The Express Entry program is an online program that the federal government of Canada uses to assist skilled profession to immigrate to Canada.

The Express Entry program is divided into three categories of applications:

  1. Canadian Experience Class: This is for skilled professionals with work experience in Canada. [provide link to article for CEC]
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program: This is for skilled professions with work experience abroad. [provide link to article for FSW]
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program: This is for skilled professions who are licensed to practice a trade in a foreign country. [provide link to article for FST]

The federal governments Express Entry program should not be confused with a provincial express entry of the same name. Various provinces in Canada also have immigration programs that are specifically customized to the needs of that province. Some of these provinces also use the name Express Entry program but they are completely independent of the federal Express Program, often with different requirements.

The Express Entry programs are very competitive. Even if you are fully qualified and satisfy all the requirements, your application for a permanent residence application might not be accepted since only the top candidates are selected from everyone competing.

Requirements for the federal “Express Entry” Program:

Work Experience Depending on which of the three programs you decide to apply through, different requirements will apply. Typically, you need between one to two years of work experience in your specific expertise that was done in the last five to ten years. However, there are additional specific requirements for each of the three Express Entry categories. Please see our articles for the specific program you are interested in to see the requirements.
Language Proficiency Depending on which of the three programs you decide to apply with, the requirement for language is usually a score between at least a score of 4 or 7 in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English or French within the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) format. Please see our article for the specific program you are interested in to see the requirements.
Education Education requirements differ for each of the three programs. Please see our article for the specific program you are interested in to see the requirements.
Finance/Income There is no minimum requirement of net worth and income. However, you may be required to show that you have sufficient funds to financially support you and your family to settle in Canada. This requirement is not applicable if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. Please see our article for the specific program you are interested in to see the requirements.
Job Offer A job offer is typically a requirement for this program, but not necessarily required depending on the type of application you submit. If a job offer is pursued, it may be required that your employer conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the offer to be considered valid. Please see our article for the specific program you are interested in to see the requirements.
Location of Residence The Express Entry program is not applicable for Quebec. As a result, the requirement is that your application must be for any province or territory in Canada outside of the province of Quebec.

Competitive Factors in the Federal “Express Entry” Program:

Once you have determined that you have met all of the applicable requirements, you can apply to one of the Express Entry programs. However, there are other factors that contribute to the competitive success of your application.

The competitive factors in evaluating an application include: age, education, work experience, if there is a job offer, language skills, and cultural adaptability. The competitive evaluation favours higher education, more work experience, economic or family ties to Canada, strong language skills, a valid job offer, and a suitable age for starting a life here.

Process for Applying to the Federal “Express Entry” Program:

Step 1 Registration: The first step to applying to the Express Entry program is to register an Express Entry profile online with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It should always be remembered that submitting a profile does not guarantee a successful application. Once you have submitted your profile, you will be given a competitive score which will be evaluated against other people’s registrations. If your registration score is sufficiently competitive, you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Step 2 – Invitation: The second step after registering a profile is to apply to the applicable Express Entry program with the IRCC. However, you can only apply if you have been given an “Invitation to Apply” by the IRCC. An Invitation to Apply will only be sent to you if your profile is successfully competitive against other registrants. Once you have an Invitation to Apply, you have 60 days to prepare and submit the electronic application for permanent residence. The application will require additional documentation, often to evidence claims made in your profile registration. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will successfully obtain permanent residence.

Step 3 – Permanent Residence: Once you have submitted your application, it will take approximately six months before a decision is made. If your application is approved, then you will be sent a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent residence visa. Once you arrive in Canada, you will have an interview with an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who will confirm everything is compliant with the documentation and travel requirements.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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