Express Entry

Express Entry

Express Entry is a management system for skilled foreign workers who want to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents through particular Canadian visa programs. Skilled foreign workers must complete an online Express Entry profile, which includes information about their family, English or French language skills, education, work experience and other factors. If a Canadian immigration official reviews their profile and determines that the applicant seems to be eligible for one of the qualifying Canadian visa programs, the profile will be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates. When an applicant receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA), he or she will have 60 days to file the application for Canadian permanent residency and should get a visa decision in less than six months.

Skilled foreign workers and their family members who are approved for Express Entry to Canada will be granted Canadian permanent resident status and be authorized to live, study and work in Canada for an unlimited length of time. A permanent resident of Canada receives many benefits, including the option to become a Canadian citizen after living in Canada three years during a five year period and meeting other criteria.

Qualifying Visa Programs

Skilled foreign workers who meet the eligibility requirements for one of the following Canadian visa programs may be able to apply for Express Entry immigration to Canada:

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


In general, the procedure to apply for Express Entry immigration to Canada involves the following:

  • An online Express Entry profile must be completed:
    • This includes relevant details about the applicant and his/her family members.
    • English and/or French language evaluation test scores are required.
    • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) may be needed.
  • A Canadian immigration official reviews the Express Entry profile to check for potential eligibility.
  • Applicants who seem to meet the criteria are placed in the Express Entry pool
  • The Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency may be issued to Express Entry candidates who:
    • Have the highest scores for various factors on the Comprehensive Ranking System; or
    • Receive a qualifying offer of employment in Canada; or
    • Are nominated by a Canadian province for their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
  • After the ITA is issued, the skilled foreign worker has up to 60 days to submit a complete Canadian visa application with the visa application fee and all of the required documents which may include:
    • Valid passport or other authorized travel document;
    • Birth certificate;
    • Valid English and/or French language evaluation test results (less than 2 years old);
    • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA);
    • Proof of education (for example, school transcripts, diplomas, degrees, etc.);
    • Proof of relevant work experience in a qualifying occupation;
    • Medical exam results (to confirm good health);
    • Police certificate (to demonstrate good character);
    • Proof of funds (to show the ability to support oneself and family members in Canada);
    • Written offer of qualifying employment in Canada (if relevant);
    • Provincial nomination certificate (if nominated for a Provincial Nominee Program);
    • Other documents that may be requested.
  • The Canadian immigration agency usually makes its decision about whether to approve Express Entry to Canada within six months after it receives a complete visa application.

Important Note

It is important to keep your online Express Entry profile up-to-date. For example, if you receive a qualifying offer of employment in Canada (such as a Canadian job offer with a favorable Labor Market Impact Assessment), you should update your Express Entry profile, since you may be able to receive additional points and this might help you to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Similarly, be sure to update your online Express Entry profile if you receive a Provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), because this could also lead to an Invitation to Apply (ITA). If you graduate from a higher education program after you completed your Express Entry profile, you should update your file, since you might be able to increase your score on the Comprehensive Ranking System. For example, if you indicated in your Express Entry profile that you had a Bachelor’s Degree, but afterwards you earn a Master’s Degree or Doctorate, be sure to update your Express Entry profile to inform the Canadian immigration officials that you now have additional education. Keep in mind that the Canadian immigration agency cannot consider additional factors that may be favorable to your case if it is not informed about them. Furthermore, if other relevant factors change (for example, your marital status, you have a child, etc.), you should update your Express Entry profile as appropriate.

Please note that this is an overview about the Express Entry Canadian immigration system and the requirements and procedures are subject to change at any time by Canada’s government.

To learn if you are likely to qualify for Express Entry immigration to Canada, click here!

DISCLAIMER: This information is not and shall not be considered as expert or professional advice.