If you are looking for a quick immigration option to Canada and have considerable language skills and some work experience, you may be the right candidate for the Express Entry program. Each year, around 300,000 economic immigrants enter Canada through this program. But how does Express Entry work? 

Express Entry is an online platform that enables you to upload all your documents in one place. As most of the work is done electronically, there is no post-waiting time. There are also no wrong papers, copies, or even signatures. Just six months of waiting time. 

During this time, your Express Entry application is revised and compared to immigration policies and requirements. Once you have your reply, you receive an Invitation to Apply, and you bring your passport with you. You will also be asked to pay for the Biometrics fee and to give your biometric data – a biometric photo and fingerprints. This is about it. 

So let’s get into the step-by-step guide that will help you to immigrate to Canada quickly.

What is Express Entry in Canada? 

The Express Entry program or the Express Entry stream is an immigration option that brings together three Federal Programs for economic migration. The way that the program is organized is that it allows for quick screening, and it awards a certain number of CRS points to each immigration applicant. Candidates for Immigration are then ranked by their points, and only a certain number is sent an Invitation to Apply. 

However, this should not mean that very few applicants get selected. In fact, the daily average is almost a thousand – amounting to up to 300,000 people who apply for the program every year. The draw is biweekly, and it accepts people of different educational backgrounds, diverse nationalities, and ages, and even those of diverse status when it comes to an existing job offer. In fact, most applicants (around 90%) who get the ITA (Invitation to Apply) do not have a job offer to begin with. 

All this makes for a very comprehensive immigration experience and a competitive immigration pool that the Canadian government can draw from. This means that, although the entire process is easy, you will need to spend some time looking into ways to improve your CRS score to ensure that your name gets drawn in the next draw cycle. 

How Does Canadian Express Entry Work?

The program works by collecting information on your education, English and French language level (one is often enough), and your work background. The platform will also ask additional questions, such as whether you already have a job offer or not. Once all the information is in, the platform works to match you with the provinces and potential employers who are looking for someone of your profile. 

To make sure that the grading and the ranking are done correctly, a certain number of CRS points is allotted to each of the questions that you ask. And while language skills and previous work experience are very important, it is the Provincial Nominee Status and an existing job offer that will bring you the most points. Even with medium-level language skills (the B1 and B2 levels of the CEFR frame), you will still be able to be invited. 

Of course, there are no definite answers, as each draw cycle is very different. Despite the points being the same, it is the quality of the immigration candidates in each draw cycle that determines who will be drawn and who will not. It is this flexibility of the system that makes it one of the best economic immigration streams that Canada has to offer. 

Establish Eligibility

When looking to apply for this stream of Canadian immigration, it is important to note that there are three possible streams that you can apply to. These Canadian Immigration Programs are meant for the immigrant application of most people with different immigration purposes and backgrounds. The streams of the Express Entry are as follows: 

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

Together, they make up a very powerful tool, honing in as many as 300,000 new immigrants into Canada. As individual immigrant applications are reviewed, it is necessary to always present the most correct and up-to-date information. Do not forget that uploading documents to the platform is legally binding and that an actual person (a visa officer) will be asking you for the details of your application. 

Eligibility Requirements

As there are three separate streams within the Express Entry, there are separate requirements to access each of those. They are there to make immigration legal and to make sure that you will be able to find your way around Canada once there. Let’s consider them in more detail: 

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) – is for applicants with a lot of work experience abroad and a high level of education. They aim to be employed in higher positions within Canadian companies and have the intellectual resources to do that. 
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST) – enables skilled tradespeople with some work experience who want to migrate to Canada 
  • The Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC) – aims at educated and skilled people who have previous work experience in Canada and enables them to apply for Permanent Residence status right away 

Create a Profile for Express Entry

When you have determined which of the streams is the right for you, it is time to make the IRCC account and an Express Entry Account. You will need both of these to proceed, so make sure you miss no step. First, you will need the IRCC account. Then, you will make the Express Entry account, and you will need to enter the information from your documents there. 

The information you should provide when making an Express Entry profile is the following: 

  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Language Skills (English IELTS or CELPIP; French TEF Canada or TCF Canada)

Whenever entering any information, especially the language proficiency scores, remember to keep the information up to date. Language scores should not be older than two years. 

Receive an Application Invitation

Remember, you do not need to submit any of the documents now. You will actually need to wait to get an invitation to do that. What the system will be doing in the following period is to evaluate your application and compare it to all other applications that have been sent in. Once this is done and your profile is deemed good enough to be selected, you will receive the invitation to send in your documents.

Increase your CRS Score

The next step would be to calculate your CRS score. This is not a very difficult task, as there are a number of online CRS calculators. They should give you a good idea of how well you would rank among other applicants. The immigration quiz that you have to take is pretty much the same as the questionnaire that you will have to fill out and send to the Express Entry pool. 

The CRS biweekly draw changes the number of CRS points needed with every draw as the profiles of the candidates change and as the new immigrant application forms keep pouring in. And while some draws see points as low as 537, some see them as high as 800. Again, it all depends, so do not let your CRS score bring you down. 

How to Increase CRS Score

If you find yourself unhappy with your CRS score or believe that you can do better, you should still consider submitting the application. This part of the process is free and it allows you to get drawn in a circle that has a lower average CRS score or in a Provincial Nominee Program. This way, you will be able to maybe get selected. 

If moving to Canada is a long-term process for you or a future plan, you can use online CRS calculators to see what areas of your profile you can work on. Maybe you can work on your education: a Master’s Degree in most countries takes only 1-2 years to finish. Improving your language test scores is also a good idea, and so is networking with the aim of getting a good job offer when you decide to apply. 

Submit Your Permanent Residency Application 

Finally, applying for the Express Entry Program and submitting your data is the final step. Make sure to understand that just because you have not been drawn in a single nearest cycle does not mean you will not be drawn at all. In fact, your profile will remain in the pool of candidates for up to a year. That is 26 potential draw cycles where your name could surface at any given moment.

This is great to know, as it gives you time to work on your skills and your profile and enter the changes on the go. You should also understand that working on your profile even after the submission is very important: in fact, only the candidates with the highest ranking CRS scores are invited to submit a PR application form. 

Once a draw cycle is done, if you are selected, you will be sent an Invitation to Apply. This is simply a formal invitation to submit the actual documents (in an electronic form), and you will be given 60 days to do this. You should send the documents in as soon as possible, as technical difficulties may make the process stall, and the 60-day deadline cannot be extended. The application will be for PR Canada. 

You will usually need to submit: 

  • Your valid passport
  • Language test results (make sure to only send in approved language tests)
  • ECA report
  • Work experience certificates
  • Police clearance/certificate 
  • Medical clearance/certificate 
  • Proof of support funds for the duration of your stay in Canada. 

You may also be asked to send in other supporting documents, but this is decided on an individual basis. Eligible candidates are asked to submit their documents as soon as possible, and you are given a deadline of 60 days to do that. After this, the revision process starts, and potential candidates for PR (Permanent Residence) are screened again, and their documents are verified. 

Requirements for Creating an Express Entry Profile

As stated before, when making an Express Entry profile, you will need to submit details from your passport, your language test results, and your education details or the educational credentials assessment (ECA). Together, these will help you with the first steps in the application process. 


Your passport details should include your name, address, passport number, the country that has issued the passport, as well as the date the passport was issued, and the expiry date. 

Language Test

The language test has to come from a trusted institution, and no schools or teachers’ reports are taken into consideration. If you are not happy with your language test results, you can always keep studying and retaking the tests to score a better score and increase your chances of getting into the pool of the highest-ranked candidates. Remember that you can only do language tests in one of the official languages of Canada: English or French. 

Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)

When it comes to education, the Canadian educational system is very similar but also very different from all others found in the world. You will need an ECA – Educational Credentials Assessment to ensure your diploma or degree (or any other level of education you may have) can be matched to a level of education in Canada. With this in mind, you will need to ask for an ECA for immigration purposes, and you will need the ECA report and the reference number to include in the Express Entry profile. 

