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Canada Immigration - Express Entry

Express Entry is an electronic system that manages the applications of skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada.


Express Entry is Canada's system for handling immigration applications for the Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades programs, among others. By making an Express Entry profile, people who want to move to Canada to live and work full-time and who meet the requirements for at least one of these immigration programs can show that they want to become a permanent resident of Canada. Once a candidate has been added to the Express Entry pool, they will be given a score based on the program's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which is a point system. This score will determine where the candidate stands in the pool. The people with the highest scores will then be asked to fill out an application to move to Canada permanently.


The CRS score is calculated based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, language skills, as well as other factors. A draw is held every 2 weeks by the Canadian government through which the highest ranking candidates are sent an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada.

quick facts

  • Application Processing time: 6-12 months.

  • IRCC Fee: Processing fee ($850) + Right of permanent residence fee ($515) + Biometrics fee ($85 ). Total: C$1450 based on 1 person.

  • Upfront Medical Required: Yes

  • Ideal CLB score: 8(L) 7(R) 7(W) 7 (S).

  • Minimum Work Experience Required: 1 year.

  • Minimum Education Required: High School.

How does the Express Entry system work?


It is a completely electronic point based selection process. It allows you to:

  1. Assess your eligibility to apply

  2. Collect relevant documents such as Language Test results, Education, Employment documents etc.

  3. Calculate your score using the CRS or the Point Based system and submit your profile

  4. Get an invitation to apply and submit your application with in 60 days of receiving the invitation.

Who is eligible to apply for Express Entry?

Applicants with university or college degrees who skilled work experience and can demonstrate proficiency in English and/or French languages may qualify for Express Entry to Canada. They can then to submit an application under one of the following Express Entry programs:

Use our free online assessment tool to check your eligibility for Express Entry. This tool helps estimate your CRS score.

What are the requirements for Express Entry?

Eligibility to apply to Express Entry as a skilled worker, is based on the following (but not limited to):

  • The applicant must have at least one year of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation, in the last 10 years from the date of application. For the Federal Skilled Worker category, this work experience needs to be in NOC (National Occupation Classification) 0, A or B job categories. 

  • The applicant must demonstrate minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 - CLB 7 in either English or French language. Having an approved language test report in both English as well as French with the minimum required benchmarks will earn you more CRS points for immigration to Canada as a permanent resident. The language test results need to be reported from the following approved language test conductors: ​​​

    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General for Express entry.​

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - General for Express entry.​

    • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) - French language test.

    • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) - French language test.

  • The applicant must have completed post-secondary education that is assessed against Canadian standards with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). Having more than one post secondary diploma or degree adds more points to your overall CRS score. 


As with all other aspects of life this a race to the top too. Meeting the minimum requirements to apply to Express Entry as a skilled worker does not guarantee you an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Applicants need to compete in a pool of other qualified candidates. Those candidates who have a higher CRS score will always be selected over candidates that simply meet the minimum requirement.

How are Express Entry points calculated?


Express Entry or Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is based on the following factors:

  • Age.

  • Level of education.

  • Proficiency in French or English.

  • Foreign and Canadian work experience.

  • Spouse factors.

  • Connections to Canada.


For an estimate of your CRS score, use our CRS calculator tool.

CRS Calculator Points Breakdown - Maximum Points - 1200

Maximum Points
Core/Human Capital Factors
460 (with spouse) 500 (without spouse)
Spouse or Common-Law Factors
Skill Transferability Factors
Additional Points

What are the steps to apply for Express Entry for Canada? 


Step 1: The first step is to check if you are eligible to apply for Express Entry. Contact us and we will do it for you.


Step 2: Collect all documents. Make sure you have all the correct documents.


Step 3: Once you have established the fact that you qualify, you need to submit your profile to the IRCC. 


Step 4: Receive an invitation and apply for permanent residence. Pay the applicable fee and receive a CoPR if you get a positive decision from the assessing officer.

How do I create an Express Entry profile?


Before you can create an Express Entry profile, you must create a secure IRCC account. If a representative is submitting your profile, they will do so through their Authorized Paid Representatives Portal.

After creating an account, you or your representative must complete an eligibility questionnaire to determine Express Entry program eligibility. The next step, if you are eligible, is to fill out an online form with your information, including your age, work experience, education, and language test scores. After submitting the form, the Express Entry system will automatically determine your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and the program for which you are eligible.

What are the documents required for Express Entry Application Package?

  1. Language test results. English or French or both.

  2. Canadian Education Certificates or an Education Credential Assessment report from an accredited agency.

  3. Work experience documents. A valid job offer - if applicable.

  4. Medical Examination Report.

  5. Bank statements or other proof of funds documents.

  6. Proof of Civil Status documents.

  7. Identity & Travel Documents.

  8. Birth Certificate.

  9. Police Clearance Check report.

  10. Provincial Nomination - if applied through PNP.

  11. Biometrics report.

How long does the Express Entry process take?

