The newly launched Express Entry stream brings about a lot of changes to how an individual can apply for permanent residence.

The program is not new in itself, but is the new way to apply for permanent immigration. You must still qualify for either the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Express Entry does boast quicker processing times than ever before. However, in order to get to that starting point, here is some information you should know.

  • Express Entry is multiple-step process where you firstly need to complete an online profile. Only once this profile is complete, will you be entered into a data-bank of candidates all seeking permanent residence in Canada.

You will be awarded points and assigned a ranking based on your profile details. Only those applicants with the highest ranking will be selected to move forwards with their application for permanent residence, receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

    ○  Setting up a profile requires planning, time and effort. In order to complete your profile you must enter in all required details, including a comprehensive history of your employment, education background, language assessment scoring, and if applicable, details regarding educational credential assessments (ECA).
    ○  If you enter in details incorrectly or cannot produce the corresponding document, you may not acquire the needed points, your application may be refused, and you could face an allegation of Misrepresentation and be barred from Canada for a period of time.
  • In order to qualify for Express Entry, you must be eligible for at least one of the federal immigration programs (FSW, FSTP, or CEC). This criteria still applies even if you are intending to apply as Provincial Nominee.
    ○  The occupation you are applying under must be considered ‘skilled’. Meaning a NOC O, A, or B.
    ○  You must have all the documents and details that would be required for either a FSW, FSTP, or CEC application, and meet the program requirements.
  • Only if you are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA), will you be able to apply for permanent residence.
    ○ There is no guarantee that you will be issued an ITA. It depends on your ranking against others.
    ○  You could wait up to a year waiting for an ITA, and if none was issued you would have to re-create your Express Entry profile
    ○  If you do receive an ITA, then you can submit your complete application for permanent residence. At this point the 6 month processing standard begins.
  • Tips for getting invited to apply for Permanent Residence (receiving an ITA)
    ○  There are ways to secure additional points: Having a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a work permit that was issued on the basis of an LMIA, or being in possession of a Provincial Nomination Certificate
    ○  Even if not required, get an ECA completed for both yourself and spouse/common-law partner, if applicable
    ○  If you have a spouse/common-law partner, submit language assessment results for them as well
    ○  Before starting your profile, find out what you need in order to be eligible for and have a complete FSW, FSTP, or CEC Application
    ○  Understand the ranking system used by Express Entry. There are many factors that determine your score and it can be updated as needed.

Employers can also utilize Express Entry, expediting the process to get their desired worker into Canada on a permanent basis, or as a recruitment strategy to find skilled workers.

Contact us if you would like more information on Express Entry, as an applicant or as an employer.


Amberley Smith, RCIC

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant