Express Entry

Express Entry Canada

Express Entry is best described as an Immigration Filter. Launched in 2015, Express Entry is a database of candidates who have expressed an interest in Immigrating to Canada. Applicants are awarded points for criteria such as age, qualifications and skills. CIC Canada and the Provinces then select the best candidates on a regular basis.

The Government of Canada have expressed the wish to have at least One Million more skilled migrants in Canada over the next 18mths.

Through Express Entry, the Canadian Government revolutionized the processing times of applications and improved the quality of applicants awarded Permanent residency status in Canada.

What is Express Entry

Express Entry is an application management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage the process of receiving and processing applications from individuals and families from around the world who travel to Canada. Express entry, introduced in 2015, has become one of the most popular ways for refugees and asylum seekers to enter Canada.

Over the past three years, more than 1.5 million people have immigrated to Canada through the Express Entry system.

Express Entry is an application management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage all applications received.

The Canadian immigration system is one of the largest and most successful in the world. Express Entry Canada is a competitive immigration system in which the candidates compete against each other and the candidate who tops the rankings is then invited to apply for a permanent Canadian residence visa.

Candidates are compared against a pool of applicants from other countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, China, Asia, South America, Russia, Asia and Europe.

Express Entry allows individuals and families wishing to settle in Canada to obtain a new permanent residence within a few months. Express Entry is for individuals and families who wish to relocate to Canada on a Permanent or Semi-Permanent basis.

Canada Express Entry Visa

Applications that meet who meet eligibility criteria will be eligible to receive an Express Entry Invitation to apply. An invitation to apply is also known as an ITA. It is approval in principle for a Canada Permanent Residency Visa in one of the following visa streams:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Visa
  • Federal Skilled Trades Visa
  • Provincial Nomination Visa

Upon receiving an Invitation to Apply as the result of an Express Entry application an individual can then lodge a formal application for the visa class they have been selected for.

Applicants Express Entry profiles are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The best applicants will be considered for an invitation to apply (ITA) for a Permanent Residency Visa.

Individuals and families receiving an ITA are required to submit a full application and pay processing fees, within 60-days of receiving the Express Entry Invitation.

The Canadian Government aims to process complete Canada Visa applications in 6 months.

CRS Calculator for Express Entry

Express Entry is a relatively simple concept, driven by a complicated set of formulas. Online tools never quite ‘get it right’ because there can be no ‘One Size Fits All’ approach to Express Entry CRS Points and Canadian Immigration.

As part of our mission to make Canada Immigration Simple we put together a helpful downloadable and printable sheet.

Now all you need is a pen and a calculator to get an exact and irrefutable indication of your CRS Points for Canadian Immigration.

remember, you need to score at least 67 CRS Points to be able to lodge an Express Entry application

How to Make an Express Entry Application

To submit your Express Entry profile, you will need three main documents and must submit them.

Candidates for the Express entry must speak either English or French, and the minimum score varies between all three Express entries in the program. To submit a profile, you will need:

  • an approved language assessment
  • a copy of your passport
  • an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

If you want to prove your English skills the IELTS exam is popular. For French language skills, you can choose between the TEF and TCF exams.

You do not have to speak both English and French, only one. If you do speak both languages then you have a big advantage over other applicants.

If you have all three documents, you can create your Express Entry profile. A valid passport is required to submit your entry profile. If it is not possible to obtain a passport, alternative identity documents will be accepted. If you apply with a spouse, your spouse’s passport is also required.

The vast majority of your CRS points will be based on the points score of the as a primary applicant.

Express Entry Work Experience Requirements

Express Entry Work Experience Requirement

Federal Skilled Worker requires candidates to have at least a high school diploma, as well as at least one year of continuous full-time, relevant work experience.

Canadian Experience Class has no minimum education requirement. Applicants must have a minimum of one year of full-time Canadian skilled work experience obtained within the three years leading up to the Express Entry application

Federal Skilled Trades has no minimum education requirement. FST candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade occupation.

Candidates must have either an offer of employment in their skilled trade in Canada or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian authority such as Red Seal.

Improve your Express Entry score

The presentation of your Express Entry profile is extremely important and individuals can earn additional points in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) by concentrating efforts on a number of key areas for improvement.

