Express Entry provides an avenue towards permanent residency in Canada for skilled candidates that strives to be simpler and faster. The goal of the federal government is to process 80 percent of applications within 6 months from the submission of the permanent residence application. This process is highly competitive compared to non-Express Entry provincial programs where the entire process may exceed 2 years.

What is Express Entry

Express Entry alone is not an immigration program. It is rather an online management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to prioritize candidates for immigration to Canada. Candidates interested in Express Entry must first qualify for at least one of its three programs.

Qualifying for Express Entry Programs

The first step is determining whether you qualify for one of the three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

Language Ability

English or French ability

CLB 7 if your NOC is 0 or A

CLB 5 if your NOC is B

English or French ability


English or French ability

CLB 5 for speaking and listening

CLB 4 for reading and writing

Skilled Work Experience

Experience obtained in Canada in 1 of these NOCs: 0, A or B

Experience obtained in Canada or in a foreign country in 1 of these NOCs: 0, A or B

Canadian or foreign experience in a skilled trade under key groups of NOC B

Length of  Work Experience

At least one year in Canada in the past 3 years (Full-Time or Part-Time)

At least one full year of continuous work experience within the past 10 years (Full-Time or Part-Time or more than 1 employer)

Two years within the past 5 years (Full-Time or Part-Time)

Job Offer

Not required

Not required

But candidates are awarded additional points for a job offer in FSW Selection Criteria.


A valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least 1 year or

certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority


Not required

Not required

But candidates are awarded additional points for a post-secondary education in FSW Selection Criteria.

Not required


It is essential to become familiarize with all the program requirements as, for example, candidates under Federal Skilled Worker Program must accumulate at least 67 points in the FSW selection criteria. Alternatively, candidates without a job offer and authorization to work in Canada (FSW and FSTP) must show minimum funds to support themselves and their family upon arrival to Canada.

Click here to read in detail about the relevant Express Entry immigration programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Submit Your Resume (CV)

Are you looking for a job in Canada? Leave with us your resume for consideration by Canadian employers.

Determining Your Express Entry Score

Candidates who meet requirements of at least one of the programs may proceed to calculating their Express Entry score in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). This score determines the probability that a candidate will be selected from a pool of all qualified candidates. IRCC selects the highest-ranking candidates from the pool to apply for permanent residence. Candidates are selected in Rounds of Invitations, which occur periodically, generally twice a month.     

Submitting Your Online Express Entry Profile

Candidates who qualify for one of the three federal immigration programs may complete and submit their online Express Entry profile. This profile is, in fact, an expression of interest in applying for permanent residence under Express Entry. The profile is not an application in itself. Only candidates selected in one of the Rounds of Invitations may submit the actual permanent residence application. In order to complete an Express Entry profile, you will need to provide information about your skills, work experience, language ability, education and other personal details. Your complete profile is then parked in so called “pool’ of all qualified applicants where it waits to be invited to apply.

Receive an Invitation and Submit Your Permanent Residence Application

The highest-ranking candidates receive an Invitation to Apply and have 60 days to submit the entire application and supporting documents online. It is essential that candidates prepare their documents in advance as the timeframe of 60 days may not be sufficient to obtain them all in time. Only fully completed applications are accepted into processing.

How to Prepare in Advance for Express Entry

It is important that you prepare, at minimum, the below documents prior to submitting your Express Entry profile.

Take your language exam in English and/or French

Approved English Language Tests

Test Name

Required Test Category

Approved French Language Tests

Test Name

Test Must Include

compréhension de l’écrit

compréhension de l’oral

expression écrite

expression orale

compréhension de l’écrit

compréhension de l’oral

expression écrite

expression orale

Obtain Education Assessment Report for your foreign Degrees, Diplomas or Certificates if:

In order to obtain an assessment report, you must use one of these designated organizations:

Designated Organizations

Apply for Police Certificates

It can take long to get police certificates so start early. You will need police certificates for: