The Express Entry (EE) system is a three stage active immigration process whereby interested applicants will first complete an application for their profile and submit an EE form online. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assesses all potential applicants against specific eligibility criteria. If the applicant does not meet some required criteria, for example did not take and English test or did not score high enough on the language proficiency test, then the system will send a message that the candidate is ineligible. Another example of required criteria is the minimum work experience, in Canada or abroad. Potential applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. Third, those candidates whose profiles align with the identified needs of the government at the time or that of certain Canadian employers, will be issued an “invitation to apply” (ITA). Only those candidates who receive invitations can then proceed to apply for permanent residence.

  • skills work experience
  • language ability
  • education and
  • other details that will help in assessing eligibility.

The candidates who registered online will be ranked, one against the other based on the “Comprehensive Ranking System” (CRS) on the factors mentioned above. Candidates that have an “Arranged Employment” job offer, a provincial nomination or Canadian post-secondary education will receive additional points. All candidates in the EE pool will be granted points (maximum of 1200) that take into consideration the following factors:

  • Skills and work experience (up to 500 points)
  • Spouse or common-law partner factors (such as their language skills and education -up to 40 additional points but still a maximum of only 500 points)
  • Skills transferability (including education and work experience that, when combined, improve  his or her chances of being employed, and earning a higher wage  – up to 100 points)
  • Additional 600 points for those with a nomination from a province or territory, Arranged Employment or Canadian post-secondary education.

The point allocations breakdown can be found on the government IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/criteria-comprehensive-ranking-system/grid.html

Although an applicant can collect points for a spouse/partner, the additional points do not exceed what an applicant can score on his/her own.
Once a candidate receives an ITA, they will then have 60 days to file their application for permanent residence. It is not easy for an applicant to complete the Express Entry application, so it is highly recommended to have an immigration lawyer lead you through the process or spend enough time learning about the procedure to avoid making costly mistakes and having to re-apply again.

Candidates without an Arranged Employment job offer, or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Applicants are required and encouraged to promote themselves on the Job Bank as well as in any other relevant way, i.e. recruiters, job boards, etc. Job Bank advertising will help connect EE applicants with eligible employers in Canada. The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process and provincial/territorial nomination are no different under the EE regime as the focus remains upon ensuring employers made efforts to hire Canadians for the available positions, as well as facilitating provinces/territories’ ability to meet their specific labour market needs


After ranking the potential applicants, IRCC will organize “draws” and invite selected candidates to submit a full, complete application for permanent residency (ITA). At each draw, a minimum CRS score is set based upon Inventory. On February 13, 2021 the Express entry held the biggest draw with the lowest score in history of the Express Entry program, with the cut off score being just 75 points. A record 27,332 people have received an invitation to apply for permanent residence. It is expected that Canadian government through the federal program and also provincial programs will invite a record number of permanent residence applicants in the coming years to fulfill the immigration targets. A qualified and experienced Toronto immigration lawyer will assist you with your immigration and permanent residence application and increase your chances of reaching your Canadian immigration aspirations.

For more information on the Express Entry, contact our immigration law firm in Toronto today!

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