Express Entry FAQ: Candidates


Express Entry is a system used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to manage immigration applications for economic programs like the

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program,
  • Canadian Experience Class, and
  • Provincial Nominee Program.

Applicants first express their interest in immigrating to Canada and if eligible, enter the Express Entry pool where the federal and provincial governments and Canadian employers can select them. Selected candidates will receive an invitation to apply for immigration.

Express Entry speeds up the process for skilled immigrants who are likely to succeed in Canada based on their education, language skills and work experience.

To participate in the Express Entry programs, an individual must meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of the following economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Some Provincial Nominee Programs

The eligibility criteria for each program can vary, but generally, an applicant must have:

  • Sufficient language proficiency in English or French
  • Sufficient work experience in a skilled occupation
  • Educational qualifications, such as a degree or diploma
  • Adequate settlement funds
  • A clean criminal record and good health

Meeting the eligibility criteria  an invitation to apply for permanent residence, as selection is based on various factors like age, education, work experience, language ability, and other factors.

Express Entry comes into operation on January 1, 2015 and is applicable to the following four programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Canadian Experience Class
Portion of Provincial Nominee Program

Express Entry eligibility criteria for 2023 will remain like the current criteria. A new Expression of Interest (EOI) system will replace the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to select candidates for invitation to apply. This new system will be faster and user-friendly. However, the minimum points required to obtain a Canada PR will increase due to a high number of applicants. (

Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by creating an Express Entry profile, where they are required to provide information regarding their language proficiency, work experience, education, skills, and other personal details. It should be noted that the information provided in the profile is self-assessed, meaning that the candidate is responsible for assessing and providing accurate information about their personal details.

No government fees are required to submit your initial Express Entry profile.

Individuals who are interested in immigrating to Canada through one of the country’s economic immigration programs can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by creating an Express Entry profile. If they are deemed eligible, their profile is added to the Express Entry pool. The programs that individuals may be eligible for include the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the Canadian Experience Class, and some categories of the Provincial Nominee Programs. Candidates in the pool may be selected for immigration by the federal and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers. Those who are selected will receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ (ITA) under one of the programs, allowing them to proceed with their immigration application to Canada.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points-based system used by the Canadian government to rank and select candidates for the Express Entry programs. The CRS assigns points to candidates based on various factors, such as their age, education, work experience, language ability, and other factors. The highest-ranked candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residence.

Under the CRS, candidates are awarded a maximum of 1,200 points. The system allocates points as follows:

  • Core human capital factors: maximum of 500 points
  • Spouse or common-law partner factors (if applicable): maximum of 40 points
  • Skill transferability factors: maximum of 100 points
  • Additional points for Canadian education, French language ability, and other factors: maximum of 600 points

The CRS is a critical tool for ensuring that Canada selects the most suitable candidates for permanent residence, based on their ability to integrate successfully into the Canadian labor market and society.

An “invitation to apply” is offered to selected candidates in the Express Entry pool by the Canadian federal government, a Canadian province or territory, or a Canadian employer. Candidates may receive an invitation if they rank high in the pool based on their skills, education, and experience, or if they have a provincial nomination or a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

No, there are no eligible occupation list for any of the programs under Express Entry. However, to be eligible for any of the programs under Express Entry, candidates must have work experience in an occupation that falls under skill type 0, A, or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code.

No, candidates cannot qualify for Express Entry programs with work experience gained through self-employment, even if it was skilled and verified. All applicants must provide adequate proof of their work experience, demonstrating that they were in an employer-employee relationship during their qualifying period of work experience.

Job offer is not a mandatory component for Express Entry criteria. However Candidates with a job offer from a Canadian Employer will get 600 points under CRS system and therefore have greater chances of being selected.

Yes, all candidates need to take a language test in order to determine their language abilities.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool have the opportunity to increase their chances of being invited to apply by promoting themselves directly to employers through the Canada Job Bank. After the federal government and Canadian provinces have selected certain candidates for Canadian immigration from the Express Entry pool, Canadian employers are able to select candidates who have made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada.

The Express Entry process for permanent residency in Canada can take anywhere from 6 months to a year, depending on various factors such as the number of points a candidate scores, how quickly they are able to gather the necessary documents and complete their application, and the processing time of the Canadian government. Once a candidate submits their Express Entry profile, they are placed in a pool of candidates and assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on factors such as age, education, language proficiency, and work.

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