Canada Immigration Express Entry System - AfriCanada Immigration Inc.
cic canada login
Need Canada immigration lawyer? See List
ADVERTISEMENT
federal skilled trades class

Canada Immigration Express Entry System

Table of Contents

What is Canada Immigration Express Entry System

Canada Immigration Express Entry 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.​


ADVERTISEMENT

express entry canada
express entry canada

Programs processed by Canada Express Entry:

CLICK HERE FOR A QUICK ONLINE ASSESSMENT TO SEE IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY UNDER ANY OF THE ABOVE

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 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

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.


ADVERTISEMENT

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.

​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.

crs point calculator

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.

How Express Entry works

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


ADVERTISEMENT

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 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.


ADVERTISEMENT

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.

canada express entry draw
canada express entry facts

Documents for your Express Entry profile

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:

Submit an Express Entry profile: Online form

You can only apply online if IRCC sends you an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

If you want to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant, your first step is to submit your profile to the Express Entry pool.

express entry canada

If you’re eligible, we will:

Completing an online Express Entry profile or entering the pool doesn’t guarantee that we’ll invite you to apply for permanent residence.

Eligibility questions

Answer a few questions to see if you’re eligible for Express Entry. It’ll take you about 15 minutes. Find out if you’re eligible

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:

TOOL: Find out if you’re eligible . This tool gives you a number at the end (a personal reference code). The code looks like: JM1234567890. Use this number to move your information from the tool to your Express Entry profile.

Create your Express Entry profile

If you’re eligible, the tool will send you to your online account to fill out an Express Entry profile.

  1. Follow the instructions to create an account (if you don’t already have one).
  2. Enter your personal reference code when it prompts you to (only if you have one).
  3. Enter your personal details.
create express entry profile

To complete your profile, you’ll need:

You may exit the profile at any time. Your information will be saved in your account.

You have 60 days to complete and submit your Express Entry profile. Otherwise, you’ll have to start again.

Once you’ve filled out your profile, you can submit it online. We’ll figure out which immigration program you’re eligible for under Express Entry.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Express Entry CRS points allocation

express entry point calculator
express entry point calculator

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)
canada immigration points
canada immigration 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.

Express Entry Rounds of invitations

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) controls how many Express Entry candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence through a system of “rounds of invitations”. These are done at a frequency and in numbers that align to IRCC’s processing capacity and annual levels targets.

express entry invitation to apply (ITA)
express entry invitation to apply (ITA)

At the time of a round of invitations, a candidate’s rank in the Express Entry pool is much more important than the candidate’s total number of CRS points. For example, if IRCC issues an ITA to 1000 candidates from the pool, only the top-ranking 1000 candidates will receive an ITA.

A candidate’s rank changes with every round of invitations, as their rank is relative to that of all other candidates in the pool at the time of the round.

Rounds can be general and include all programs subject to Express Entry, or be program-specific (e.g., top-ranked CEC candidates only). For example:

  • general round of invitations would mean that all candidates in the list below would be issued an ITA. If CIC invited 500 candidates to apply, and the following list represented the top 10 candidates in the pool, CIC would invite 5 FSWC, 3 CEC and 2 FSTC candidates, all the way down until the 500th ranked candidate in the pool is invited, regardless of the program(s) to which they appear eligible.
    1. FSWC – 1000 CRS points (has job offer)
    2. CEC – 980 (has job offer)
    3. FSWC – 878 (has job offer)
    4. FSTC – 820 (has job offer)
    5. FSTC – 818 (has job offer)
    6. CEC – 540
    7. CEC – 538
    8. FSWC – 532
    9. FSWC – 531
    10. FSWC – 480
    11. etc.
  • program-specific round of invitations would mean that only candidates in the list above who are tagged (i.e., found eligible) for a specific program would be issued an ITA. For example, if IRCC were to invite the top 500 FSWC candidates, in the example above, only candidates ranked 1, 3, 8, 9, and 10 would be invited, with additional top-ranked FSWC-tagged candidates invited to apply, up to and including the 500th ranked FSWC candidate in the pool.

