What is Canada Express Entry?

Express Entry is the new selection system for Canadian immigration, designed to select skilled workers for immigration to Canada. Canada Express Entry is a completely electronic process involving the federal government, provincial governments, and Canadian employers.

  • An applicant will need to register an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) to immigrate to Canada before filing an application for permanent residency under the Economic Class.

  • The Expression of Interest is submitted online via the IRCC portal. An uploaded profile is created and enters a “pool” of applicants.

  • On a monthly basis, a “draw” takes place to select the highest scoring profiles in the pool.

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Canada Express Entry Skilled Workers

Canada Express Entry for Skilled Workers

The Express Entry system was designed to  primarily favour those applicants:

who are already in Canada as foreign workers,
who have a confirmed job offer with a Canadian employer,
or who have been selected by a provincial nomination program.

Since the introduction of Express Entry in Jan 2015, Pahl & Associates, has achieved exceptional success in representing clients who are UK based skilled workers and qualified as  Federal Skilled Workers via the Express Entry route without the need for a prior Job offer or PNP nomination.

To qualify for Express Entry, all applicants will need to meet the criteria set out in ONE of the following immigration programs

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Once an applicant has been selected from the Express Entry pool and received an ITA you will have 90 days to apply for permanent residence.

The main purpose behind Express Entry is to ensure faster and more efficient processing (within 6 months) once an ITA has been received and to match more closely the needs of the Canadian labour market .

Federal Skilled Worker Criteria

There are six selection factors to attain a minimum 67 points to enter Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker prior to applying via Express Entry route

In addition to the mandatory requirements relating to settlement funds and inadmissibility  your application will be assessed on the following six selection factors relevant to Federal Skilled Worker candidates.

  • Lanaguage

  • Age

  • Education

  • Work Experience

  • Job Offer

  • Adaptabilty

You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada unless you:

are currently able to legally work in Canada, and have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

This table shows the minimum amount you need to immigrate to Canada. If you have more money, you should list the full amount in your profile or application.

Number of family members Funds required (in Canadian dollars)
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492

You must not be inadmissible to Canada on medical or criminal grounds.

  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

  • If you are married or live with a common-law partner and that person also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as a principal applicant.

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Express Entry – The Process

Any person interested in applying for Canadian immigration via the Express Entry route must enter the Express Entry pool  with proven language ability  and proof of Canadian educational equivalency.  Entry into the pool does not guarantee permanent residence but is the first step in a comparison with others who are in the pool.  A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will be used to calculate and compare candidates’ overall points.  The maximum points obtainable are 1200, and awarded as follows.

  •  Age (maximum 110)

  • Education (maximum 150)

  • Language (maximum 160)

  • Canadian work experience (maximum 80)

  • Transferable skills (maximum 100)

  • Additional Factors (maximum 600)

Candidates with the greatest points based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will be issued with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.  The candidate must apply, with all relevant documents, within 60 days for permanent residence.   Unselected candidates will remain in the pool for up to one year and, if not selected, the person will automatically drop out and must re-apply again.

It is essential to submit accurate information and documents througout the process. A recent report confirmed that 25% of applicants receiving an ITA were rejected due to submiting a flawed application. At Pahl & Associates we can minimise any chance of a refusal by accurately evaluating an applicant at the outset and ensuring that correct evidence is submitted once an ITA has been received by the applicant.

Starting in 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will use new authorities to hold Express Entry draws that invite candidates based on specific attributes rather than their overall CRS score.

The expected changes to Express Entry were made possible by Bill C-19 which received Royal Assent, or passed in both houses of parliament, on June 23. Under the Bill, the immigration minister has the authority to invite candidates with any in-demand skills or abilities.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told CIC News in an interview last June that the changes to Express Entry would help Canada select immigrants who are already primed for economic success.

The minister said although Express Entry already gives Canada a competitive advantage, there is room for improvement.

“Where [the Express Entry system] could be improved is at present if there are particular challenges that your economy is facing, it might be facing in the long term. We don’t have the ability to tailor the invitations to apply to the Express Entry system to meet those in-demand skills or qualifications,” Fraser said.

IRCC says that the Bill will allow Canada to invite Express Entry candidates on a new basis, one that would support an economic goal identified by the minister.

Who will be invited?