Important Considerations for Express Entry Canada Application

Once you have made the application and have received the invitation to apply, you can apply for a permanent residence (PR). To do this, you will be dealing only with the online platform. Here is what you will need: 

Proof of Settlement Funds

You will need proof of funds for this part of the application. This is especially true if you do not have a job offer, and even if you do, having sufficient funds to support yourself in case anything goes wrong with the job offer will help you tremendously. CEC applicants are exempt from this requirement. You will need: 

The Number of Family MembersFunds Needed as Settlement Funds

Job Offer

You do not need a job offer for Express Entry, but this is considered a big plus. Please understand that any job offer may not suffice. A valid job offer will be non-seasonal, full-time, for a minimum of at least one year, be supported by a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), or will be exempt from needing one. In addition to this, a valid job offer will also offer a job in the TEER 00, 0, 1, 2, or 3 category. 

Everything From Your Express Entry Profile Is Carried Over

Some candidates may feel the need to ‘boost’ their profile in the initial steps and then make changes on the go once selected as high-ranking candidates. This is not allowed. The only changes that you can make are the changes that actually took place and the changes that you have achieved DURING the application process. 

This is because all the changes you make to the system and your profile will be recorded. This means that the agents reviewing your application will be able to see that your French Language Tests went from C2 to B1. This will raise suspicion, and you may be banned from applying again for a period of up to five years. Needless to say, you will be rejected for your visa application or PR application. 

Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

ECA is a necessity for the FSW only, but we recommend that all applicants for the Express Entry submit one. This is because the CRS scores improve dramatically if you have an ECA, and you may need these extra CRS scores to enter the immigration application pool of high-ranking profiles. 

What Qualifies as Skilled Work Under Express Entry?

 Canada’s National Occupational Classification System (NOC) specifies what skilled workers are. It is a comprehensive system that is used to determine the skill level necessary for performing a certain job in Canada. Furthermore, this system determined the education level needed. 

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for skilled workers who meet certain requirements. Under this program, the workers should have at least 1 year of skilled work experience, as well as a CLB language score of 7 or above, proof of funds, and proof of education. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The provincial economic immigration programs, on the other hand, and their prerequisites are defined by each province on its own. The only exception here is Quebec and Nunavut, as they do not have their own PNP programs. Provinces review the Express Entry pool on their own, decide whether a candidate is good enough or not, and issue the Invitation to Apply. 

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class is a separate Express Entry program that focuses on those workers who have previous work experience in Canada. If you would like to apply under the CEC program, you will need to prove that you have at least one year of work experience in Canada in the past three years, as well as that you have a specific level of language ability: CLB score of at least 7 for TEER 0 and 1 occupations, and CLB score of at least 5 for TEER 2 and 3 occupations. 

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program was created in 2013. The main difference between this program and the FSW (Federal Skilled Worker) program is that the former one is exclusively for skilled trades. Those who want to enter Canada through this program must have at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade, a full-time job offer, or a certificate of qualification issued by a Canadian authority. 

Check Out Express Entry Eligibility Canada – Points Calculation – Federal Skilled Worker Program FSW:

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The CRS was created to score career profiles and general Express Entry profiles based on a set scoring system that does not change as easily. If you would like to apply and be graded according to this system, you need to go to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website (IRCC) and complete your profile there. The CRS system scores you based on your age, education, language level, and work experience. Only after you have gained enough points to pass in a certain draw cycle are you called in to submit the relevant documents, such as the travel document, as well as documents related to all other requirements. 

How Many Points Do You Need for Immigration?

Under these popular immigration systems, there are two-point systems or two scoring systems. The first one applies only to the FSW applicants, and the second one (the one we’ve been calling CRS so far) is applicable to both. 

Prior Express Entry Pool Application

Under the FSW applications, you will need 67 out of 100 points to simply enter into the pool of potential candidates. This score has nothing to do with the CRS, and this score can, in no way, improve or reduce your chances of being elected as a candidate for ITA. So, this scoring system is one of the immigration resources that the Express Entry program uses to pre-screen potential candidates and to make sure that each individual candidate passes at least a certain level of requirements before proceeding.

Once Accepted Into the Express Entry Pool

Once you are in the pool, all three streams of the individual immigration application forms will be scored using a separate scoring system – the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System). These points are awarded as discussed above, and each new draw cycle sees new minimum requirements. Some of them see CRS needs as low as 537, while some see them go up into 800’s. The lowest CRS drawn for the FST candidates is sometimes as low as 400 points. 

How Are Points Calculated?

Different segments of the immigration selection questions bring in different scores. A maximum of 500 points is awarded for your core abilities, your education, language proficiency, and work experience (including Canadian work experience). The age that typically receives the most points is 25-35, as these are the people who can bring the most value to the Canadian economy.

