Canada Express Entry

Canada Express Entry Process Flow

  • Check Basic Eligibility
  • Determine Applicable Program – FSW, FST, CEC, PNP
  • Get Educational Credential Assessment – ECA
  • Sit for Language Tests – IELTS or CELPIP – TEF
  • Create Online Express Entry Profile
  • Get Comprehensive Ranking Score
  • Wait for Express Entry Draw
  • Get Invitation to Apply (if ranked high enough)
  • Collect all Required Documents
  • Submit Completed Express Entry Application
  • Get Approval
  • Send in Passport for Visa

What is the Express Entry Program of Canada?

The Express Entry program is a Canadian immigration program that was launched in January 2015 by the government of Canada. It is an online system that manages applications for three of Canada’s main economic immigration programs:

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  3. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Candidates who are eligible for any of these three programs can create an online profile in the Express Entry system and be entered into a pool of candidates. The government of Canada then selects candidates from this pool based on their ranking, which is determined by a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS assigns points to candidates based on factors such as their age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other criteria.

Candidates who score high enough in the CRS are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The Express Entry system is designed to be fast and efficient, with most applications processed in six months or less. The program has become a popular pathway for skilled workers and professionals who want to immigrate to Canada.

Some of the Provincial Nomination Programs are aligned with the Express Entry Program and nominated candidates for those programs must apply through the Express Entry System.

What is the Process for Express Entry ?

The process flow of the Express Entry program can be broken down into several steps:

Step 1: Determine eligibility

The first step in the process is to determine if you are eligible to apply for permanent residence through one of the three programs managed by Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Step 2: Create an online profile

If you are eligible, you must create an online profile in the Express Entry system. This profile will include information about your education, work experience, language skills, and other personal details. Based on this information, you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Create your Express Entry Profile by registering for IRCC Secure Account must keep your Login Username and Password safe.

Step 3: Enter the pool

Once you have created your profile, you will be entered into a pool of candidates. Your CRS score will determine your ranking in the pool. The profile will remain active in the pool for one year, in case you are not invited to apply. After which you will have to recreate the profile.

Step 4: Receive an invitation to apply (ITA)

Candidates with the highest CRS scores will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in Canada. Invitations are issued periodically in Express Entry draws, and candidates have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence with all documents.

Step 5: Submit application

If you receive an ITA, you must submit a complete application for permanent residence, including supporting documentation such as language test results, educational credentials, and police certificates.

Step 6: Receive a decision

After you have submitted your application, it will be processed by the government of Canada. Most applications are processed within six months or less. If your application is approved, you will receive confirmation of your permanent residence status and instructions on how to complete the landing process in Canada.


What is Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a point-based system used by the Canadian government to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. The CRS score is calculated based on a combination of factors, including core human capital factors, spousal factors, skill transferability factors, and additional factors.

  1. Core human capital factors: These factors assess a candidate’s age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. Candidates can earn up to 500 points for these factors.
  2. Spousal factors: If a candidate has a spouse or common-law partner who is also immigrating to Canada with them, their spouse’s education, language proficiency, and work experience can also be taken into account. Candidates can earn up to 40 points for spousal factors.
  3. Skill transferability factors: These factors assess whether a candidate’s education and work experience can be transferred to the Canadian labour market. Candidates can earn up to 100 points for skill transferability factors.
  4. Additional factors: These factors include factors that are not included in the other categories, such as having a Canadian degree or diploma, a sibling living in Canada, or French language proficiency. Candidates can earn up to 600 points for additional factors.

Once a candidate creates an online profile in the Express Entry system, they are given a CRS score based on the information they provide. The government of Canada then holds regular Express Entry draws, where candidates with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The CRS score cutoff for each draw is determined by the number of invitations the government wants to issue and the quality of the candidates in the pool at that time.

Having a higher CRS score increases a candidate’s chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Therefore, it is important for candidates to ensure that their profile accurately reflects their education, work experience, and language proficiency, and to take steps to improve their CRS score if possible.

First step before applying would be to go through the details of Comprehensive Ranking System and calculate your score.


Express Entry Draw ?

The Immigration Department of Canada (IRCC) frequently conducts Express Entry Draws also known as Rounds of Invitations. At the time of each draw the Immigration Department decides the number of candidates to be selected, depending upon their capacity to process applications and their annual targets.

During a draw, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Permanent Residence in Canada, to candidates from the Express Entry pool, who meet the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement for that particular draw. 

The frequency of Express Entry draws can vary, and the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA can also go up or down, depending on the number of candidates in the pool and the annual immigration targets set by the Canadian government. Analysis of earlier draws can give some idea about the current trend.  

