resident.
NOTE Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
Step 2 Invitation to Apply (ITA) after submitting your Express Entry profile
Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool. If invited to apply, the applicant will have 90 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence through one of the earlier mentioned categories.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will process the majority of complete applications (i.e. applications including all the necessary supporting documents) within six months or less.
Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria.
Since the introduction of the EE system, several changes have been made e.g. changes that affect the points awarded or the application timelines. As an immigration consultant, we are always on top of these changes well in advance and see it as our duty to keep our clients well informed.