Express Entry: What Prospective Candidates Need to Know

Canada is changing its economic immigration programs to give more opportunities to prospective skilled immigrants. Starting January 2015, skilled foreign workers will have access to Express Entry, which will cover Canada’s key economic immigration programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program,
  • the Canadian Experience Class, and
  • a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.

Candidates who are invited to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system will benefit from fast processing times of six months or less.

Express Entry will also provide a pathway for skilled workers to connect with potential job opportunities in Canada prior to arrival.

Express Entry will ensure that the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically – not simply those first in line – are able to immigrate to Canada.

How Express Entry Works

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Step 1

Potential candidates create an online Express Entry profile

Express your interest in coming to Canada as a skilled foreign worker. Starting in January 2015, create an online Express Entry profile and tell us about your skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details.

Before doing this, you will need to take a language test in English or French. If you were educated outside of Canada, you may also need to have your education assessed against Canadian standards. More information on language and education assessments is available online.

If you meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry, you will be placed in a pool of pre-screened candidates.

If you do not already have a Canadian job offer or a nomination from a province/territory, you must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. Job Bank is an easy, online search tool that will help you get matched with jobs in Canada based on your skills, knowledge and experience.

Express Entry Pool

You will be given a score to determine your place in the Express Entry pool using a Comprehensive Ranking System that includes factors known to contribute to economic success (such as language, education, and work experience).

There will be regular draws of candidates from the Express Entry pool, inviting them to apply for permanent residence. Candidates with the highest scores, including those who have a valid job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination, will be invited to apply.

Your Express Entry profile will be valid for 12 months. During that time, you will need to update your profile if circumstances change, such as your level of education or language test results.

Important: Filling out an online Express Entry profile is not a guarantee that you will qualify for permanent residence. If you are invited to apply for permanent residence, information provided in your Express Entry profile will be verified at that time.

Step 2

Selected candidates are invited to submit an electronic application for permanent residence

You will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if you:

  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time);
  • have been nominated by a province or territory; or
  • are among the top ranked in the pool based on your skills and experience.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete permanent residence applications received within six months or less.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months can resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria.


  • need information about express entry visa requirments.
    waiting for your reply

  • Muhammad Sajjad Anwar

    Unfortunately my forwarded fsw application did’nt entertain due to very early cap in my trade. Is ECA report valid for express entry which I got for the purpose of FSW? If allowed by respectable authority then it will facilitate to enter in express entry without delay and additional financial burden.

  • Im interested to apply for the express entry for canada pls help me how to avail that oppurtunity..
    Thanks a lot..
    Sincerely yours,
    Grace Alibay

  • Hi I would like to know if have been in Canada more than 2 years. and having same employer.would help. I’m in the power line business with experience .hopefully I can be helped .

    Truly yours. Ramon Mtz. Thanks

  • Will heavy duty truck drivers be included in this program?

  • Kindly let me know the IELTS band requirement for express entry in canada

  • How Express Entry will work for the individuals who qualify for permanent residency under current Canadian Experience Class? Will a person who holds a valid, LMO based, Work Permit (and will be holding it after December 31st, 2014) in a skilled occupation be drawn from the pool automatically – just because the person already has an employer? The lack of certainty leaves people so frustrated about their future… It would be good to have more information and more clarity about the new system which takes effect in less than two months. Right now I just don’t have a clue – do I need to rush with my application or better to wait…

  • Sivakumar Sampath

    I am trying job i was working in dubai last 20years.i will do hard work.

  • Hi,
    I wonder how express entry system will affect the PhD stream in Federal Skilled Worker category. I couldn’t find such info on the CIC website.

  • Accept my seasonal greetings from Cameroon. I wish to seek more information on the newly lurch Express Entry for Federal Skilled Worker Program due to commence by 1st of January 2015. I will be many thank to request more information on how this category of visa is granted and its requirements.
    Martin E. Tiku

  • hi there,
    i would like to know whether i can apply or not.Like i have around five years of experience in a company as a accounts officer or the thing is that how much i have to get in IELTS in each ? now its really hard i think in express entry that to log in to this online process and waiting for to get picked by a Canadian company. Where as i am a foreign worker. Another thing how to get nominated by a province??

  • Hi there’
    What is the minimum academic qualification to apply for federal skilled trade. Can i enter my profile if i have a two year foreign work in hospitality industry and have ielts in gt and my qualification is high school passed. Can i or not

  • hi please
    i want to apply for this program in please help me how can apply for this program.please tell me the criteria to fullfill this program.
    thank you

    • my average ielts score is 7 and my husband is 6.5 although he had 5.5 in listening. should I include his result in the profile or should I wait till he goes for a retake of the exam.

