Express Entry Explained:
How it works

What is the Express Entry?

Express Entry is the fastest and most popular online system that the Canadian government uses to screen applications for permanent residence in Canada for skilled workers.

It serves three federal programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class - Federal program for candidates with Canadian work experience

In addition, it serves a range of provincial immigration programs:

  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nomination Program
  • Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (Yukon PNP)

How does it work and how to apply?

Express Entry is an online database through which the Department of Immigration selects the top candidates wishing to move to Canada for permanent residence and invites selected candidates to apply for permanent residence (PR). 

Each participant is evaluated based on several factors and receives their own score. 

The candidates with the highest score are selected and invited every two weeks.

To participate, follow these 5 steps:

  • Determine the eligibility to participate
  • Create a profile
  • Create a job bank profile
  • Obtain an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  • Submit your application for permanent residence
Young man in glasses is sitting on a yellow couch and writing in a notebook
Take your time and prepare a clear plan. Moving forward will be much easier, if you know how your goal looks like.

How much does Express Entry cost?

There are several fees associated with this immigration system.

First, you need to figure out what exactly you have to pay for.

  • Language test (~300 CAD)
  • Evaluation of education (~350 CAD)
  • Personal documents (passport extension, document translations, medical examinations, police certificates, bank statements, etc.)

~ 1000 CAD for an adult,

~ 300 CAD for a child;

~ 400 CAD for adult,

~ 200 CAD for a child;

~ 100 CAD 

Who can apply for Canadian PR?

There are a number of criteria that a candidate for a Canadian permanent residence visa should ideally meet. 

Here they are:

  • Age (under 30 y.o.);
  • Degree: 2 Bachelor or Master;
  • Language: High level of English and/or French;
  • Work experience: Minimum of 3 years of skilled work.
couple and a dog sitting and laughing
Young educated people with some work experience have high chances of moving to Canada.

Points Calculator: what is it and how to improve your CRS score?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a system under which each applicant will be awarded points on various parameters from four groups. 

The maximum number of points that the main applicant including his spouse can score is 1200 points.

Below is the breakdown of points for different factors. 

In order to improve your score, try to improve your performance for the listed individual factors.

For example, score as high as you can in language exam, submit your partner’s education credentials etc.

Skills and experience factors

Assessment of education, professional skills, and work experience in the specialty

maximum points

Skills transferability factors

Assessment of your potential and the applicability of your professional skills in Canada

maximum points

Spouse/common-law partner factors

Evaluation of the data of the spouse of the main applicant in terms of education, level of English or French

maximum points

Additional points

Work invitation from a Canadian employer or a nomination under the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

maximum points

Common Questions:

The Express Entry system was created for expedited immigration to Canada (as the name suggests).

Express Entry’s goal is to speed up the emigration process up to 6 months.

However, please note that the timing may change during the coronavirus.

It depends on the profession you choose but here are the average numbers:

The average hourly salary is CAD 14.

The median annual salary is CAD 52,600.

Canada has developed a detailed occupational classification system – the National Occupational Classification or NOC. 

Each profession has its own code. 

All professions in a NOC have a list of job titles, a list of roles and responsibilities that correspond to this NOC, a list of requirements for recognition of this NOC (education, licensing, certification, or work experience), and the level of the profession.


There are several skill levels in total: 0 (zero), A, B, C, or D.


Skill Type 0: Management professions such as factory managers, resort managers, or office managers.

Skill Level A: Occupations that usually require a college degree, such as physics, political scientists, or engineers.

Skill Level B: Technical professions that usually require a college degree or vocational training such as administrators, firefighters, photographers.

Skill Level C: Occupations that typically require a high school diploma, such as drivers, security guards, or secretaries.

Skill Level D: Occupations that do not require any training, such as cashier, handyman, or janitor.

Ideally, a visa applicant should be up to 30 years old, but if you are older, this does not mean that you no longer have a chance to become a citizen of Canada.

The final decision of the state is influenced by many factors, such as the level of language proficiency, professional skills and work experience, economic condition, higher education, and so on.

While job offer is a requirement for some immigration programs, for some other ones it’s not necessary.

However, if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, it gives you additional points and increases your chances of obtaining a visa.

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