The next 100 points include how valuable your skills are in the Canadian work market. These include work experience, language ability (yes, twice), and even your education and qualifications, certifications, etc.

Six hundred points are awarded to a Provincial Nominee Certificate or Status, and 50-200 points are awarded for an existing job offer. Make sure to understand that not just any job offer, but rather the one that satisfies very strict criteria.

When it comes to the first (FSWC) points or the 67/100 ranking system, it works a bit differently. Your language ability will bring up to 28 points, education up to 25 points, and work experience up to 15 points. Your age will bring in up to 12 points, and an existing VALID job offer up to 10. Adaptability to the Canadian environment can bring you up to 10 points. 

What is the Cost of Express Entry Immigration to Canada?

When considering skilled worker immigration or any other stream under the Express Entry, you should understand that all of them have different requirements, however similar they may be. Different documents to collect mean different fees to pay, so you will need to gather as much information on this as possible. The document checklist will be a good starting point in the step-by-step guide to a Canadian PR status. 

One thing to remember is that some payments are never to be made during the process. Paying for a qualifying job offer or paying to boost your likelihood of getting accepted is simply not advisable. Canada Job Bank is one of the rare places where you can look for a good job offer that will charge you nothing. If you have to pay for a job offer, this is a scam. 

When it comes to other expenses, here are some of them and how much you can expect to pay: 

  • Educational Credential Assessment – CAD200
  • Language Test(s) – CAD200+ per test
  • Police Clearance – CAD0-CAD100+
  • Medical Clearance – CAD200+ 
  • Processing Fee – CAD850
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee – CAD515
  • Addition of a Dependent Child – CAD230 per child

The costs are not low, but they can pay off quickly if you get accepted and approved. Canada always needs workers for immigration, and this program is a fast one – therefore, the price. Consider that you will also need support funds, which are as high as CAD13,000 for a single applicant. 

How Long Does it Take to Get into Canada Using the Express Entry System?

The Express Entry system was designed to be fast and simple, but it still takes time. Namely, an average application takes around six months to process, and this is only done after the invitation to apply has been sent. Once your data is in the initial candidate pool, it may take anywhere from several weeks to several months to get drawn, if you get selected at all. 

Once you have received the invitation to apply, some candidates may need as little as a few days to gather all the documents, while others may need significantly more time, even more than the 60-day deadline would allow. Please bear in mind that the deadline cannot be extended and that time is of the essence once you have received the invitation to apply. 


How Can I Get 67 Points for Canada PR?

Different things affect your rankings. You have to work on different parameters to improve your CRS scores. For the Canada Express Entry Eligibility Federal Skilled Worker stream, you will need to score 67 points out of 100. To get them, you need to work on your language ability (28 points max), education (max 25 points), work experience (max 15 points), adaptability (10 points), and get a job offer (max 10 points). Your age will bring in a maximum of 12 points. 

Who Can Sponsor Me in Canada?

There are a few people who can sponsor your immigration. These include your legal partner, your children and grandchildren, as well as your siblings, parents, or even grandparents. This way, you can skip proving your settlement funds, but the sponsoring party will need to prove their income levels for up to three years before making the sponsorship. 

Where Is It Cheap to Live in Canada?

Quebec has one of the cheapest costs of living in Canada. If you want to move to Canada, you should know that this is one of the more expensive countries to live in. But this does not have to be everyone’s reality. In fact, many places in Canada are very affordable for as long as you stay away from large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. 

Which Province Does Not Require Express Entry?

All provinces allow non-Express Entry applications, but this may not be the wisest choice. Namely, the Express Entry process allows you to apply on several instances. First is when you are drawn for the program itself. If you are not chosen, your application will remain in the system for up to a year, giving you many chances to be drawn. In addition to this, you may also be chosen by any province. If you decide to apply through a province on its own, you will have a single draw chance, and there is no guarantee of being accepted. 

Final Thoughts

 Immigrating to Canada is a big step, so you should be well prepared. As there are so many people who are interested in moving to this country, and the Canadian need for high-ranking applicants was growing, the Express Entry program was born. Under this program, you can reach your goal of moving to Canada in a few short months and be on your way there faster than with any other available program.