Express Entry

Express Entry is a points-based selection system that allows Canada to invite new immigrants. In 2017, Canada invited 86,023 candidates via Express Entry.


For decades Canada was accepting dozens of thousands of immigrants every year. During the 1990s and 2000s, immigration applications were submitted in paper, their flow was uncontrolled, and the waiting time usually took years.

Being aware of the problem and spending a lot of efforts to optimize the immigration processes, the government of Canada developed an online paperless system to accept applications for immigration. The new system called Express Entry replaced the old ‘first-come, first served’ system.

As one of the most technologically developed countries Canada expands its e-government services, and immigration applications via Express Entry truly reflect those strategic aspirations – the whole process became very convenient and transparent.

The Comprehensive Ranking System

Express Entry system was launched on January 1, 2015. It is an online pool of candidates who express their interest in becoming permanent residents of Canada. Every candidate must create an Express Entry profile. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) evaluates candidates based on their age, education, work experience, and knowledge of the Canadian official languages. In addition, the system gives candidates some extra points for specific factors such as a relative who is Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, knowledge of the second official language, Canadian degrees, certificates, or diplomas, a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, and a few additional factors.

A special bonus is given for skill transferability factors which are the combination of two factors. For example, good language proficiency combined with higher education; Canadian education combined with Canadian work experience; Foreign work experience combined with good language proficiency; or a combination of Canadian and Foreign work experience combined can grant successful candidates 100 points.

The system also equalizes single and married candidates. The maximum points a single candidate can get is 600 points. Each spouse or common-law partner is also assessed and can bring 40 points to the application, while the married primary applicant can get a maximum of 560 points.

Express Entry Profile and Invitation to Apply

Once registered, the candidate for immigration enters the pool of candidates. Every Express Entry profile is valid for one year. If within one year, you have not been invited, your profile is automatically deleted, and a candidate needs to create a new profile. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provide rounds of invitations every two-three weeks, issuing a specific amount of Invitations to Apply (ITA) to the candidates with the highest CRS. The candidate that has been invited must submit all supporting documentation to the IRCC within 60 days after receiving an ITA.

One of the biggest advantages of the system is that it indeed allows ‘express entry’ for a successful candidate. If a candidate can get enough point, he/she can register a profile in the system and receive an ITA in the next draw. Therefore, the whole process of obtaining a permanent residency in Canada can be accomplished within 6-8 months since the registration in Express Entry.

Immigration Programs

Express Entry is aimed at Economic Class of immigrants, selecting candidates via three Federal programs such as:

In addition, the system serves candidates from the Express Entry streams of the Provincial Nominee Programs. As of December 2018, Express Entry streams exist in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Ontario
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon
  • Northwest Territories

In 2019, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada plan to invite 81,400 economic immigrants via three Federal Immigration Programs and 61,000 immigrants via Provincial Nominee Programs including provincial Express Entry streams.

Would you like to immigrate to Canada? – Contact us today!