Express Entry is a method of managing applications in a number of existing economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- Federal Skilled Trades Program,
- Canadian Experience Class.
Through Express Entry, people who meet the criteria for one of these programs are placed into a pool of candidates. The Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and Canadian employers will be able to select people from this pool in order to meet local labour market needs.
There is no limit to the number of people who may enter the Express Entry pool. There will be a range of candidates with a greater variety of skills and experience from which employers, provinces and territories can select to meet their needs. However, the number of candidates who get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence will be based on the Annual Immigration Levels Plan.
Express Entry is designed to create an inventory of high-quality candidates who employers in Canada will be able to consider when they cannot find Canadians or permanent residents to fill job vacancies.
Under Express Entry, labour market demand, in the form of a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a nomination by a province or territory will provide candidates with enough additional points and be ranked high enough to be invited to apply in eligible draws of candidates. Draws will be made from the Express Entry pool on a regular basis, and instructions for each draw will be posted on the IRCC website. Most job offers will be subject to Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) LMIA requirements in place at that time.
Employers in Canada must first make every effort to find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill vacant job opportunities. Eligible employers who cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for a permanent job will be able to consider candidates from the pool who meet their needs.
To be eligible to enter the pool, Express Entry candidates must have skilled work experience in a National Occupational Code (NOC) 0, A or B occupation. Jobs offered to candidates in the pool must be in one of these categories.
A job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) will give a candidate enough additional points to be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of candidates. Potential candidates who have a valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination when they complete their Express Entry profile will not need to register with Job Bank
Candidates must also meet the minimum language requirements (for NOC 0 and A occupations: CLB 7; for NOC B occupations: CLB 5).
Once potential immigrants have entered the pool, the immigration department will use a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess and score Express Entry candidates.
The CRS will include factors such as skills, work experience, language ability and education all of which is the information provided in the candidate’s profile. The CRS will set the candidate’s score and rank within the Express Entry pool at any given time. A candidate’s rank can change regularly, while their score will only change with an update in profile information.
Candidates will also be awarded bonus points for a job offer and/or provincial or territorial nomination and if the person does not have a Canadian job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination, the individual must register on the Job Bank. This will enable the person to view jobs available with Canadian employers. It is important for Express Entry candidates to promote themselves to potential employers/recruiters and use private sector job boards and other resources to learn about jobs available in Canada.
Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Entry into the Express Entry pool does not guarantee an ITA for permanent residence. Even with an ITA, the candidate still has to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements under Canada’s immigration law (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).
With an ITA, the candidate has 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence in one of the immigration programs listed above. The ITA will tell the person under which program to apply.