  • costantino solfato

    hi, I’m a cutter fur with more than 25 years of experience, I speak Italian and Spanish, or almost nothing bad English, I am 59 years of age can I have hopes of obtaining a visa in time for work? thank you

  • Hi I have got points in IELTS exam as given below; Please advice if I am eligible for to apply for FSW program?

    Listening – 5.5
    Reading – 5.5
    Writing – 6.5
    Speaking – 6
    Overall – 6

  • Hi cics news ielts score is L7,R6,S6.5 and R5.5overall6.5
    Also i have work experience of 3yrs.Can i apply or should go for retake of ielts exam
    Reply please!!

  • HI, I want to know that Canadian job offer and a nomination from a province/territory both are required to get PR or not?

  • how many ilets band that in need to qualify for express entry . and i have only one year and 8 month experiance

  • I’m wondering if I’m qualified for the express entry program. I am currently working as food counter attendant for 1yr and 4 mos here in Canada but i have 7yrs foreign work experience as a supervisor. My CELPIP scores are W8 S8 R12 L12. I am also a university grad back in my home country but is just probably high school grad equivalent here in Canada. Thanks!

  • Food counter attendant – 1yr and 4 mos (with valid work permit til dec2015)
    Foreign skilled experience – 7yrs
    CELPIP – S8 W8 L12 R12
    University grad – Canadian high school grad equivalent
    Am I qualified for express entry program?

  • hi I want to know if its mandatory for diplomas and degrees obtained from outside Canada be assessed by Canadian institutions when an invitation to apply has been obtained.

  • Hello
    I am an MBA and have 6 band in each module. But acc. To my work exp. I have 2 years exp. As an Executive but I got my salary by hand is this eligible for Canada PR .please reply I have wasted 25k for just getting information about it.please reply soon

  • Justine Hermosura

    Hi, I started working in Alberta last July 2014 as a food counter attendant (LMO). Can I submit an application for express entry?

  • Hi! My brother is a Deck officer, water transport master mariner. Can he possibly apply as a skilled worker under the express entry?

  • Hi , I have experience of 7 years as Senior businesss development manager with one of the MNC’s in IT distribution . I am confident that i will get minimum 6.5 bands in IELTS (appeared in last week) whereas my wife has not appeared for exam. Am i strong candidate for express entry and do my wife IELTS score manadatory .

  • Hi,

    I have several years experience as a HGV driver and am currently working in fuel distribution. Will I be able to apply for immigration under the express entry system? Also will my partner need to take the language test and if my application is successful will my partner also be granted citizenship?


  • Santan Saldanha

    I am in ee pool.cec,fsw. my pgwp is expaired implied status.Applied for extention .with arrenged full time job.Can I get extention untill cic decision for my ee profile.

  • Hello everyone,

    I Cleared my IELTS test this June with L7.5,S7,R6,W6.
    My credential is (2 Years in I.T.I / Electrical-Technical Trade certificate) + (Lateral entry to Electrical Engineering Diploma 2 years).
    My experience as a Electrical and Instrumentation Supervisor is over 8 years.

    I believe my NOC is 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations

    My spouse is Graduate and she can get good IELTS band also, already enrolled for it.

    My question is which one should i apply i am a bit confused with FSWP AND FSTP.
    and whats the Due for these programs. Please assist.

  • Hi,

    my IELTS score is, L9,R9,S7,W6.5 do I qualify? also I have electrical engineering degree and 8+ years of software experience, is this a problem? do I have to get qualification review/equivalency for my experience?


  • my ielts score is L7,R6,S6.5 w6 total 6.5 iam eligible for express entry or not.please reply cics team

  • My ielts score is L7,R7,S6.5,W7- total 7 ,I am eligible for express entry or not. Looking forward for your response.

  • Hello! I was just asked to retake the ielts exam again. I did it two years ago and scored 8 overall . I am wondering why. Is it something that normally happens?

  • Hi CIC team, I have got points in IELTS exam as given below; Please advice if I am eligible for to apply for express entry program though i have an job offer from Canadian client ?

    Listening – 6.0
    Reading – 5.5
    Writing – 5.5
    Speaking –5.5
    Overall – 5.5

  • I apply for canada PR with my spouse so can u pl tell me spouse IELTS is mandatory?

  • Hi CIC team, I took the ILets exam and overall I have 5.5 all the skills are above 5 I checked my eligibility as category B, i was given a number to fill the express entry, I then did an account and start to fill the express entry profile, have I to fill all my qualifications or just the ones that fit category B? thank you.

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