Express Entry profiles are valid for a maximum of 12 months. Candidates who acquire an ITA can anticipate that their permanent residency applications will be processed by the Canadian government within 6-12 months. When the government receives a complete application for permanent residence, processing time is recorded. Application processing concludes when a final decision is made. If a candidate does not get an ITA within a year of submitting their Express Entry profile, they may resubmit their profile if they remain eligible.

What is the cost for Canada Express Entry?


Submitting an Express Entry profile to the government pool of eligible candidates is free of charge. However, you will need to pay for the following: 


Before receiving an ITA:

  1. English or French Language exam - Average Cost C$300.00

  2. Educational Credential Assessment - Average Cost C$200.00

  3. Translation fees for any documents that you submit which are not in English or French - Average Cost C$250.00

  4. Cost of hiring a representative - Average Cost C$2500.00 - C$4500.00

After receiving an ITA:

  1. Government fee* - Provincial and/or Federal - depending on your application - Average Cost C$1325.00 per adult & C$225.00 per child.

  2. Medical Exams - Average cost C$450.00 per adult & C$250.00 per child.

  3. Background Check (Police Clearance Certificate) - Average cost C$100.00 per country

  4. Biometrics Fee - C$85.00 per person.


*The initial profile you submit for Express Entry does not require any payments to be paid to the government. When you are extended an invitation to submit an application for permanent residence in Canada, only then will you be required to pay the associated fees. If you submit your application through a PNP, you will likely be required to pay the government processing fees in addition to the provincial immigration expenses.

You should also be aware that unless you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class program or have a validly arranged employment offer, you will be required to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support your resettlement in Canada. If you are applying under either of these program, you do not need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds.

Do I need a job offer for Express Entry?


When applying through Express Entry, a job offer is not required of you. The vast majority of individuals who are selected for Express Entry do not have a formal employment offer waiting for them in Canada.

However, if you have a genuine & valid offer of employment from an employer in Canada - supported with a positive LMIA, you may be eligible for an additional 200 points on the CRS scale.

How will a job offer effect my Express Entry profile?


Your Express Entry CRS score could go up by 50–200 points if you add a valid job offer from a Canadian company. Most of the time, you need a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) for these points to be given.

Your Express Entry profile won't get any more points if you have an informal job offer. The job offer needs to be supported with a positive LMIA, valid and genuine.

What makes a job offer valid under Express Entry?

IRCC states that a valid job offer under Express Entry generally meets the following criteria:

  • is full-time and not a seasonal job

  • is at least one year

  • is a skilled job that falls under skill type 0, 1, 2, or 3 in the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

  • be recent (e.g., within the last 1 year)

  • not be from an embassy, consulate, or high commission


Job offers must be written and outline the likes of your duties, pay, and conditions of employment (e.g., which hours you will work.


Job offers often need to be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) but there are jobs that are exempt from the LMIA requirement. If an LMIA is required, your employer must apply for one by submitting an application to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada.


Valid job offers under Express Entry are worth either 50 or 200 additional CRS points. Valid job offers under NOC skill type 0, A, or B are awarded 50 additional CRS points. Job offers under NOC skill type 00 are eligible for 200 additional CRS points.

Do I need to include proof of funds for Express Entry?


In your Express Entry profile, you will be asked to mention how much money you will have to help you settle in Canada. This shows that you can support yourself and any family members who come to Canada with you. 

You will only have to meet the settlement fund requirement if the program you are invited to apply for has that requirement.

If you are invited to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you will need to show that you meet the settlement funds requirement, unless you already have permission to work in Canada and a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

For proof, you need bank statements, investment statements, official letters from any banks or other places where you keep money.

All current bank and investment accounts must be listed, as well as any loans or credit card debts that are still due.


Note: If you were invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, you do not have to meet the funds requirement.


At the moment, the system requires all applicants to show proof of funds. If you don't need to show proof of funds, you must upload a letter saying that you have been invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class or that you have a valid job offer.

Proof of funds requirement for Express Entry

Number of Applicants
Minimum proof of Funds
1 (single applicant)
Each additional family member

What is the difference between Express Entry eligibility points and CRS score?


Candidates must first earn a score of at least 67 on the FSW eligibility points grid before they may submit an application for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). A CRS score will be assigned to a candidate once they have been accepted into the Express Entry pool, regardless of whether or not they are an FSW candidate. In order to rate each candidate against the other applicants in the Express Entry pool, Canada employs the CRS score. The Government of Canada conducts an Express Entry draw at a frequency of about once every two weeks, at which time they establish a minimum CRS score cut-off. Those individuals in the pool who have a CRS score that is higher than the threshold will be extended an invitation to submit an application for permanent residence in Canada.