There is no confirmation to date on which candidates would receive invitations to apply (ITAs) in targeted draws. The minister said he would be consulting with provinces, business councils and other stakeholders to best evaluate which candidates to target.

The minister’s new authority means that it will now be possible to invite Express Entry candidates based on the most pressing economic needs and urgent labour shortages.

As an example, healthcare is seen as one of the most pressing occupational categories. In October, the job vacancy rate within the sector stood at 6%. The government has been taking measures to fill jobs in the sector, such as removing some barriers for internationally trained physicians who are already in Canada and the more recently announced Foreign Credential Recognition Program. Still, it is plausible that future Express Entry draws may target only candidates with backgrounds in healthcare professions to fill vacant positions at a faster rate.

Why is the system changing?

Canada is currently undergoing a labour shortage due to an aging population and low birth rate. It is expected that nine million Canadians will reach the retirement age of 65 by 2030, and there are not enough younger Canadians to fill their positions, leading to a high number of job vacancies that will be difficult to fill. Canada relies on immigration to maintain its workforce and keep the economy strong.

To help maintain and grow the workforce, the immigration levels plan 2023-2025 targets admissions of up to 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025. Of these, over 110,000 will be admitted through Express Entry programs.

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.

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.

The system currently asks all applicants to provide a proof of funds document. If you don’t need to provide proof of funds, you must upload a letter explaining either that you have been invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, or that you have a valid job offer.

Language testing—Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)
You must prove your language skills by taking an approved language test. To do this:

You must:

schedule your test with an agency approved by IRCC and pay the costs
enter the test results into your Express Entry profile (and the Personal Information Number, if the system asks for it)

Language tests accepted by IRCC.
You can take any of these approved language tests:

CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
you must take the CELPIP-General test
General-LS test for Express Entry is not accepted
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
you must take the General Training option
Academic option for Express Entry is not accepted
TEF: Test d’évaluation de français, including:
compréhension de l’écrit
compréhension de l’orale
expression écrite
expression orale

Your test results must be valid (less than two years old) when you:

complete your Express Entry profile
apply for permanent residence
The Express Entry profile is valid for 12 months. Make sure that your language test results are valid for the same time period.

If your test results expire soon, you should re-take the test and update your Express Entry profile with your new test results.

Express Entry Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
There are a number of  PNP programs that:

1. do not consider a candidate’s CRS score among their eligibility requirements; and
2. are open to candidates with no direct connections to Canada (such as a relative, job offer, or previous Canadian work or study).

The PNP route can be invaluable to Express Entry candidates and is an alternative option for candidates.
The majority of PNPs operate on a first-come-first-served basis and reach their quotas within a few days of opening An initial consultation combined with proactive preparation is essential for applying successfully.

It is essential to consider strategies to improve your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score to improve your prospects of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
In doing so you must ensure that you representing yourself accurately in your Express Entry profile. Not only could it earn you extra CRS points, but there are also serious penalties for misrepresenting yourself.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the credentials required to enter the Express Entry pool are not necessarily the same as those that will maximize your CRS score.
Language is also an area that can often be improved because the levels required to enter the Express Entry pool are significantly lower than the level that awards the maximum CRS points.
Language is also valuable because it counts for points in several sections of the CRS:
Education CRS points may be improved by obtaining additional credentials, for example, completing another degree, or by obtaining additional Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) for existing degrees.
Spouse or common-law partner might be a better Principal Applicant
If you have a spouse or common-law partner, it may be beneficial to compare your CRS scores as principal applicants.
Work Experience
Obtaining additional work experience or better documenting current work experience may both help increase a candidate’s CRS score.
Going beyond job title, and measuring the duties you performed against the duties listed in the NOC’s different occupations can help determine if your work is considered skilled or unskilled. This, in turn, can result in points you might have otherwise not claimed.
After selecting the right NOC for your work experience, the next step is calculating how much time you spent at each job. Points are awarded for full-time or equivalent part-time work experience.
Federal Skilled Worker Class candidates must have at least one year of continuous, skilled work experience in order to enter the pool. However, even non-continuous work experience can count toward CRS points.
Work Experience and Provincial Nominee Programs
Documenting your work experience as precisely as possible can also make you eligible for a nomination by one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, better known as PNPs. Express Entry candidates nominated by a Canadian province for permanent residence are awarded an additional 600 points toward their CRS score.
Provinces sometimes look for candidates with specific work experience that you may, in fact, have, but do not consider to be relevant because it is not related to your principal occupation.