1. Language Skills

Language is such a valuable factor in CRS and can be worth up to 290 CRS points. You can improve your language points by retaking the English or French language tests until you land an improved score.

For a Federal Skilled Worker candidate to enter the Express Entry pool, a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 is required in each language ability — reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The following table shows how language in combination with another factor (in this case education) can be worth up to 50 points.

Educational LevelCRS points earned
Secondary school0
Post-secondary program credential of one or more years + first language CLB 7 or more in all abilities (at least one ability needs to be less than CLB 9)13
Post-secondary program credential of one or more years + first language CLB 9 or more in all abilities25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials (one at least 3 years) +  CLB 7 or more in all abilities for first language (at least one ability needs to be less than CLB 9)25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials (one at least 3 years) + CLB 9 or more in all abilities for first language50

2. Education

Education can count up to 230 CRS points and can be improved by adding an additional qualification (for example, a degree) or adding Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) to an existing degree.

Education can also be added to your degree and counts towards your ECA. For improved education points they need to be ‘proved’ via an updated ECA before additional qualifications can be included and recognized.

3. Check the Lead Applicant

In some cases the lead applicant may not be who you initially think in a family unit and it may well be worth checking if your spouse or partner has a better overall score.

4. Work Experience

Gathering additional work experience and documenting your current work experience can help increase a candidates CRS score.

Collecting information about your past and current work experience, as well as your spouse / partner’s qualifications and qualifications, can help you not only to determine whether your work is qualified or unskilled, but also to determine whether you appear qualified in your job title.

5. Job Offer

The IRCC says job offers must be in writing and specify workplace requirements, including hours, hours and number of hours per week, and other details. A – B CRS scores can earn up to 50 additional points for an “A” or “B – Level” C RS score. Executives can also earn 200 points for a CRS, and candidates with a valid job offer can earn between 50 and 200 additional points depending on the position.

6. Provincial Nomination

The Canadian Provincial Nominee Program, better known as PNP, requires that work experience be documented as accurately as possible. Candidates nominated for permanent residence by a Canadian province will receive an additional 600 points for their CRS assessment.

Provincial nominations add another 600 points to your score and guarantee you an ITA in the next round of the Express Entry Invitation. Regardless of the results of your CRS, everyone in your Express entry application should proactively prepare for ITAs from provincial nominations.

7. Be Prepared

Proactive preparation is often the only hope of a successful application, and in Nova Scotia there is a PNP stream, which is served on the principle of “first come, first served” due to the demand for express entry.

This stream does not take into account a candidate’s CRS rating, but has the advantage that it operates on a first-come-first-serve basis and has reached entry rates within a few days of opening.

Given the limited application window on these types of applications, many applicants are already preparing in advance for Provincial Nominations.

PNPs continue to play a prominent role in economic migration to Canada, and the different PNPs have one thing in common: they reward proactive and informed candidates. The provinces of Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have introduced a new system in which candidates for express entry can also proactively send profiles to the provinces, which then rank the candidates in their own pool rankings. The province of New Brunswick has also opened its express entry database for IT professionals and others for a limited period of time.

How to get a Job Offer from Canada for Express Entry

Job offers are a really important step in the Express Entry process although they are by no means mandatory. Securing Provincial Nomination is now the most sure-fire way of boosting your application through Express Entry to receive an Invitation to Apply.

Many potential immigrants are confused about how to get a Canadian job offer from outside or finding a “Canadian employer” willing to sponsor.

Recruiters in Canada

The best way to get a job offer in Canada is to contact one or more recruitment agencies that focus on your profession. Its vitally important that you prepare a great resume and covering letter.

Canadian companies and employers are increasingly relying on headhunters and recruiters to find the right candidates and cannot access talent from all sources.

There are many agencies that are oriented towards foreign workers, but many others are not. Be sure to find one that is. Your immigration lawyer or agent may also be well placed to assist.

If you have friends and family in Canada who work in the same field as you or happen to know an employer in your network who wants to fill a position, they will be able to recommend you to a potential employer.

Job Bank Canada

One of the leading sources of information on employment opportunities in Canada is the Job Bank, with more than 1.5 million jobs in Canada.

