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Express Entry is an electronic management application system for immigration to Canada which was operational on January 1, 2015.
This is not an immigration program. Rather, it facilitates the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs:
Federal Skilled Workers Program – FSWP
Applicants for Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program must score a minimum of 67 points from the following tables to qualify for a visa. Applicants are scored on 6 factors:
- Factor 1: English and/or French language ability
- Factor 2: Education
- Factor 3: Skilled work experience
- Factor 4: Age
- Factor 5: Arranged employment in Canada
- Factor 6: Adaptability
Invitation sent to applicants for FSWP in 2019 – 89,300 invitation was sent to applicants in 2019.
The first half of 2019 was among the most active six-month stretches in the history of Canada’s Express Entry system, with a total of 41,800 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence issued.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held 13 draws over the first six months of 2019, issuing a total of 41,800 invitations to apply (ITA’s). Only 2017 had a busier start to the year and just two other six-month periods have seen more ITA’s issued since Express Entry’s introduction in January 2015.
Canada has issued 67,300 invitations from 2019 until now (September 2019). According to their plan of 2018/2020, they will issue 250000 invitations to meet the skilled worker’s requirement. IRCC has issued record 89,800 ITA during 2018.
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Worker Program)
- The Federal Skilled Trades Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Trades Program)
- The Canadian Experience Class
- A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
Each program has a specific set of criteria that must be met in order to qualify for the Express Entry system.
Applicants make an “Expression Of Interest” (EOI) in immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool.
The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool who will then receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for immigration to Canada under one of the programs. Express Entry moves Canada from a first-come, first-served (or supply-driven) system to an invitation to apply (or demand-driven) system. Modeled on similar systems in use in Australia and New Zealand, Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC) aims to process applications within six months from the date of submission, hence, the name Express Entry. Note that this does not mean six months from the date a candidate made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, but rather six months from the date he or she submits a complete application for permanent residence after an invitation to apply has been issued.
Depending on the information in your profile, you may be eligible for more than one program through Express Entry. In that case, you will be invited to apply for one program based on this order:
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- If you met the criteria for all three programs, the system would send you an invitation to apply for the CEC.
- If you met the criteria for CEC and FSWP, you would also get an invitation to apply under the CEC.
- If you met the criteria for FSWP and FSTP, you would get an invitation to apply under FSWP.
You can’t choose which program you are invited to apply for. The system will sort profiles based on the information you enter.
If you decline the invitation, the system will not re-invite you under the next program. You will go back to the pool, and if we invite you again, the same order will apply.
As an applicant you need to score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 based on age, education, work experience, language skills, etc. to become eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) of Express Entry.
Work experience – You must have at least one year, continuous full-time work experience in the last ten years in Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B.
Language ability – English – You must show that you meet or exceed the language threshold of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 7). A minimum of 6 Bands in each component in General IELTS, with test results from an IRCC-designated language testing organization. There are two authorized test providers in English, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). IELTS, CELPIP, and TEF all assign a score for each of four language abilities: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. IELTS is valid for 2 years from the report date.
French – If you want to take your language test in French, you must take the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) or Test de Connaissance du français (TCF). To get points for the second official language, you must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 or NCLC 5 in all 4 language areas.
Education – ECA – You must provide either a Canadian educational credential or a foreign educational credential with an Educational Credential Assessment report for immigration purposes from a designated organization to prove that your overseas diploma, degree, or certificate is equivalent to a completed Canadian educational credential. If you were educated outside Canada, you’ll need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes to immigrate as a federal skilled worker. If you were educated in Canada, you don’t need an ECA. The ECA report is valid for 5 years from the date issued.
Provincial Nominee Program
Each of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories operates its own immigration programs, called Provincial Nominee Programs, or PNP’s. As the provinces have different populations and economies, their immigration programs are unique and built to fit their economic and demographic needs.
Provinces and Territories
Each of Canada’s provinces and territories operates its own unique Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) designed to meet its economic and demographic needs. Program requirements and application procedures vary greatly between provinces, so interested applicants should consult each of the provinces in order to determine their eligibility.
All PNP’s operate differently, so interested applicants must have their criteria assessed using the eligibility requirements for each individual program organized by each province. Follow the links above to view the requirements for PNP’s by province.
Since all PNP’s are different, the process for applying varies depending on the program in question. Some PNP’s accept applications from qualified applicants at all times, so if you are qualified for the PNP you can submit whenever you are ready. Other PNP’s use a first-come, first-served system, where they keep the program closed for the majority of the year, only opening for a few hours at a time where they accept several hundred applications. Finally, some PNP’s invite foreign nationals to submit applications, either by selecting candidates directly from the Express Entry pool or by having interested individuals submit a formal Expression of Interest.
The PNP application process can be confusing and applications can be refused if they are submitted incorrectly or if they are incomplete. Applicants should take care to ensure that applications are completed correctly and submitted through the proper channel.
Many PNP’s require that applicants have an active profile in the Express Entry pool. However, there are exceptions to this where some provinces issue nominations to applicants who do not have Express Entry eligibility. These programs vary in their eligibility requirements, so it is best to consult with a representative to discuss your eligibility. All PNP’s resulting in a nomination require that the applicant then submit a permanent resident application to the federal government.
If the PNP is not aligned with Express Entry, the federal permanent residency application must be submitted in the paper-based format, rather than electronically. Paper-based applications take much longer to process than electronic applications submitted through Express Entry. While the average processing time for a permanent resident application submitted through Express Entry is 6 months, a paper-based application is processed in an average of 18 months.
The eligibility factors for PNP’s vary from province to province. As PNP’s are a part of an economic immigration strategy, PNP’s are usually organized in such a way that they attract workers who can readily contribute to the economy and who have a high likelihood of remaining in that province. Therefore, some of PNP’s privilege immigrants who have experience in occupations that are in-demand in that province. Other PNP’s prefer immigrants who have a connection to the province, like a relative, as this increases the chance that they will remain in the province.
As with most economic immigration programs, young applicants who possess strong language skills, high levels of education, and skilled work experience are better suited to succeed. Otherwise, it is necessary to consult the above-mentioned list of PNP’s in order to determine the eligibility factors for each program individually.