Express Entry

Express Entry Overview

Express Entry is the new system introduced in January 2015 to help Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to select permanent residents based on their skills and experience helpful in boosting the economy. It is a two-step online process based on a ranking system. To qualify under Express Entry stream, first, the candidate has to create an online profile and enter the pool to compete with other candidates. Then, the system performs an assessment based on candidate’s marital status, age, education, work experience, language skills and other factors.


Once the profile is created, the system generates score based on the provided information and documents. The score can be increased if the applicant has an arranged employment offer from a Canadian employer or by improving their language skills. The candidates with higher score receive the invitation to apply for the permanent resident status by CIC. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) has a maximum of 1200 points. Once the invitation letter is issued, the candidate has 60 days to apply for their permanent resident status to CIC. The processing time is 4-6 months.

Express Entry is cover for three Major Immigration Program:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trade

Express Entry Program Requirements


The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program allows international students and temporary foreign workers with at least 12 months of full-time work experience or 24 months of part-time work experience to become Permanent Resident of Canada.

Starting January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a new program called Express Entry. Express Entry program is based on a number and ranking system where an individual competes with other candidates in the pool. CIC sends invitation to selected applicants from the pool based on their score.

CEC Minimum Requirements

  • Have at least 1 year of full-time or 2 years of part-time work experience in NOC 0, A or B within the 3 years before applying,
  • Must attain required language levels in the language proficiency test,
  • Plan to reside outside Quebec.


  • Work experience obtained while enrolled, as a full-time student in school will not be considered,
  • Having required work experience and applying for Express Entry does not guarantee the selection; the preference will be given to the applicants with highest scores in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Tool.

Federal Skilled Worker applications are assessed based on an applicant’s ability to become economically established upon immigration to Canada. From January 1, 2015, Federal Skilled Worker applications are being processed through through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class must first make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile,

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill lever 0, A or B); or
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; or
  • Have completed a PhD in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, in both cases at a recognized institution; and
  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French)
  • In addition, Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) applicants must attain at least 67 points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors.

The selection factors are as follows:

  • Education: Applicants are awarded up to 25 points.
  • Language Skills: Applicants are awarded up to 28 total points (24-first official language, 4-second official language).
  • Work Experience: Applicants are awarded up to 15 points for paid skilled work experience acquired in the last 10 years. A minimum of 9 points is required.
  • Age: Applicants are awarded up to 12 points.
  • Arranged Employment: Applicants are awarded up to 10 points.
  • Adaptability: Applicants are awarded up to 10 points.

In addition to fulfilling eligibility and points requirements, applicants must show that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their dependents after arrival in Canada.


Federal Skilled Trade Class applications is for people who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade. As of January 1, 2015, potential candidates interested in applying to the Federal Skilled Trades Program must go through the Express Entry system.

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec (Note: The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information),
  • Meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • Have at least two years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) * in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply,
  • Meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), except for needing a certificate of qualification, and
  • have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority
  • You must be admissible to Canada.
  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.
  • Skilled work experience

Skilled Trades currently eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program are organized under these major and minor groups of the NOC:

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades,
  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades,
  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production,
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators,
  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks, and
  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers.

These major NOC groups are subdivided into different occupations.

Professional immigration consultants, the ones you can really trust, work in a tightly regulated industry with strict standards of conduct and accountability. Do your homework. Go to the website of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and make sure the consultant you hire is currently a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing. Don’t put your self at the mercy of unauthorized representatives who will happily take your money and leave you on your own at the first sign of complications.

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