Canada’s robust immigration scheme, through its Federal and Provincial Immigration Programs,  is always looking for people with relevant education, experience and skills who can contribute to the country’s growing economy. One of the most popular ways of gaining permanent residency in Canada is through Express Entry.

In 2019, Canada achieved its highest level of permanent resident admissions in recent history with 341,180 admissions, which is 6.3% higher than in 2018.

Permanent Resident Program

Canada’s Immigration Plans for 2021-2023

Canada is aiming to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants between 2021 and 2023 to address its growing economy. Immigration and Refugee Council of Canada has been on track to achieve its ambitious high immigration targets in 2021 even during the pandemic COVID-19 periods.

When nothing is holding them back, why should you? Talk to our immigration consultant team from Toronto for a free assessment!

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is not an immigration program but an online system created by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage Canada’s immigration applications intake.

Developed in 2015, it has proved to be instrumental in meeting the labour market needs of Canada.

Programs under Express Entry:

There are programs under which an individual, if eligible may apply:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW),
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST),
  3. Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC), and
  4. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Application Process:

Discovering options: The application process involves first checking whether you are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada. There are different qualification necessities for every one of the three economic PR visa programs.


Contact our office in Toronto today to discover whether you qualify for any of the programs. This step is pivotal as you won’t most likely get into the pool of competitors, if not qualified. So contact us and know your eligibility for a specific stream.


Calculating the CRS score- If you are eligible, we will invite you for an assessment session where we will calculate your CRS score. The Comprehensive Ranking System incorporates factors known to add to achievement, (for example, language, instruction, and work understanding) that will give a score to decide your place in the Express Entry pool.


Conducting detailed discussions: We will help you understand the subtleties of different prerequisites, for example, identification of the NOC, evidence of funds etc. Once we receive all your language test results, ECA and other documentation, we will present an Expression of Interest (EOI).


Invitation to Apply: All qualified profiles are positioned against one another as per the CRS score. The most astounding positioned applicants will be considered for an invitation to apply (ITA).


Getting the Gold  Email: IRCC conducts standard draws for hopefuls from the Express Entry pool, welcoming them to apply for PR. Candidates, including those who have a legitimate activity offer or a provincial/regional nomination, and  who have submitted their files, fulfilled all conditions and met at least the minimum cutoff scores will then be considered by the IRCC for an invitation to apply (ITA), also called the “Gold Email”  to permanent residence.


Final Steps: Those receiving an ITA submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a period of 90-days and “Express” their way to Canada!

Apply Today with our Expert Immigration Team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • 1. What is the maximum age to be able to apply for Express Entry to Canada?

    There is technically no maximum age to apply for a permanent resident visa through Express Entry but if you are 45 years or older you will not be able to score any points. The ideal age to claim points is between 20 and 29 years old in order to score the maximum amount of points (100 with your spouse and 110 on your own).

  • 2. Can I be eligible for more than one program under Express Entry?

    Yes. 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)
    For example:
    • 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.

  • 3. Do I need an Educational Credential Assessment to apply under Express Entry?

    To get points for your education under the Comprehensive Ranking System, you must either:

    • have been educated in Canada, or
    • have a valid Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes for your completed foreign education.

  • 4. Does an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) mean that I can be licensed in a regulated profession?

    No. Getting an ECA to meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized in Canada. You must still go through the process of getting your license. Each province or territory in Canada has the power to regulate and license professions. Licensing is generally done through provincial or territorial regulatory bodies.If you plan to work in a regulated profession, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to work to find out more about how to get a license.

  • 5. How long is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report valid for?

    IRCC accepts ECA reports for five years from the date they are issued, so long as they were issued on or after April 17, 2013.

  • 6. What credential should I get assessed for immigration purposes?

    Usually, you should choose the highest level degree, diploma or certificate (or combination) that will award you the most points. For example, you would get more points for an ECA report that shows you have a Canadian equivalent of a master’s degree than for one that shows you have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. But, if you have more than one degree or diploma (if the highest is at least at a bachelor’s level), you will get more points than a single bachelor’s degree. For example, you hold

    • a Bachelor’s degree and a diploma or certificate or
    • two Bachelor’s degrees
    In this case, you need to get an ECA for each credential to get the maximum points.

  • 7. I am a native English or French speaker. Why do I need to take a language test for Express Entry?

    Canadian Immigration assesses everyone using the same standards, no matter their language of origin, nationality or ethnicity. Every candidate must take a standard test by an objective third party. This is to make sure your language skills are assessed in a fair and unbiased way. Even someone from an English-speaking country, who speaks English as a first language, needs to take an approved English test like IELTS or CELPIP. Likewise, someone from a French-speaking country, who speaks French as a first language, needs to take an approved French test like TEF Canada.

  • 8. What kind of language test can I use for Express Entry?

    For English CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program – CELPIP-General IELTS: International English Language Testing System – General Training For French TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français TCF Canada : Test de connaissance du français

  • 9. If I do not meet the language threshold in one of the four skill areas, can I still submit an Express Entry profile?

    To be selected as a federal skilled worker, you need a minimum skill level of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in each of the four abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). In the case that you have a proven medical disability preventing you from being able to obtain a score in one or more of the four skill areas, you are required to include the average score based on your assessed abilities.

  • 10. Do I need a job offer to get into the Express Entry pool?

    No, in most cases you don’t need a job offer. But, you will need one if you:

    • are eligible for either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
    • do not have enough money to support yourself and your family in Canada.
    Even if you don’t need one, you may want to try and find a valid job offer. It will give you a much higher point score, and so a better chance of being invited to apply.

  • 11. Do I need a permanent job offer for Express Entry?

    No. As of November 19, 2016, a valid job offer for Express Entry only needs to be for one year or more.Job offers must be:

    • at the NOC 0, A or B level
    • from one employer for the FSW or CEC, or up to two employers for the FST
    • supported by an LMIA (if you need one) or be for a candidate who is exempt from needing an LMIA.

  • 12. What makes a job offer valid under Express Entry?

    Generally, a valid offer is for a job that is:

    • full-time and non-seasonal,
    • for at least one year,
    • in a skilled job listed as Skill
    Type 0, or Skill Level A or B in the 2016 National Occupational Classification. A job offer must be in writing, and must set out details of the job they are offering you, such as:
    • your pay and deductions
    • your job duties
    • conditions of employment, like your hours of work.
    In most cases, a valid job offer must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The employer has to apply for one from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada. If they get a positive LMIA, they must give you a copy and a written job offer.

  • 13. I am working in Canada on a valid work permit. Does this count as a job offer?

    No, a work permit is not a job offer. A job offer is valid if your current or future employer:

    • has made a written offer to give you a full-time, non-seasonal job for one year or more if you are accepted as a permanent resident and
    • has a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (or the job is LMIA-exempt)
    This is true whether you are working in Canada or not. There are only two reasons that an employer making you a job offer does not need to get a new LMIA: if you are already working for them with a work permit based on that LMIA if you work in a job that does not need an LMIA.

  • 14. Can I count student work experience toward the Express Entry work requirement?

    It depends on where you were working and studying. To be eligible for Express Entry, you must meet the minimum requirements for 1 or more Express Entry programs. This includes the work experience requirement. For Federal Skilled Worker Program Student work experience gained while you were studying in Canada or abroad counts towards the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if the work:

    • was paid by wages or commissions
    • was continuous (no gaps in employment), and
    • meets all the other requirements of the Program
    This includes co-op terms and apprenticeships. For Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades Program Student work experience doesn’t count towards the minimum requirements for the Canadian Experience Class or Federal Skilled Trades Program.

  • 15. I have been working in Canada for the last six months but didn’t get points for work experience. Why not?

    Under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), to be awarded points for skilled work experience, you must have been:

    • legally allowed to work in Canada in one or more jobs listed in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification;
    • working full-time (or an equal amount in part-time), meaning 30 hours of work per week, and
    • working for at least one year in the 10-year period before the day we assign you points.
    • IRCC does not count work experience if you were:
      • studying full-time while you were working,
      • self-employed, or
      • not legally allowed to work in Canada.
      Please note: Work experience does not need to be continuous to get points under the CRS. But, to qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience, either in Canada or abroad.

  • 16. For Express Entry, should I only include the minimum work experience needed to qualify for one of the programs, or should I include more?

    To qualify for the broadest range of programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you should include work experience from the last 10 years. We also need this information for an application for permanent residence, no matter which program you are applying under.

  • 17. Can my family come with me through Express Entry?

    Express Entry allows you to include your spouse (or common-law partner, or conjugal partner) and your dependent children on your application. If you are successful with your application, you and all of your accompanying family members will receive permanent resident status. For Canadian immigration, a dependent child is defined as the following:

    • under 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner, or
    • 22 years of age or older and unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition.

  • 18. Can I apply alone and then bring my family later?

    Yes. You may choose to immigrate without your spouse and/or children and then sponsor them through a family sponsorship immigration program later on. But having said that, you must include your spouse and dependents in your application, even if they don't plan to come with you. Once you become a permanent resident and meet the desired income and other qualifying obligations, you may sponsor your parents and grandparents to Canada. It should be noted that this is an extremely high-demand program and is frequently undergoing changes to the eligibility requirements and application procedure.

  • 19. What’s better: PNP or Express Entry?

    There is no simple answer to this question. Most PNPs require an applicant to have an Express Entry profile. Since an Express Entry profile is free to submit, it is advisable to create one. A majority of PNP programs require an applicant to have a specific connection to the region, like an education from the province or a relative residing in that province. If you do not have any specific connections to a province in Canada, the general Express Entry pathway to Canadian permanent residence will probably be your best option.

  • 20. Will the CRS score go down?

    It is impossible to predict how the CRS score will fluctuate in the future. No lawyer or consultant can guarantee that an applicant 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.

  • 21. Do I need to include proof of funds for Express Entry?

    You will be asked to enter in your Express Entry profile the amount of money you will have to help you settle in Canada. This is to show that you can support yourself and any family who come with you to Canada, and help us assess which programs you may be eligible for. You will only need to meet the settlement fund requirement if it applies to the program you are invited to apply under. If you are invited to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program, you will need to show that you meet the settlement funds requirement unless you:

    • are currently authorized to work in Canada, and
    • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.
    For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you are keeping money. Letter(s) must list:
    • all current bank and investment accounts
    • outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
    • Note: You do not have to meet the funds requirement if you were invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class.