Express Entry is an innovative, fast-track system introduced by the Canadian government to manage applications for permanent residency from skilled workers around the world. Launched in 2015, it has streamlined the process and made it more efficient for qualified candidates to immigrate to Canada. This article will provide an overview of the Express Entry system, its eligibility criteria, and the application process.
The Express Entry System
The Express Entry system manages applications for three economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
These programs target skilled foreign workers who have the necessary qualifications, work experience, and language proficiency to contribute to Canada’s economy. The system uses a points-based ranking system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess and score candidates. The highest-ranking candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residency through regular draws.
To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates must meet the requirements of at least one of the three economic immigration programs mentioned above. Some of the key criteria include:
- Work Experience: Candidates must have a minimum of one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in a skilled occupation within the last 10 years.
- Language Proficiency: Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in English or French by taking an approved language test, such as IELTS, CELPIP, or TEF, and achieve the minimum required scores.
- Education: Candidates must have a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or an equivalent foreign credential, along with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an approved agency.
- Job Offer (optional): While not mandatory, having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer can significantly increase a candidate’s CRS score.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
The CRS is a points-based system that ranks candidates in the Express Entry pool based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. The maximum CRS score a candidate can achieve is 1,200 points. Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency during the regular draws, which typically occur every two weeks.
- Create an Express Entry profile: Candidates must first create an online Express Entry profile, providing information about their work experience, education, language proficiency, and other relevant details.
- Enter the Express Entry pool: Once the profile is complete and meets the eligibility criteria, candidates are assigned a CRS score and enter the Express Entry pool.
- Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA): Candidates with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for permanent residency during the regular draws.
- Submit a complete application: Upon receiving an ITA, candidates have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residency, including supporting documents such as language test results, educational credential assessments, and police certificates.
- Application processing and decision: The Canadian government aims to process most Express Entry applications within six months. If the application is successful, candidates and their accompanying family members will be granted permanent residency.
The Express Entry system offers a fast and efficient pathway for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada and contribute to the country’s economy. By understanding the eligibility criteria and application process, candidates can increase their chances of success and embark on a new life in one of the world’s most welcoming and diverse nations.