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How does the new Express Entry system work?

By: Janice Bandick

Published On: July 21, 2015

Express Entry is a new online immigration application management system designed to make the Canadian immigration process simpler and quicker. The system launched on January 1, 2015 and has since issued approximately 14,000 invitations to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Express Entry manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class. Provinces and territories can also use the Express Entry system to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs in order to meet local labour market needs.


how does express entry work


How Express Entry works:

  • Eligible applicants first complete an online profile that provides information about their skills, work experience, education, language ability and other relevant details
  • Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal immigration programs listed above will be accepted into a pool of candidates.
  • Applicants can see how they rank in the pool based on a point system.
  • Skilled immigrants receive up to 1,200 points based on various factors.
  • Up to 600 points are allotted to applicants with a job offer or a provincial nomination.
  • Up to 500 points are assigned for factors such as age, education level, language proficiency and work experience in Canada.
  • Up to 100 points are assigned for transferable skills such as education, foreign work experience and a certificate in the trades.
  • Individuals with the most points are considered “top candidates”.
  • A draw is held every two weeks to determine who receives “invitations to apply” for permanent residency.
  • Once an invitation is received, a prospective immigrant has 60 days to accept or decline.
  • If an applicant doesn't receive an invitation to apply after 12 months, he or she is required to re-apply.


Employers in Canada must first make every effort to try and find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill vacant job opportunities. Eligible employers who cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for a permanent job will be able to consider candidates from the pool who meet their needs.

For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Express Entry, please click here.


Express Entry CPD Seminar

If you are interested in learning more about Express Entry, join us Saturday, September 19 for a CPD seminar on this topic. Presented by immigration lawyer Roxanne Israel, this CPD seminar will cover:

  • Express Entry and Economic Class Permanent Residence to Canada
  • Interplay between Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs
  • Best Practices for Immigration Practitioners advising clients about Express Entry
  • How to complete an Express Entry Profile
  • How to complete an E-APR (Electronic Application for Permanent Residence)
  • and more!



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