How Express Entry Works?

Express Entry is a system to organize and process applications for people who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence. Express Entry is used to process the majority of Canadian immigration applications for skilled and qualified workers who want to come to Canada.

Getting started with express entry is easy.

If you have not yet been assessed for Express Entry, start off by checking your eligibility with our free assessment:

Express Entry is an application management system for three major Canadian economic immigration programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

If you are eligible to apply to any of these programs, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), often referred to as a profile, to the Express Entry system. Once your profile is submitted, you are automatically assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts a draw where they issue invitations to apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence to the highest-ranking profiles in the pool of Express Entry candidates.

Upon receiving an ITA, candidates can then submit a complete application for Canadian permanent residence, which will be processed within four to six months.

If you are eligible for Express Entry and you want more information about how to apply, check out our guide for Express Entry candidates. If you have already received an Invitation to Apply (ITA), please refer to our guide for completing your ITA application for permanent residence.

Express Entry FAQ

Am I eligible for Express Entry?

In order to check your eligibility for one of the three Express Entry programs, please start by consulting the Express Entry Requirements. If you meet these requirements, you can check to see if you meet the additional program requirements for Federal Skilled WorkerFederal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class. Loft Immigration also offers an online assessment tool to check your eligibility for various Express Entry programs.

How long does Express Entry take?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that 80% of applications for permanent residency submitted through Express Entry are processed within 6 months of receipt. This refers to the application submitted once an applicant receives an ITA and prepares their official application for permanent residence.

This processing time does not account for the time it takes to prepare an Express Entry profile, apply for and receive a provincial nomination (if applicable), or receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence through an Express Entry draw.

How much does Express Entry Cost?

Throughout the Express Entry process, there are several layers of cost a candidate can expect.

  • Documentation: Certain documents will be required, including language proficiency tests, educational credentials, police reports, medical exams, certified translations, etc. Obtaining these documents may incur a cost at the applicant’s expense.
  • Government Processing Fees: The Canadian government charges fees in order to process permanent resident applications and prepare permanent resident documentation. Government Processing Fees

This does not include fees that may be associated with certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications. This also does not include fees associated with the use of a law firm or certified immigration consultant’s services for support in the application process.

What are my chances of Success through Express Entry?

A person’s chances of success through any of the Express Entry programs depends on their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. If a candidate is close to, or above, the minimum CRS score cut-off for recent Express Entry draws, then they will likely be competitive in the Express Entry system. That said, it is impossible to predict how the CRS score will fluctuate in the future.

No lawyer or consultant can guarantee that a person will successfully receive permanent residence through the Express Entry system. The application process is lengthy, complex, and constantly changing, and approval is at the discretion of IRCC so there is always a risk that an applicant may not receive permanent residence.

How do I make my CRS score higher?

There are several options for increasing a person’s CRS score. To learn more about such options, please consult with Loft Immigration for improving your CRS ranking!

Can my family come with through Express Entry?

Express Entry programs allow applicants to apply individually or accompanied by their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children. Choosing to include, or not include, family members may affect a person’s CRS score slightly.

What documents do I need for Express Entry?

The required documents vary depending on the program through which a person is applying. Applicants should be prepared to provide valid travel documents, ideally a passport, as well as results from an approved language test for English or French. For more detailed document requirements please consult the individual program requirements.

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Do I need to take the IELTS for Express Entry?

All Express Entry candidates must demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages, either English or French. To do this, they must provide results from an approved language test taken within the previous two years.