Entry guide 2021
WHAT IS EXPRESS ENTRY?
Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway for newcomers seeking a new life in Canada. Express Entry organizes and processes applications for people who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence.
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Once an interested candidate submits an online profile, the federal government determines if the candidate is eligible for a program managed by Express Entry. Eligible candidates are accepted into the Express Entry pool and are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS is a points-based system used by the government to assess and rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. The CRS score is calculated based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, language skills, as well as other factors.
Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government selects the highest-scoring candidates from the Express Entry pool and provides them with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Express Entry Eligibility and CRS Score
To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates must meet the criteria of at least one of the following federal economic immigration programs:
Federal Skilled Worker Program: The FSWP is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway. The minimum requirements include at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B; validated intermediate or better language ability in English or French; for candidates educated outside of Canada, an educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report. In addition to meeting the FSWP's minimum work, language ability, and education requirements, candidates must also obtain at least 67 points under its points grid.
Canadian Experience Class: The CEC provides international students and foreign workers who have Canadian experience with the opportunity to obtain permanent residence. Candidates must have obtained at least one year of skilled, professional, or technical work experience in Canada within 3 years of the application date and also meet language proficiency criteria.
Federal Skilled Trades Program: The FSTP is available to candidates who want to become permanent residents on the basis of qualifying for a skilled trade. Eligibility criteria include having a minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the 5-year period of submitting an application; meet the job requirements of the skilled trade; have a full-time job offer in Canada for a period of at least 1 year or possess a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade that has been provided by an official Canadian authority; and meet language proficiency criteria.
2. How can I become eligible for Express Entry?
You have various options to become eligible for Express Entry. The first thing you can do is identify why you are currently ineligible. For example, you may not be eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) because you do not meet one or more of the FSWP's minimum work, language ability, or education requirements. Addressing the reason for your ineligibility is the first way you can submit an Express Entry profile.
The second major step you can take is pursue an education pathway towards Canadian permanent residence. To be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program you need at least one year of eligible Canadian work experience within the last 3 years and also meet the minimum language proficiency requirements. You can become eligible for the CEC, and hence Express Entry, by studying in Canada, and then working in Canada after you complete your studies. An added benefit of this approach is you will be rewarded with more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points due to your Canadian education and work experience.
You have many other options if you do not become eligible for Express Entry since Canada operates over 100 different skilled worker immigration streams.
Q1: What do I need to submit my Express Entry profile?
When submitting your Express Entry profile, IRCC will ask you for information from the following documents:
your passport or travel document
language test results
proof of Canadian education or your educational credential assessment (ECA) report
proof of funds
provincial nomination (if you have one)
written job offer from an employer in Canada (if you have one)
Q2: How can I find out my NOC code for Express Entry?
You can identify your National Occupation Classification (NOC) code on IRCC's website.
Q3: Will IRCC keep my profile after one year?
No. Your profile expires after one year. If you wish to remain in the Express Entry pool, you need to wait for your profile to expire, and then submit a new one on IRCC's website. IRCC suggests that you take screenshots of your expired profile to make it easy for you to re-submit your information.
Q3: How can I complete a language test for Express Entry?
You need to complete a language test that IRCC has authorized for Express Entry. Your language test score is valid for two years. Your options are:
IELTS General Training
TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
TCF Canada : Test de connaissance du français
Q4: How can I obtain an ECA for Express Entry?
You need to obtain your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a body that is designated by IRCC.
Q5: What do I need to do if I get an ITA for permanent residence?
You will need to provide IRCC with requested documents and pay any necessary fees. Examples of requested documents include:
Language test results
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
Police clearance certificates