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What is Canada Express Entry immigration system?

Canada Express Entry immigration system

Express Entry Immigration System overview. Canada uses the Express Entry immigration pool draws system to manage permanent residence (PR) applications. It is the most popular way to immigrate to Canada.

Typically, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry immigration pool draws approximately every two weeks.

In each draw, IRCC issues candidates from the Express Entry pool an Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian PR. Only a limited number of candidates with the highest CRS points in the pool get ITAs.

Express Entry Immigration System – Program Highlights

  • Express Entry provides a pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers in Canada or overseas.
  • For potential skilled foreign workers, Express Entry will result in fast processing times of six months or less.
  • Express Entry manages applications for permanent residence under three federal economic immigration programs:
  • Provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from Express Entry through their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) to meet local labour market needs.

How to apply for Express Entry programs

Applicants must first create an Express Entry profile with IRCC at create an Express Entry pool draws profile. You submit your profile under one of the three Express Entry programs or a provincial nominee program.

IRCC ranks candidates’ profiles against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranking candidates will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay the processing fees, within a delay of 60-days. 

A job offer is not required to enter or be selected from the Express Entry immigration pool. However, you score additional CRS points if you already have a Canadian job offer.

A candidate’s CRS score is based on various human capital factors such as:

  • age
  • education
  • skilled work experience and
  • proficiency in English or French

A total of 1,200 CRS points is available. A single candidate can earn up to 260 points for high proficiency in English and French. A couple can earn up to 270 points.

You get a whopping 600 extra points if you receive nomination under any of Canada’s Provincial Immigrant Nomination Programs (PNPs). The 600 extra points virtually guarantees that IRCC will invite you in an Express Entry draw.

You can check any Express Entry draw here at Canada Express Entry draws – Latest Report.

For our complete “How to apply for Express Entry Step-by-Step“, please read How Express Entry works – step-by-step. And also be sure to read How to improve your Express Entry CRS score.