Express Entry is a processing system that is used to efficiently manage candidates who wish to apply for immigration under specific federal economic immigration programs:
- Program for Federal Skilled Workers
- Program for Federal Skilled Trades
- Program for Canadian Experience Class
The Express Entry system also allows the provinces and territories to recruit candidates through their local Provincial Nominee Programs, in an effort to accommodate regional labour needs.
As with many other government-regulated application systems, there are rules and regulations that govern Express Entry applications. The actual Express Entry process entails two steps:
Candidates must complete a profile for Express Entry (online)
Candidates for Express Entry must complete an online profile. The profile will includes skill levels, work experience, education, and language capability. Those applicants who successfully meet the conditions of one of the three federal immigration programs will become part of a the candidate pool.
There will candidates who do not have a job offer (and a Labor Market Impact Assessment) or who have not been nominated by a province or territory. These candidates must register with the Job Bank (Employment and Social Development Canada) to connect directly with employers.
Beyond the various rules and regulations, those who are accepted into the Express Entry pool are not guaranteed an “Invitation to Apply” for permanent residency. There will still be eligibility and admissibility prerequisites under immigration law (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).
Permanent residency application for high-ranking candidates
Candidates who are the highest-ranking in the pool are invited to apply for permanent residency. Candidates are ranked according to a points-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System. Candidate points are awarded using information that was provided in the online profile.
Candidates who achieve the highest scores in the pool are assigned an “Invitation to Apply”. The scores are based on points awarded for skills and experience; nomination from a province or territory; and/or a specific job offering. A candidate can also enhance their score in various ways.
Candidates can acquire additional points when a job offer is supported by an official Labour Market Impact Assessment, or if the offer is based on a nomination from a province or territory. Additional points can rank a candidate high enough to apply at the next round of invitations.
Candidates receiving an “Invitation to Apply” will have sixty days to fully complete and submit an online application for permanent residency. It’s important to have all supporting documentation. Citizenship and Immigration Canada processes most applications in six months or less.
Express Entry applicants can remain in the candidate pool for up to a year. If an applicant has not received an “Invitation to Apply” within a year of submitting a profile, they must submit a new profile, and by meeting the required criteria, they can re-enter into the candidate pool.
The primary goal of Express Entry Immigration is to create a link between workers and Canada’s labour market. A qualified candidate, with a credible job offer, will be in a position to attain the necessary points to rank high enough and to obtain the “Invitation to Apply”.