Regardless of your CRS score, everyone in the Express Entry pool should be proactively preparing for an ITA or provincial nomination.
You might only have a CRS score of 299, but a provincial nomination could suddenly increase your score by 600 points, making an ITA in the next Express Entry invitation round all but guaranteed.
Candidates have only 90 days to submit their complete application after receiving an ITA, and several PNPs afford even less time. Having documents prepared in advance means you can hit the ground running as soon as you’re invited.

How does Express Entry work?

The Express Entry application management system endeavours to streamline processing for skilled workers who apply under three economic immigration programs; the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Since the Express Entry application management system came into effect in January 2015, candidates have been selected to receive ITAs exclusively based on their score within the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Under the CRS, candidates are evaluated on several factors such as work experience, education or language ability and other human capital factors such as their age or if they have family already living in Canada. Each factor is assigned points and the candidates with the most overall points have the highest CRS scores and are therefore more likely to receive an ITA in an Express Entry draw.

With targeted draws, IRCC would still require that candidates meet eligibility criteria for an Express Entry program. However, a candidate’s CRS score would not be the deciding factor in receiving an ITA. The draws could be tailored to candidates who had specific work experience, education, or language abilities.

Book a consultation to assess your skill set and the likelihood of securing an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Pahl & Associates Express Entry consultation service includes:

In-depth assessment related to Federal Skilled Worker eligibility points, mandatory requirements and alternative economic program ( FSTP, CEC, PNP)

Review and identify any potential issues related to inadmissibility and settlement funds

Assess your potential Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score and the probability of receiving an ITA

Review of historical data relating to CRS scores and  trends which may impact your proposed application
Confirm key documents required to upload an Expression of Interest (EOI) and potential issues related to the same
Advise strategies to increase your CRS score and improving prospects of receiving an ITA

Canada Immigration

We are very grateful to Balvinder for the support he has given us in our journey to emigrating to Canada.  He provided us with detailed step by step support for each stage of the process and kept us up to date in a prompt manner.  We appreciate his flexibility in speaking and meeting with us and we don’t know how we would have got through the immigration mine field without him.  We would highly recommend his service to take the stress out of the process! Thank you very much Balvinder. 

Jas & Preeti Sangha

Having made the decision to move to Canada, we approached Balvinder Pahl to act as our representative throughout the Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry application.

His help and guidance proved invaluable in navigating a lengthy and complex process. We were guided every step of the way and Balvinder’s in-depth and up to date knowledge of the Canadian immigration system removed a lot of the stress that would no doubt have resulted had we tried to do this by ourselves.

Balvinder was professional, courteous and more than happy to patiently answer our many questions along the way, and we are extremely grateful for his help. I would gladly recommend his services to anyone considering embarking on a similar journey”

Florence T

Mr. Pahl displayed great partnership to support my wife and I in the Canadian Immigration process. He is very knowledgeable in his field of work which made him a pleasure to work with.

He exhibited excellent attention to detail and was very responsive whenever we had any questions. A great experience on the whole! Thank you Mr. Pahl!

Rizwan F.

My journey to the visa approval was a long one but it would not have been
possible without Mr. Pahl. He was very supportive and helpful throughout the process. He is not only a very knowledgeable within his field but also a very kind hearted person. His attention to detail is amazing and he made every small bits very properly covered while making the application. Thank you so very much Mr. Pahl.

Sujay Kapre

“Balvinder was incredibly knowledgeable of the entire process to obtain my visa to Canada. From the start he made the process clear, straight-forward and stress-free, and guided me through step by step. I was always well-informed of the progress and he ensured we were on the front foot of my application to avoid any delays. I cannot recommend him enough to guide you through, and ensure a seamless process”

Abbi Grace

“We would like to give you our sincerest thanks for working with us over the years toward finally receiving our Canadian Visa. Despite the many changes in our circumstances and the revisions of the system, you stuck with us and provided invaluable advice throughout. Thank you for all your help in realising our ambition to relocate, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Chris Jones

Book a Consultation

The first step in submitting a successful Express Entry application is to schedule a consultation for an in depth assessment of your case. Fill out the form below and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.