Invitation to Apply ?

The candidates who receive their Invitation to Apply (ITA) need to complete their application online and submit upload the required documents within 60 days. 

The ITA includes information on how to submit an application, required documents, and other important details.

Documents for Express Entry:

A personalised list of documents to submit is included in the Invitation to Apply. Here is a list of common documents:

  1. Passport or travel document

  2. Language proficiency test results of an approved language test to demonstrate their proficiency in either English or French.

  3. Educational credential assessment (ECA) to show the equivalency to Canadian education standards.

  4. Work experience documents including reference letters or job contracts to prove the skill level according to the immigration program.

  5. Police certificates from all countries where they have lived for a certain period of time to prove that they have no criminal record.

  6. Medical exams: Applicants may need to undergo a medical exam by a doctor approved by Canadian immigration authorities to ensure that they are in good health.

  7. Proof of funds to show that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members in Canada.

It is important to note that these are just some of the common documents that may be required and that the specific requirements can vary depending on the program and individual circumstances.

You can go through the complete list of documents including where and how to apply and their acceptable formats.

What is Express Entry Processing Time ?

Express Entry is a Fast track online System. After an Invitation to Apply is issued, in most of the cases it takes under 6 months to process the application and issue a Permanent Residence Visa.

However, the time taken for creating and submitting the Express Entry Profile and waiting for the Invitation to Apply is not part of this Processing time. That completely depends on the candidate and the Express Entry Rank determined by the Comprehensive Ranking System Score.

How much does Express Entry Cost ?

Processing fee of CAD $ 850.00 each for the applicant and spouse /partner and CAD $ 230.00 per dependent child.

The Right of Permanent Residence Fee is CAD $515.00  per person. There is no right of permanent fee for dependent children.

Biometric fees is CAD 85.00 per person or CAD 170.00 per family.

Check the official website to confirm the latest fee.

Other expenses may include:

  • Language Tests
  • Educational Credential Assessment
  • Medical Exam
  • Police Certificate


Express Entry Process

Express Entry Eligibility ?

Each of the three Express Entry programs have their own eligibility requirements as given below:

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  3. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Minimum Language Skills required for FSWP

Minimum IELTS bands for each English Skill

Speaking6.0 Band
Listening6.0 Band
Reading6.0 Band
Writing6.0 Band


Minimum TEF score for each French Skill


Work Experience for FSWP

Minimum one year continuous work experience within the last 10 years (combination of part-time, full-time or more than 1 job in the same occupation). 

It can be Canadian or foreign experience but has to be in 1 of these NOCs:

  • Type 0
  • Level A
  • Level B

Job Offer

Job offer is not required in FSWP, but you can get additional points for having a valid job offer.


Minimum Secondary education is required for FSWP.

You will get more points for your higher education.

Minimum Language Skills required for FSTP

Minimum IELTS bands for each English Skill

Speaking5.0 Band
Listening5.0 Band
Reading3.5 Band
Writing4.0 Band


TEF for French Skills


Work Experience for FSTP

Minimum two years work experience within last 5 years (either combination of full-time or part-time work).

Work experience could be either Canadian or Foreign but it has to be under the key groups of NOC Level B.

Job Offer

One of the following is required for FSTP: 

A valid Job Offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year 


Certificate of Qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority


Not required.

Minimum Language Skills required for CEC

Minimum IELTS bands for each English Skill is dependent on the type of Job

 If Job NOC is Type 0 or Level AIf Job NOC is Level B
Speaking6.0 Band5.0 Band
Listening6.0 Band5.0 Band
Reading6.0 Band4.0 Band
Writing6.0 Band5.0 Band


TEF for French Skills

 If Job NOC is Type 0 or Level AIf Job NOC is Level B

Work Experience required for CEC

Minimum one year Canadian work experience in the last 3 years (either combination of full-time or part-time work) is required.

This experience has to be in one of the NOCs:

  • Type 0
  • Level A
  • Level B

Job Offer

Job offer is not required for CEC.


No minimum level of education is required for CEC.


What are the Minimum Express Entry Points to qualify?

There is no minimum points that will qualify someone for Express Entry. The invitations to apply are sent out according to the rank of candidates. At the time of Express Entry Draw how many candidate score more than you will decide if you will get an Invitation or not. One should always try to improve the comprehensive score if they can like by improving their language tests.

From the analysis of previous draws so far the minimum ranked candidates invited to apply for immigration to Canada had the following scores: 

Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC): 413 (May 31, 2017)

Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC): 199 (May 26, 2017)

Canadian Experience Class (CEC): 75 (Feb 13, 2021)