Although the Jobbank is well-aligned with immigration flows and labor market needs, it should not be your primary job-search portal, as many private employers use multiple hiring platforms and even headhunters to fill talent.

Unadvertised Positions in Canada

Many jobs are never advertised, and some employers offer to keep your resume and call you if something turns up.


With over one billion members, LinkedIn is designed as a professional networking tool that can connect you with existing employees and businesses and review their labor markets. In the area where you work, it is highly recommended that you create and update your professional profile with your experience and achievements.

While LinkedIn provides a great tool for future candidate analysis, many employers use LinkedIn profiles as a benchmark for evaluating candidates. According to a recent survey, employees who use LinkedIn are among the top candidates in their field of expertise.

Job Portals and Workopolis are popular job portals that connect employers, recruiters and employees in Canada.

The good thing about these job portals is that they are operated by recruiters who are looking for suitable talent for several clients or companies.

What is a Valid Job Offer for Express Entry?

Applicants who have received a job offer must update their Express Entry profiles with the following information:

  • Employer name and address
  • Start date of the job
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment number
  • National Occupation Classification code related to the job

Job Offer requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Visa and Canadian Experience Class:

  • work that is continuous, paid and full time (at least 30 hours a week)
  • permanent employment
  • fall under skill type 0 or skill level A or B of the National Occupation Classification.

Federal Skilled Worker applicants must also satisfy at least one of the following two conditions:

  • The employer making the job offer has obtained a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • The applicant is already working on a work permit that was issued based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment and the job falls under skill type 0 or skill level A or B.
  • The applicant is working for the same employer featured on their work permit.
  • The applicant’s current employer has offered the applicant a full-time job.
  • The offer must be for at least one year and have the same three-digit National Occupation Classification Code as the employees current job.

What is a Valid Job Offer on the Federal Skilled Trades Program

In order to be recognized as valid under the Federal Skilled Trade program an offer must be:

  • Made by one employer or by two employers simultaneously
  • For full time work
  • For at least one year
  • Be for work that falls under the, “Skilled Trade” section of the National Occupation Classification database.

Important Points about Job Offers for Express Entry

In order for a job offer to be valid, an applicant must be able to convince Canadian immigration officials that they have the skills required to be able to take and hold that job which has been offered.

If the job happens to be regulated the applicant must also be able to show they will be able to obtain any required licenses in Canada.

Recent Express Entry Draws

Date# InvitationsLowest CRS Score

Canada Express Entry Next Draw Prediction

Is 450 a good CRS score?

Chances of Canada PR are solid with CRS score 450+. … If your score is between 400-450, start considering all Provinicial Nomination Programs. The Alberta PNP Program for example, has made offers to applicants with as low as 350 CRS Points.

Is 430 a good CRS score?
As you can see from the chart above 430 is close to some invitation rounds and way off others.
Will CRS Score go down in 2021?

Speculation is rife that Canada may touch 415 over the next period.

Canada Express Entry Fee

Before Submission
ItemCostIs this required, or optional?
Edcuational Credential Assessment (ECA)$200+Mandatory for FSW candidates, and recommended for FST & CEC applicants
Language test(s)$200+Mandatory
Other items and costs

(These items or services may also be obtained before entering the pool, but are not required for that stage)
ItemCostIs this required, or optional?
Police clearance certificate(s)Depends on the country. May range from free service to up to $100 or more.Required at ITA
Medical report$200+Required at ITA
Representation by a lawyer or regulated consultantRanges, but fees typically range from $2,000 to $5,000Canada Made Simple operates an ultra competitive Professional Fees Structure
Government fees
ItemCostIs this required, or optional?
Processing fee$825Required at ITA
Right of permanent residence fee$500Required at ITA
Addition of accompanying spouse/partner$825 for processing fee, $500 for right of permanent residenceRequired, if applicable
Addition of dependent children$225 per childRequired, if applicable

Is Express Entry Used in Quebec?

