Express Entry basics


airport express train

The Economic Class programs are no longer ‘first come first serve.’  CIC has created a new process, ‘Express Entry’, to manage the applications for Federal Skilled Worker Class, Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class.

Express Entry is a fairly complex points system which ranks qualified candidates from the above three programs.

There is no initial application fee.

CIC pulls the highest ranking candidates from the pool of registered candidates periodically throughout the year.  If you are picked you receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ (or ITA).

The allocation of 1200 points is complicated however, in this post, I’ll highlight those areas that are essential to reach a score high enough to get an ITA.

There is a strong bias for candidates who have arranged employment or are successful provincial nominee candidates.  Either of these will add a whopping 600 points to your score!

Arranged employment requires a full-time, permanent job offer in Canada with an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment).  The LMIA is mandatory to score for arranged employment, even if you are within a work permit exempt category, such as NAFTA.

On the upside, there is no charge to employers for an LMIA when a candidate is applying to the Express Entry pool, since all three programs involve applications for permanent residence.

You should have a look at various provincial nominee programs as well.  Successful candidates of provincial nominee programs are also awarded an extra 600 points.  You must live in the province you apply to, for a period of time, but contractual obligations vary.  There are some excellent programs worth pursuing.

Check out the provincial websites for their immigration programs, as these are not handled by CIC.

If you don’t have a job offer, you must also register with ESDC’s Job Bank job match program.  Since there is such a strong bias towards those with arranged employment, it’s advisable to actively conduct a job search, contact recruiters, etc., to increase your chances of getting arranged employment and being selected from the Express Entry pool.

Points are also given for post-secondary education, language test scores of CLB 7 and above, and work experience.  Extra points are given for at least 2 years work experience in Canada.  If you happen to be between the ages of 20 and 29 years old, you’ll score extra points as well.

The downside of this Express Entry process management system is the lack of transparency.

CIC does not publicize the ranking of candidates who are ‘Invited to Apply’ so put your best foot forward when you apply.  You are able to update your Express Entry profile with a newly attained education credential assessment or a higher score on a language test.

Most importantly, ensure your application is complete and completed correctly, showing all you have accomplished and achieved to enhance your chance of being selected and immigrating to Canada.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile