Express Entry

Since January 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada uses a system called Express Entry to manage and select applications for permanent residence under three economic immigration programs for 9 out of the 10 provinces of Canada.

Quebec is the only province that uses a different system, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Under the Express Entry system Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada selects candidates wishing to immigrate to Canada under one of the following 4 program classes:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Class  
  2. Canadian Experience Class  
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Class
  4. Provincial Nominee Programs

Under the Express Entry system candidates for immigration to Canada are processed as follows :

  1. Step one : Create an online profile. Candidates first must express their interest in applying for immigration to Canada by creating an online profile. This profile will include personal information such as  their age, education, work experience, language proficiency about themselves and their spouse.
  2. Step two : Qualifiying. Those who meet the profile of one of the 4 program classes are ranked according to a point system called the Comprehensive Ranking System and their name is placed in a pool ;
  3. Step 3 : receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Candidates  from the pool with the highest points under this sytem, are invited to apply for permanent immigration to Canada and have 90 days after this invitation to submit a complete electronic application.

Creating your online profile

As an applicant, potential candidates have to complete an online Express Entry profile and provide information about:

  • Skills
  • Work experience,
  • Language ability,
  • Education, and
  • Other relevant information that enables a complete assessment by the system.
  • Additionally, if you do not have either a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), nor a nomination from a province territory, you will have to register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank.

Each profile will remain in the system for up to one year from the date it was accepted in the system.


The system will automatically select the candidates with the higher points in the pool of applicants. The system uses a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System.

Candidates are awarded points for:

  • Job offer
  • A nomination from a province or territory
  • Skills and experience factors
  • Qualifying education in Canada

Receiving an invitation to apply

Candidates that comply with one of the following criteria will receive an invitation to apply for a Permanent Residence:

  • Have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada
  • Have been nominated by a province or territory
  • Are among the top ranked in the pool based on the candidates’ skills and experience

Once a candidate is invited to apply, the period of time to apply and submit all supporting documents is 90 days. If the 90-day deadline is missed, the invitation to apply is no longer valid.

Under the Express Entry system candidates:

  1. have the possibility to increase their points updating their online profile with new information about things like new language test results, additional work experience, etc…
  2. may create a new online profile 1 year from the date they created their original profile if they have not been invited to submit an application.