What is the difference between Express Entry and PNP?


In Canada, the federal government, provinces, and territories are permitted to administer their own immigration programs. However, the federal government makes the final determination regarding a candidate's eligibility for permanent residence.

Express Entry manages three of the federal government's numerous economic immigration programs.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) permits provinces and territories to indicate to the federal government that an immigrant candidate meets the economic requirements of their region. These candidates receive a provincial nomination, which they can use to support their federal application for permanent residence.

A provincial nomination is the single most valuable factor under Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and results in an Express Entry candidate receiving an additional 600 points towards their CRS score, effectively ensuring they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Even if an Express Entry candidate does not initially have a high enough ranking score to receive an ITA from the federal government, they can obtain a nomination from a province or territory through Express Entry, increase their CRS score by 600 points, and then receive an ITA during the next draw from the Express Entry pool.

What are the language requirements 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:


  • CELPIP General

  • IELTS General Training


  • TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français

  • TCF Canada : Test de connaissance du français


Can I combine my language test scores for Express Entry?


No. Your language test will assess your reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. After taking a test numerous times, it is possible to receive a different score for the same skill. Unfortunately, you can only submit the results of one language test. You are permitted to submit your best language test score. Note that the validity of your language test result is two years. Entering the Express Entry pool, retaking the language test until you achieve the necessary score, and then updating your Express Entry profile to boost your CRS score is one strategy you might pursue.

You need to obtain your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from a body that is designated by IRCC.


Your options are:

  • World Education Services

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

  • International Qualifications Assessment Service

  • International Credential Evaluation Service

  • Medical Council of Canada (professional body for Doctors)

  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)

How can I calculate my Express Entry CRS score?


Check our free tool so you can calculate your Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System score. Read more about how to improve your CRS Score.

What are the reasons for express entry application refusal or rejection?

All applications are based on the information you provided to the IRCC. The onus of proof of authenticity always lies on the applicant. If the immigration officer believes that you have provided incorrect information or have not submitted enough proof to verify your claims, they may ask for addition clarification or reject your application.

Here are some of the common reasons that your application might be rejected for:

1. Ineligibility

If you do not meet the basic requirements of the program or category you applied for, your application may be denied.

2. Misrepresentation

This is considered a very serious offence with the IRCC. If an applicant is found misrepresenting on their application to immigrate to Canada, they can be deemed inadmissible to Canada. Common examples of misrepresentation are: 

  • Fake documentation - Education, work experience or any other illegitimate documents.

  • Inadmissibility of family members - If 1 or more of your family members are inadmissible to Canada, then you may be charged with misrepresentation and inadmissible.

  •  Marriage of Convenience - Fake marriages just to for Canadian immigration or failure to declare information about your spouse - like divorce, separation or custody of children etc.

3. Medical Grounds

Canada's health care system is considered one of the best in the world. And it is paid for by the government. Therefore, if during your medical exams, it is ascertained that your medical condition:

  • is going to affect the overall health of the Canadian citizens OR 

  • result in an excessive demand on the Canadian health care and social services.

4. Criminality

This is self-explanatory. If you or any other member of your application or family has a criminal background for  which you have not already finished rehabilitation, your application will be denied. Every applicant has to submit a clean criminal record certificate for every country they have lived in for over 6 months since the day they turned 18. 

5. Financial Reasons

As part of the Visa application process for Canada, every applicant needs to submit proof of financial capability. Failure to do so will result in your application being refused. You need to show that you will be able to support all accompanying or non-accompanying family members as part of your immigration application.

6. Incomplete or Incorrect Documentation

Most applications for Canadian immigration are electronic, yet there are some that are paper based as well. If you are unable to provide the correct documents, complete documents or provide all documents in the time-frame specified, your application may be refused. It is advisable to include all documents provided in the document checklist for every application.

7. Timelines

The Canadian immigration department receives thousands of applications for every program. In order to maintain efficiency in evaluation and outcome, it is important that applicants abide by the time lines provided in the application package. Failure to do so will result in delays of refusal. The best practice is to keep all your documents ready before you apply and submit your application for immigration to Canada.

How Can I Avoid a Canadian Immigration Refusal?

Refusal or denial can be painful and stressful. Most people think that they know what they're doing and will do it right. Not all of them can actually claim that they will not make a mistake. Immigration applications to Canada are a 1-time opportunity. A mistake can lead to irreparable damage to your profile. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional immigration consultant who has the knowledge and expertise in matters of Canadian immigration laws. 

Contact us now to connect with our Regulated Canadian  Immigration Consultant (RCIC). 

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