Express Entry does not get used in Quebec, but they do have their own version of the system called the Quebec Expression of Interest. In the same way as Express Entry the QEI awards the highest scoring candidates an Invitation to Apply. The ITA in Quebec is called the Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

Advantages of Express Entry

  • Ability to respond quickly to Canada’s economic needs.
  • Express Entry aligns Canada’s immigration process with workforce market requirements.
  • Candidates can improve their scores whilst in Express Entry.
  • Express Entry gives an honest picture of an applicants Canada immigration prospects.
  • Fast Canada Visa processing timeframe.

What Canada Visas does Express Entry give?

A valid Express Entry application may lead to a Permanent Residency Visa issued by one of the following federal economic immigration programs.

  • Federal Skilled Worker Visa
  • Canadian Experience Visa
  • Federal Skilled Trades Visa

Canada Express Entry Processing Time

The Canadian Government undertakes to process all Express Entry Invitation to Apply applications within six months. This is the time from receiving an ITA and no the time from creating an Express Entry profile.

New Brunswick Express Entry

The New Brunswick Express Entry Stream is designed for Foreign Citizens with the skills,qualifications, education and experience to be of valuable contribution to the New Brunswick economy.

The New Brunswick Express Entry stream is currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) via the INB portal.

Ontario Express Entry

Ontario’s Express Entry Stream is known as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

It gives foreign citizens with the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Ontario, including in Toronto.

To be considered for the ONIP draw an applicant will have to have an existing Express Entry submission before an online application can be made to be nominated by the Ontario government for a Permanent Residency Visa.

British Columbia Express Entry

Ontario’s Express Entry Stream is known as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

It gives foreign citizens with the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Ontario, including in Toronto.

To be considered for the ONIP draw an applicant will have to have an existing Express Entry submission before an online application can be made to be nominated by the Ontario government for a Permanent Residency Visa.

Alberta Express Entry

Alberta Express Entry is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the Province of Alberta. The Alberta Express entry Stream selects candidates from the federal Express and Entry Pool and invites them to apply for nomination within the province.

The exact selection criteria for this program have not been made public, but it is aligned with the federal system of express entry. Candidates who successfully apply via the Alberta Express Entry Stream will be invited to submit an official application for permanent residency in Canada. The candidate’s immigration status will take into account both his application and his status as a permanent resident of the province of Alberta.

Although the exact selection criteria are unknown, the AINP is looking for candidates who can demonstrate strong ties to Alberta and support regional economic development and diversification.

This program is by invitation only and foreigners cannot apply directly to the program. Candidates from the Express Entry Pool will be considered for the official application for this program. The Province will send the notification directly through the Express Entry Accounts of all applicants it invites.

In order to be eligible for the an Alberta Privincial Nominee Program, an applicant must have an active Express Entry profile for either:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Express Entry ProfileMandatory
Connection to ProvinceNot Required
Job OfferNot Required
Language ProficiencyExpress Entry Level
Level of EducationExpress Entry Level
Work ExperienceExpress Entry Level
Investment RequirementNo
CanadaVisa Express Entry

Nova Scotia Express Entry Draw

Express Entry is a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) run by the Province of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Express Entry Draws are aimed at addressing the labour shortage in NovaScotia by quickly and easily identifying and offering Permanent Residency to applicants who can integrate quickly into the workforce.

Express Entry Stream receives its first group of applicants from the ITA, which effectively guarantees permanent residence to those applying for permanent residence in Canada.

Applicants who receive an Invitation through Express Entry from Nova Scotia will receive an extra 600 CRS points. This extra points award will almost certainly guarantee an Invitation to Apply at the next Express Entry Draw

The stream is divided into two categories: Category A, Category B

Category A Nova Scotia Express Entry

Category A applicants are required to have a formal job offer from an employer in Nova Scotia. Applicants must also meet the general program requirements.

Category A Nova Scotia Requirements
Express Entry ProfileMandatory
Connection to ProvinceNot Required
Job OfferYes
Language ProficiencyCLB 7 as a minimum
Level of EducationHigh school as a minimum
Work ExperienceNOC A, B, or 0
1 year
Investment RequirementNot Required

Category B Nova Scotia Express Entry

Category B requires all applicants to have a minimum of 12-months of full-time experience in one of Nova Scotia’s in-demand occupations.

