Canada Express Entry FAQ
Canada Express Entry FAQ
What is the Express Entry pool?
Potential candidates who create an Express Entry profile and are eligible for one of Canada’s economic immigration programs enter the Express Entry pool.
These programs are:
• the Federal Skilled Trades Class.
• the Canadian Experience Class.
• a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are able to select candidates from this pool.
Is Express Entry a completely electronic process?
Is there a government fee to create an Express Entry profile?
Which immigration programs are covered under the Express Entry system?
The Express Entry system applies to the following Canadian economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class.
- Federal Skilled Trades Class.
- Canadian Experience Class.
Provinces and territories are also able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nomination Programs in order to meet local labour market needs.
Are there any eligible occupation lists for any of the programs under Express Entry?
No, there will not be any eligible occupation lists for any of the programs. However, in order to be eligible for any of the programs under Express Entry, the candidate needs to have an occupation that has a National Occupation Classification (NOC) code of skill type 0, A or B.
What is the Comprehensive Ranking System?
The Comprehensive Ranking System is the government of Canada’s internal ranking system wherein candidates will be ranked for factors such as age, level of education and language ability. This helps to enable Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to decide which candidates may be issued invitations to apply for permanent residence.
There are up to 600 points available under the system for a candidate’s core human capital and skills transferability factors. An additional 600 points will be given to anyone with a confirmed job offer in a skilled occupation, or a provincial nomination.
Are candidates required to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?
An ECA is required for candidates in the Express Entry pool who wish to be considered for draws related to the Federal Skilled Worker Class, unless they received their post-secondary education in Canada. For candidates who are hoping to apply to the Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class, an ECA is optional but may increase the points they receive on the Comprehensive Ranking System and improve their chances of being drawn from the pool.
Do candidates need to take language tests?
Yes, all candidates need to take a language test in order to determine their language abilities. As part of their Express Entry profile, candidates must submit valid language test results. Once a candidate enters the Express Entry pool, he or she can earn extra points and increase his or her rank by sitting another language test and obtaining better results.
Once a candidate is in the pool, can he or she change the information on his or her profile?
Candidates are required to update their profile to reflect any changes in their status, such as in language ability, family composition, work experience, or education credentials.
What happens if the personal information declared by a potential candidate going into the pool turns out to be false?
If the information provided by the potential candidate turns out to be false, this is known as misrepresentation and, depending on the nature and severity of the false claim, carries penalties. A potential candidate who has been found to have provided false information going into the Express Entry pool can be banned from re-entering the pool for five years. Therefore, it is hugely important to provide accurate and correct information always.
Is there a cap on the number of candidates admitted to the Express Entry pool?
What is the Canada Job Bank, and what role does it have under Express Entry?
The Canada Job Bank is an online search engine for open job positions across Canada. It helps match candidates with Canadian employers and jobs based on their skills, knowledge and experience. Under Express Entry, candidates need to register with Job Bank if they do not already have a Canadian job offer or a Provincial/Territorial nomination.
How do provinces and territories use the Express Entry system?
All provinces and territories, except for Quebec and Nunavut, use Express Entry. Provinces and territories are able to nominate a certain number of candidates through the Express Entry system to meet their local and provincial labour market needs. If an applicant gets a nomination from a province or territory, he or she is then given enough additional points within the Comprehensive Ranking System that will lead to an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw of candidates. All candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to enter and be selected from the Express Entry pool.
Can candidates use both a Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry?
Yes. There are two ways to do this:
Apply to the PNP first, get a nomination and then fill out an Express Entry profile; or
Fill out the Express Entry profile first. Provinces and territories can then search the Express Entry pool and ask a candidate to apply for his or her provincial nomination. When the candidate gets a nomination certificate, he or she will update their Express Entry profile.
In either case, once a person updates his or her Express Entry profile to show that he or she has a provincial or territorial nomination certificate, he or she will be given enough additional points to be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of candidates.
What does ‘invitation to apply’ mean?
An ‘invitation to apply’ is offered to any candidate in the Express Entry pool who has been selected to apply for immigration to Canada by the federal government, a Canadian province or territory, or a Canadian employer.
Does a candidate with more points have a better chance of being invited to apply for permanent residence than a candidate with fewer points, even though both candidates are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool?
Under Express Entry, candidates with higher points totals in the Express Entry pool may have a better chance of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence by either the federal government, a Canadian province or territory, or a Canadian employer.
Does a candidate need a job offer in order to immigrate to Canada under Express Entry?
Not necessarily, for many candidates, obtaining a valid job offer from a Canadian employer significantly increases their chances of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
How long does a candidate have to submit an application if he or she receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence?
From the moment a candidate is issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence, he or she has 60 days to submit a complete electronic application with all supporting documents.
Will candidates know their points total and rank in the Express Entry pool?
Candidate will know their points total (or score), but will not know their rank within the pool.
How long does a candidate’s profile remain in the Express Entry pool for?
Each profile will remain in the Express Entry pool for a period of 12 months or until an invitation to apply for permanent residence is issued, whichever comes first. If after 12 months a candidate wishes to remain in the pool, he or she may create a fresh profile.
If a candidate is invited to apply for permanent residence by a Canadian province or territory, is that candidate obliged to move to that particular province or territory?
Candidates who receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence from a Canadian province or territory should have the intention to reside in that particular province or territory. Once a candidate has landed in Canada, however, he or she will have the right to freedom of movement within Canada, as well as the right to live and work anywhere in Canada for any employer.
Once an applicant has submitted an application after being invited to apply for permanent residence, how long will the entire process take?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) aims to process the majority of complete applications received within six months from the date of submission.
What happens if an applicant is not invited to apply for permanent residence, but wishes to remain in the Express Entry pool?
If after 12 months a candidate has not received an invitation to apply for permanent residence from the federal government, a Canadian province, or a Canadian employer but wishes to remain in the Express Entry pool, he or she can create a new Express Entry profile. If he or she is still eligible for one of the economic immigration programs, he or she will re-enter the Express Entry pool.
Is a successful candidate able to bring his or her family to Canada?
A successful applicant can bring his or her spouse (i.e. husband or wife) or common-law partner, as well as dependent children, to Canada.
What happens to candidates who have a birthday after they receive an invitation to apply but before they submit their application for permanent residence?
A candidate’s age may be considered locked in once an invitation to apply has been issued.