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What is Express Entry Immigration?

Express Entry is an immigration stream for permanent resident applicants. Express Entry falls under the following three federal immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Workers
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canadian Experience Class

This stream also makes it possible for provinces and territories to consider immigrant candidates through Provincial Nominee Programs – these are designed to fulfill regional labour needs.

Candidate profiles must be completed online

Candidates who choose the Express Entry stream must complete a detailed profile online. This profile describes education, skill level, work experience, and language competence. Applicants who meet the pre-conditions for one of the three programs join a “candidate pool”.

Candidates who don’t have a job offer, or who haven’t been nominated through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs, must register with the Canadian Job Bank (this is through Employment and Social Development Canada) – this connects directly to employers.

Those applicants who are accepted into the “candidate pool” are not necessarily guaranteed an “Invitation to Apply” as permanent residents. There will still be various admissibility pre-conditions that are governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Applications from higher-ranking candidates

Higher-ranking candidates in the “candidate pool” may be invited to apply as permanent residents. Ranking is based on a points-system (the Comprehensive Ranking System) - the points are tabulated from details and specifics that were provided on the online profile. 

Applicants with the highest scores in the “candidate pool” qualify for an “Invitation to Apply”. Points are awarded for job skills/experience; provincial/territorial nominations; or specific job offerings. Candidates may also improve their point-scores in several other ways.

After having received an “Invitation to Apply”, candidates have 60 days to complete the actual online submission for permanent residency. Once completed, most applications are processed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada within a six months period (or less).




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