Express Entry ProfileMandatory
Connection to ProvinceNot Required
Job OfferNot Required
Language ProficiencyCLB 7 Minimum
Level of EducationHigh school minimum
Work ExperienceIn-Demand Occupation List
1 year
Investment RequirementNot Required

What Occupations are on the Nova Scotia in-demand list?

Saskatchewan Express Entry

Saskatchewan Express Entry

Saskatchewan Express Entry  (SINP) is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Saskatchewan. Candidates from the Federal Express Entry pool who have experience in an occupation not on the Excluded Occupation List may submit an Expression of Interest to be considered for Saskatchewan Express Entry  (SINP).

These Occupations are Excluded From Saskatchewan Express Entry  (SINP): Download Excluded List


Most Recent Nova Scotia Express Entry Draw

DateMinimum ScoreNumber of Invitations IssuedAdditional Selection Criteria Applied?
August 14th, 202069286Invited Candidates had Educational
Credential Assessments.The following NOCs have been included:
0013, 0111, 0112, 0121, 0421, 0423,
0632, 0711, 0714, 0821, 0822, 0912,
1114, 1121, 1215, 1221, 1224, 1225,
1241, 1313, 2142, 2148, 2222, 2234,
2242, 2263, 2264, 3143, 3211, 3212,
3219, 3234, 4151, 4152, 4165, 4212,
7243, 7245, 7246, 7312, 7321, 8222,
9212, 9213, 9232, 9241

Prince Edward Island Express Entry Draw

Prince Edward Island (PEI), remains popular among prospective immigrants. PEI is a living example of Canada’s natural beauty, history, and culture.

Prince Edward Island has excellent schools and no pollution or traffic jams. The province enjoys high quality of life in some of the safest communities in Canada.

Express Entry Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program is divided into two major categories: Business Impact and Labour Impact.

Under Prince Edward Island PNP successful applicants may become a Canada permanent resident in less than 6 months.

Nomination for PNP Prince Edward Island is done through Express Entry. However, direct applications can be made to the PEI Office of Immigration.

If accepted, an applicant can update their Express Entry and include their provincial nomination in their profile. This virtually guarantees a successful Express Entry outcome as it will increase an Express Entry score by 600 points.

What is the Express Entry Pool

The Express Entry Pool describes a database of current Express Entry applications that can then be sorted and filtered so that the most relevant applicants can be selected against current Canadian Immigration criteria.

Educational Verification for Express Entry

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to validate an overseas degree or certificate of study. An ECA is an equivalency process that maps a foreign qualification against the Canadian Educational Framework.

An ECA is mandatory for most  immigration purposes and while it is not an absolute requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades program it may be beneficial.

IELTS for Express Entry

The following scores are required to be able to lodge an Express Entry application in Canada:

To Lodge Express Entry

Job Bank Canada

Job Bank is Canada’s national employment service, available as a website and mobile app.Registration with Job Bank Canada is mandatory when lodging an Express Entry application and many skilled migrants emigrating to Canada have successfully secured Jobs in Canada via Job Bank.

Employment and Social Development Canada delivers Job Bank on behalf of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments.

Do I need a Job Offer for Express Entry

A job offer is not required for Express Entry success. Most applicants who receive an Invitation to Apply do not have a formal job offer.

Job Offers for Express Entry add between 560 and 200 points to your CRS Score

A formal Canadian job offer for a skilled, full-time position can add 50 to 200 points to your Express Entry application. A positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required.

Informal Job Offers do not add any extra points and should not be included in an Express Entry application.

What if I put the Wrong Information into Express Entry?

If the information submitted into an Express Entry application turns out to be false, this is called as misrepresentation. A potential candidate who has misrepresented themselves can be banned from re-entering the Express Entry pool for five years.

It is up to the applicant to ensure their Express Entry application is truthful and correct. Using an excuse such as ‘error’ or ‘mistake’ does not matter when it comes to Canadian Immigration. A misrepresentation is still a misrepresentation.

Applicants who are unsure about how to make their own application may want to seek advice from an immigration lawyer before lodging an Express Entry application in the Express Entry pool.

Canada Immigration Services

Express Entry Login

Check Express Entry Eligibility

Check your Express Entry eligibility now with our Free Online Canada Visa Assessment. Hand reviewed by a Canadian Immigration Specialist

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.

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