Canada Express Entry System - Updated 2021/2022 - Canada Visa & Immigration
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Canada Express Entry System – Updated 2021/2022

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What is Canada Express Entry System

Canada Express Entry system is an electronic system that the Canadian Government established for purposes of expediting the selection and application process for various Economic Immigration Programs. It is not an immigration program in itself but rather an online system created to manage Canada’s immigration applications intake.  Canada Express Entry draw requires and facilitates online submissions of applications and documentations to ensure quicker processing times, which currently average 6 months.​

The following programs are processed by the federal Express Entry system:

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Canada Express Entry Draw Eligibility Requirements:

​You must meet the eligibility requirements for one of the Immigration Programs listed above that are processed by Canada Express Entry in each draw.  Each program has its own eligibility requirements.  If you meet the requirements, an expression of interest to apply can be made by creating a profile online on IRCC secure website. The profile should detail personal information including skills, work experience, language ability (test scores), education.

canada express entry eligibility
canada express entry eligibility

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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Once you meet the eligibility requirements you will be placed into a pool and ranked using the the Comprehensive Ranking System. A predetermined number of  the highest ranked applicants will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence.

Candidates who are in the Express Entry pool and have yet to receive an ITA (invitation to apply), will remain in the pool for 12 months and may be selected at a future date.  A candidate who is not selected after being in the pool for 12 months should make a new expression of interest by creating another profile.

Once you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you MUST submit an application for permanent residence with ALL necessary accompanying documents within 90 days otherwise they will be refused.  After completing the process, successful candidates and their dependants (spouses and children) can land in Canada as Permanent Residents.

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​The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points system used to assess and score a candidate’s Express Entry profile, in order to rank the candidate against all other candidates in the Express Entry pool at the time of a round of invitations.

When a candidate creates a profile in their online account, the system automatically assigns the candidate a CRS score based on the information provided in their profile. Candidates can see their CRS score on the “Application/Profile Details” page of their account.

Only top-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at the time of a round of invitations.

Express Entry CRS points allocation

Candidates can score a maximum of 1200 points in the CRS, with points allocated as follows:

  • A core set of human capital factors that drive economic outcomes (maximum of 460-500 points):
    • Age
    • Level of education
    • Official language proficiency
    • Canadian work experience
  • Spousal factors (maximum of 40 points)
  • A set of skills transferability or interaction factors that amplify the core set (maximum of 100 points)
  • Additional factors (maximum 600 points):
    • A valid provincial/territorial nomination (maximum of 600 points)
    • A qualifying offer of arranged employment (maximum of 50 points for all occupations in NOC 0, A or B, except NOC 00 with a maximum of 200 points)
    • Canadian educational credential (maximum of 30 points)

The Express Entry Ministerial Instructions contain a full breakdown of the CRS. A summary of the CRS is available on the IRCC website.

Note: The CRS may be changed over time as outcomes data becomes available and refinements are undertaken.

Changes to a candidate’s CRS score

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are responsible for ensuring that their Express Entry profile is accurate and up-to-date at all times. Candidates are warned that, if they submit an application for permanent residence (APR) and, at that time, cannot substantiate the information in their Express Entry profile or their APR, their application will be refused and they may be assessed for misrepresentation.

When a candidate goes into their account and updates the information in their profile (e.g., adds a new credential or deletes a job offer), the candidate’s CRS score will automatically change to reflect the new information. The candidate will be able to see their new CRS score in their account.

So that processing offices can assess Express Entry applications on section A11.2 and misrepresentation, an applicant’s CRS score is automatically recorded in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) in the following situations:

  • when the applicant is issued an ITA; and
  • when the applicant submits their APR.

Note: When a candidate is issued an ITA, their profile is “locked”. Candidates may have to manually recalculatetheir scores if there is a change in circumstance after the ITA is issued and before they apply for permanent residence, as it could impact their eligibility.

How Express Entry works

Express Entry is an online system used to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.

Step 1: Find out if you’re eligible

There are two ways to find out if you’re eligible for a program that is part of Express Entry:

Step 2: Get your documents ready

You need documents, such as language test results, to show that you’re eligible for Express Entry. Some documents take a long time to get, so you should get them ready now.

Step 3: Submit your profile into Express Entry pool

Your Express Entry profile is where you give IRCC information about yourself.

If you’re married or have a common-law partner, one of you must be the main or principal applicant. This person will submit a profile and list the spouse or partner in it.

Your principal applicant should be the one of you most likely to:

If you’re eligible, IRCC will accept you into the Express Entry pool of candidates.

express entry pool

You’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using the CRS points-based system. Your score is based on the information in your profile.

Step 4: Receive an invitation and apply for Canada permanent residence

IRCC will send Invitations to Apply (ITA) to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If IRCC invites you to apply, you’ll have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence.

IRCC will process most complete applications that have all the supporting documents in 6 months or less.

Additional resources:

Documents for Express Entry Profile

You need certain documents at different stages of the Express Entry application process.

You don’t need to upload documents to submit a profile, but you may need information from some or all of these documents:

Documents for your application for Canadian permanent residence

If you are invited to apply, you’ll need to upload copies of the documents you used for your profile (see list above). Most applicants will also need to upload the following:

See also Video of Express Entry 2019 Step by Step process and How to create Express Entry Profile.

COVID-19 impact on Canada immigration process

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impaired and changed the process for Canada immigration and visa applications.  To manage the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Canada has put in place travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada, as well as guidance and restrictions that limit IRCC’s ability to process applications normally. Find out how these restrictions affect immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport applications at: Get IRCC information on COVID-19 and how it’s affecting our programs and services.

See also IRCC: Travel restrictions and exemptions   and  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Immigration applicants 


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.