The Express Entry System is an innovative, online-based immigration system that fast-tracks the process for skilled workers seeking permanent residency in Canada. Launched in January 2015, the system was designed to streamline the application process, reduce processing times, and improve the country’s ability to attract top talent. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the ins and outs of the Express Entry System, explaining how it works, the eligibility requirements, and the steps to submit a successful application.
Understanding the Express Entry System
1.1 Overview The Express Entry System manages applications for three key economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The system uses a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to evaluate and rank candidates based on factors such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency.
1.2 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) The CRS awards points to candidates in four main categories: core human capital factors, skill transferability factors, a valid job offer, and additional factors (such as provincial nomination, family connections, or Canadian education). The maximum CRS score is 1,200 points. Periodically, the government conducts draws, selecting candidates with the highest CRS scores and inviting them to apply for permanent residency.
Eligibility Criteria for Express Entry
2.1 Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) To be eligible for the FSWP, candidates must have at least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification level 0, A, or B) within the last 10 years, meet minimum language proficiency levels, and have a secondary or post-secondary education with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
2.2 Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) FSTP candidates must have at least two years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled trade (NOC level B) within the last five years, meet minimum language proficiency levels, and have a valid job offer in Canada for at least one year or hold a certificate of qualification in their trade issued by a Canadian province or territory.
2.3 Canadian Experience Class (CEC) The CEC targets candidates with at least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) skilled work experience in Canada within the last three years. Candidates must also meet minimum language proficiency levels based on their occupation.
The Application Process
3.1 Creating an Express Entry Profile Candidates must first create an online Express Entry profile, providing detailed information about their work experience, education, language proficiency, and other personal details. Eligible candidates are then entered into the Express Entry pool.
3.2 Invitation to Apply (ITA) During the periodic draws, candidates with the highest CRS scores receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Once an ITA is received, candidates have 60 days to submit a complete and accurate application.
3.3 Document Preparation Candidates should gather all required documents, such as police clearance certificates, medical examinations, language test results, and education assessments, in advance to avoid delays in the application process.
3.4 Submitting the Application Upon receiving an ITA, candidates must submit their complete application for permanent residency, along with all required supporting documents and fees.
3.5 Final Decision and Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) After the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If the application is approved, the candidate will receive