Express Entry rounds of invitations are governed through Ministerial Instructions, which specify the date of the round, the number invitations to be issued, and whether the round of invitations is general or program-specific. The Ministerial Instructions are published when a round is held, but not before.

After a round of invitations is held, IRCC publishes the score of the lowest ranked candidate to be issued an ITA in that round. Candidates who are not issued an ITA can use this information to see where their CRS score stands relative to the lowest score from their round and, therefore, have a general sense of whether they may be invited to apply in future rounds.

Candidates who have been issued an ITA but whose circumstances have changed can also use this information to determine if they should decline the ITA or submit an APR.

Canadian provinces also rely on the Express Entry system for their provincial nominee programs. See UPDATE: Canada Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs

canada provincial nominee programs
canada provincial nominee programs

Summary of maximum points per factor for Express Entry candidates

FactorsPoints per factor – With a spouse or common-law partnerPoints per factor – Without a spouse or common-law partner
Age 100110
Level of education 140150
Official languages proficiency 150160
Canadian work experience 7080
FactorsPoints per factor
(Maximum 40 points)
Level of education 10
Official language proficiency 20
Canadian Work Experience 10

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors = Maximum 500 points (with OR without a spouse or common-law partner)

EducationPoints per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree50
Foreign work experiencePoints per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level 7 or higher) and foreign work experience50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience50
Certificate of qualification (for people in trade occupations)Points per factor
(Maximum 50 points)
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification50

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Transferability factors = Maximum 600 points

FactorMaximum points per factor
Brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)15
French language skills30
Post-secondary education in Canada30
Arranged employment200
PN nomination600

A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. Additional points = Grand total – Maximum 1,200 points

Express Entry Points breakdown, section by section

CRS – A. Core / human capital factors

  • With a spouse or common-law partner: Maximum 460 points total for all factors.
  • Without a spouse or common-law partner: Maximum 500 points total for all factors.
AgeWith a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 100 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 110 points)
17 years of age or less00
18 years of age9099
19 years of age95105
20 to 29 years of age100110
30 years of age95105
31 years of age9099
32 years of age8594
33 years of age8088
34 years of age7583
35 years of age7077
36 years of age6572
37 years of age6066
38 years of age5561
39 years of age5055
40 years of age4550
41 years of age3539
42 years of age2528
43 years of age1517
44 years of age56
45 years of age or more00
Level of EducationWith a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 140 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 150 points)
Less than secondary school (high school)00
Secondary diploma (high school graduation)2830
One-year degree, diploma or certificate from  a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute8490
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute9198
Bachelor’s degree OR  a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute112120
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years119128
Master’s degree, OR professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree,” the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.)126135
Doctoral level university degree (Ph.D.)140150

Official languages proficiency – first official language

Maximum points for each ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening):

  • 32 with a spouse or common-law partner
  • 34 without a spouse or common-law partner
Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 128 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 136 points)
Less than CLB 400
CLB 4 or 566
CLB 689
CLB 71617
CLB 82223
CLB 92931
CLB 10 or more3234

Official languages proficiency – second official language

Maximum points for each ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening):

  • 6 with a spouse or common-law partner (up to a combined maximum of 22 points)
  • 6 without a spouse or common-law partner (up to a combined maximum of 24 points)
Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per abilityWith a spouse or common-law partner 
(Maximum 22 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner 
(Maximum 24 points)
CLB 4 or less00
CLB 5 or 611
CLB 7 or 833
CLB 9 or more66
Canadian work experienceWith a spouse or common-law partner 
(Maximum 70 points)
Without a spouse or common-law partner 
(Maximum 80 points)
None or less than a year00
1 year3540
2 years4653
3 years5664
4 years6372
5 years or more7080

