What is the Canada Express Entry?

Updated: May 14, 2024 | Tags: Canada Entry Requirements, Canada Immigration

Canada Express Entry is a revolutionary approach to managing applications for some of Canada's most popular immigration programs. It's designed to streamline the process and make it more efficient for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. This article provides an in-depth understanding of what Canada Express Entry is, how it works, and its significance in the Canadian immigration landscape.

What is Canada Express Entry?


Express Entry is an online immigration application system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

The Goal

The primary goal of Express Entry is to expedite the Canadian immigration process for skilled workers, selecting candidates who are most likely to succeed economically in Canada.

How Does Express Entry Work?

The Application Process

  1. Eligibility: Candidates must first determine their eligibility for one of the three federal programs.
  2. Creating an Express Entry Profile: Eligible candidates create an online profile, which includes information about skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other personal information.
  3. Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score: Each candidate receives a CRS score based on the information provided in their profile.
  4. Invitation to Apply (ITA): Periodically, IRCC conducts draws, inviting the highest-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

  • Points System: The CRS awards points based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability.
  • Additional Points: Candidates can gain additional points for factors like Canadian degrees/diplomas, valid job offers, or a nomination from a Canadian province or territory.

The Benefits of Express Entry

Efficiency and Speed

Express Entry is designed to process applications quickly, with most applications processed within six months of submission.

Dynamic and Flexible

The system is dynamic, with the CRS cut-off score and selection criteria adjustable according to Canada's economic needs and immigration targets.

Transparent and User-Friendly

Candidates can see their CRS score and understand where they stand in the pool, allowing them to take steps to improve their score.

Program Categories within Express Entry

Federal Skilled Worker Program

For skilled workers with foreign work experience who want to immigrate to Canada permanently.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

Designed for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

Canadian Experience Class

For those who have recent Canadian work experience and are seeking permanent residence.

Improving Your CRS Score

Language Proficiency

Improving language skills (English and/or French) can significantly boost the CRS score.

Work Experience

Gaining additional work experience, especially in skilled professions, can increase a candidate's score.


Higher education, especially Canadian education, contributes positively to the CRS score.

Provincial Nomination

Securing a nomination from a province or territory can add 600 points to a CRS score, virtually guaranteeing an ITA.

Express Entry Draws

Frequency and Cutoff Scores

IRCC conducts Express Entry draws at regular intervals, typically every two weeks, selecting candidates based on the current CRS cut-off score.

Tie-Breaking Rule

If multiple candidates have the same score, the tie-breaking rule is applied based on the date and time the profiles were submitted.

Challenges and Considerations

Competition in the Pool

With many candidates competing for invitations, maintaining a competitive CRS score is crucial.

Changing Immigration Policies

Candidates should stay informed about changes in immigration policies and criteria, which can impact their chances of receiving an ITA.


Canada Express Entry is a cornerstone of Canadian immigration, offering a streamlined and efficient pathway for skilled workers to become permanent residents. With its focus on economic success, the system benefits both the candidates and Canada’s economic goals. Understanding the workings of Express Entry is the first step for anyone considering immigration to Canada under one of these federal economic programs.