How Express Entry System works: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted by in CIC News, on May 30, 2023


The dream of immigrating to Canada can become a reality through the Express Entry system. Introduced in 2015, Express Entry has revolutionized the immigration process, making it faster and more efficient for skilled workers. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of understanding and navigating the Express Entry system, helping you chart a course towards permanent residency in Canada.

Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility

Before diving into the Express Entry process, it’s essential to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. The primary economic immigration programs under Express Entry are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Check if you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, including factors such as language proficiency, education, work experience, and adaptability.

Step 2: Create an Express Entry Profile

Once you confirm your eligibility, the next step is to create an Express Entry profile. The profile is an online application that outlines your personal details, education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant information. Based on this information, you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which determines your rank in the Express Entry pool.

Step 3: Improve Your CRS Score

The CRS score plays a crucial role in securing an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Enhancing your CRS score can significantly increase your chances of receiving an ITA. Several factors contribute to your CRS score, such as your age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. Consider improving your language skills, obtaining additional education or certification, gaining more work experience, and securing a valid job offer or provincial nomination to boost your CRS score.

Step 4: Job Bank and Provincial Nominee Programs

While not mandatory, having a job offer or a provincial nomination can significantly enhance your CRS score. The Job Bank is an online platform where employers can connect with eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool. Consider creating a profile on the Job Bank and exploring potential job opportunities that match your skills and qualifications. Additionally, some provinces and territories in Canada have their own immigration programs that can facilitate nomination and increase your CRS score.

Step 5: Express Entry Draws

Regular Express Entry draws are conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to select candidates from the pool for permanent residency. The candidates with the highest CRS scores receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The CRS score cutoff for each draw varies depending on the number of candidates in the pool and the immigration targets set by the Canadian government. It’s important to stay updated with the latest draw results and monitor your CRS score to gauge your chances of receiving an ITA.

Step 6: Submitting Your Permanent Residency Application

Once you receive an ITA, you have a limited time to submit your complete application for permanent residency. Gather all the necessary documents, including educational credentials, work experience letters, language test results, police clearance certificates, and medical examinations. Ensure that your application is accurate, complete, and meets all the requirements specified by IRCC.

Step 7: Processing and Decision

After submitting your application, IRCC will review and process it. This typically takes approximately six months or less. During this time, IRCC may request additional documents or conduct interviews if necessary. Once the evaluation is complete, you will receive a decision on your permanent residency application. If approved, you can then proceed with the final steps, such as landing in Canada and obtaining your permanent resident card.


The Express Entry system has revolutionized the immigration process for skilled workers, providing an efficient and transparent pathway to permanent residency in Canada.

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