Subtotal: A. Core / human capital factors

  • With a spouse or common-law partner – Maximum 460 points
  • Without a spouse or common-law partner – Maximum 500 points

CRS – B. Spouse or common-law partner factors (if applicable)

Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of educationWith spouse or common-law partner
(Maximum 10 points)
Without spouse or common-law partner
(Does not apply)
Less than secondary school (high school)0n/a
Secondary school (high school graduation)2n/a
One-year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute6n/a
Two-year program at a university, college, trade or technical in school, or other institute7n/a
Bachelor’s degree OR  a three or more year program at a university, college, trade or technical school, or other institute8n/a
Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years9n/a
Master’s degree, or professional degree needed to practice in a licensed profession (For “professional degree”, the degree program must have been in: medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, chiropractic medicine, or pharmacy.)10n/a
Doctoral level university degree (PhD)10n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Spouse’s or common-law partner’s official languages proficiency – first official language

Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level per ability (reading, writing, speaking and listening )Maximum 20 points for section
Maximum 5 points per ability
Without spouse or common-law partner 
(Does not apply)
CLB 4 or less0n/a
CLB 5 or 61n/a
CLB 7 or 83n/a
CLB 9 or more5n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Spouse’s Canadian work experienceMaximum 10 pointsWithout spouse or common-law partner 
(Does not apply)
None or less than a year0n/a
1 year5n/a
2 years7n/a
3 years8n/a
4 years9n/a
5 years or more10n/a

Note: (n/a) means that this factor does not apply in this case.

Subtotal : A. Core / human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors = Maximum 500 points

CRS – C. Skill transferability factors (Maximum 100 points for this section)

Education

With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher) and a post-secondary degreePoints for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, with one or more under CLB 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less00
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer1325
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer2550
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degreePoints for education + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for education + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
Secondary school (high school) credential or less00
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer1325
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer2550

Foreign work experience – With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 7 or higher)

Years of experiencePoints for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience00
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience1325
3 years or more of foreign work experience2550

Foreign work experience – With Canadian work experience

Years of experiencePoints for foreign work experience + 1 year of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for foreign work experience + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
(Maximum 50 points)
No foreign work experience00
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience1325
3 years or more of foreign work experience2550
Certificate of qualification (trade occupations) – With good official language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark Level [CLB] 5 or higher)Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 5 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 7
(Maximum 25 points)
Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 7 or more on all four first official language abilities
(Maximum 50 points)
With a certificate of qualification2550

Subtotal: A. Core / human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Skill transferability factors – Maximum 600 points

CRS – D. Additional points (Maximum 600 points)

Additional pointsMaximum 600 points
Brother or sister living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada15
Scored NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills and scored CLB 4 or lower in English (or didn’t take an English test)15
Scored NCLC 7 or higher on all four French language skills and scored CLB 5 or higher on all four English skills30
Post-secondary education in  Canada – credential of one or two years15
Post-secondary education in  Canada – credential three years or longer30
Arranged employment – NOC 00200
Arranged employment – any other NOC 0, A or B50
Provincial or territorial nomination600

Subtotal: D. Additional points – Maximum 600 points

Grand total: A. Core / human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Skill transferability factors + D. Additional points = Maximum 1,200 points

Canada Express Entry Draw CRS Points Calculator

CLICK HERE TO CALCULATE YOUR EXPRESS ENTRY CRS POINTS. A detailed CRS score summary will be emailed to you with advice on which areas you can improve your score.

Canada Express Entry Based Provincial Nominee Programs

Canada Immigration Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

See also Express Entry results: Previous rounds of invitations.

IMMIGRATION TOPICS

IMMIGRATION HELP

ONLINE TOOLS

Please share this to help others:
  •   
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •   
Need Canada immigration attorney? See List of Lawyers
OR
NEED IMMIGRATION HELP? CONTACT US NOW WITH THE FORM BELOW
canada immigration express entry