Introduced in January 2015, Express Entry is not an immigration program on its own, but is used by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to select candidates to immigrate to Canada through a variety of economic immigration programs, namely:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
- Canadian Experience class, and
- Select Provincial Nominee Programs
Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked based on the Comprehensive Ranking System, where points are awarded based on the following criteria:
- Core human factors
- If applicable, the accompanying spouse, or common-law partner factors
- Skill transferability factors, and
- Factors in relation to provincial nomination or a qualifying offer of employment
Under the Comprehensive Ranking System, there is a total of 1,200 points available to candidates, and the Canadian government will select these candidates from the Express Entry pool according to each individual ranking score.
How the Express Entry system works
- Potential candidates that are interested in applying for permanent residency and are eligible for any of the federal economic immigration programs, will create an online profile under the Express Entry program. Candidates create a profile by providing information about their skills, education, work experience, language and other valuable personal information.
- The candidates are then placed in a pool to be ranked against other candidates by using a point based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates are awarded points per the information provided in their profile. The highest ranking candidates will subsequently be issued with an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
- After receiving an ITA, candidates have a maximum of 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence. The Canadian government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada is committed to processing complete applications within 6 months of submission. Candidates can remain in the Express Entry pool for up to 12 months and if they do not receive an invitation within this period, they may submit a new profile.
The Express Entry program is a valuable asset for the Canadian government in that processing times have been greatly reduced, thereby granting better opportunities for new applicants wanting to work and live in Canada.