Express Entry (EE) to Canada | Your guide to getting in Canada

The Express Entry (EE) system is a popular and efficient way for individuals to immigrate to Canada and obtain permanent residency. Launched in 2015, it was created to address Canada’s labor market needs and contribute to its long-term economic growth. The immigration target for 2020 was set at 195,800 through federal economic programs such as Express Entry, and this number is expected to increase in the future. In 2020, it was estimated that 91,800 invitations to apply for permanent residency were issued through the Express Entry system, surpassing 107,950. The immigration targets for 2021 to 2023 are set as follows:

2021 – 108,500 Invitations to Apply (ITA);

2022 – 110,500 ITA;

2023 – 113,750 ITA.

What is Express Entry System about?

The Express Entry System was launched by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is used to pick potential immigrants through the Federal Economic Immigration programs. If you want to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, or Canadian Experience Class, you have to use this system. The Express Entry System is considered to be the primary driving force for economic migration to Canada and is a highly regarded program that offers a fast path to Canadian immigration.

How the Express Entry System Operates

Step 1: Confirm Eligibility

Check if you meet the eligibility criteria for the three Express Entry immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). If you are unsure, take our free assessment to determine the best visa program for you to migrate to Canada

Step 2: Create an Express Entry Profile

Create an Express Entry profile online by providing information about yourself. It is important to be truthful in your answers as you will be required to submit supporting documents in the later stages of the application process. You will also need to provide the results of your English or French language test to answer questions related to your language proficiency.

Step 3: Receive a Comprehensive

Ranking System (CRS) Score After completing your Express Entry profile, you will receive a CRS score out of 1,200 points.

Step 4: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA

Stay updated with the latest Express Entry draws which happen bi-weekly and check your profile to see if you received an ITA for permanent residency in Canada. Please note that the score required to apply for permanent residency changes for each draw. Even if you do not meet the requirements for a particular draw, you will remain in the pool for a year and have the opportunity to increase your CRS score to increase your chances of success

Step 5: Submit the necessary documents

Once you have received your ITA, you have a window of 60 days to submit your Express Entry application along with all the required supporting documents. These documents include:

  1. Your passport
  2. National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  3. Education credential assessment report
  4. Language test results
  5. Proof of funds to support your family
  6. Police certificate
  7. Medical exam certificate from a qualified health professional
  8. Letters of employment from past employers to verify your work experience
  9. A Canadian job offer (if you have one)
  10. Provincial nomination (if you have one)

Step 6: Pay your fees and submit an application

Contact us to know more details …

The Comprehensive Ranking System

Applicants are ranked on a system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which determines who could get selected from the Express Entry Pool first. This system ranks you based on four main factors:

  • Human Capital Factors;
  • Spouse and Common Law Partner;
  • Skill Transferability; and
  • Additional Factors

These factors take into account:

  • Age;
  • Work experience;
  • Education qualifications;
  • Language skills;
  • Adaptability;
  • Job offers; and
  • Spouse or common-law partner

Core CRS Points

You can earn Core CRS points for the following:

  1. Skills and experience factors
  2. Spouse or common-law partner factors e.g. language skills and education; plus
  3. Skills transferability, e.g. education and work experience.

Additional CRS Points

You can earn additional CRS points for the following:

  1. Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates;
  2. A valid job offer;
  3. A nomination from a province or territory;
  4. A brother or sister living in Canada (citizen or permanent resident.
  5. Strong French language skills.

How to Improve Your CRS Score?

There are several strategies to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which helps determine your eligibility for immigration to Canada through the Express Entry system. One way to boost your score is by receiving a Provincial Nomination, which adds 600 points to your CRS score. Another way is by securing a job offer from a Canadian employer. Depending on the job’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) code, the job offer can add 50 to 600 points to your CRS score. A job offer under a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can add 600 points.

Additionally, you can improve your score by scoring high in Core Human Capital Factors. This includes education, with higher educational qualifications leading to a higher score. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, including them in your application can also help increase your score if they have relevant work experience and academic background. Work experience and language proficiency also play a role in determining your CRS score. High scores in recognized English and French language tests such as IELTS, TEF, and CELPIP can add up to 150 points to your CRS score.

History of the Express Entry System

The Express Entry system was established to streamline the process of immigration to Canada for skilled workers. There are various ways to boost your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which determines your eligibility for permanent residency. Receiving a Provincial Nomination can add 600 points, while a Canadian job offer can add anywhere from 50 to 600 points, depending on the type of job and whether it requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Additionally, the higher your education qualifications and language proficiency in French and English, the higher your CRS score will be. Including your spouse or common-law partner in your application can also increase your score, as long as they meet certain criteria in terms of work experience and education.

History of the Express Entry System

The Express Entry system in Canada was introduced in January 2015 to facilitate the process of applying for permanent residency under three categories: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Early Rounds

Starting from November 19, 2016, the points awarded for employment offers by the Comprehensive Ranking System changed in three ways. Points will be awarded for job offers made to eligible candidates with LMIA-exempt work permits. The work experience requirement for awarding job offer points was reduced from permanent to at least one year, making it easier for highly skilled candidates working in contract-based industries to receive an invitation for permanent residence

System Improvements

The points awarded for job offers will be decreased. Candidates with a valid job offer in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A, or B occupation will receive 50 points, while candidates with a decent job offer in a NOC 00 occupation will receive 200 points. Despite not having a job offer, 80% of Express Entry candidates in 2017 still received ITAs. It is possible to qualify for the program even without a job offer.

Job Offers

From November 19, 2016, Points Awarded by the CRS for employment Offer Changed in Three Basic Ways:

Points will be awarded for job offers made to eligible candidates who are on LMIA-exempt work permits. Many foreign workers in Canada who are temporarily on employer-specific LMIA-exempt working permits but who want to remain in Canada permanently will no longer need to get an LIA to be awarded job offer points by the CRS. This includes candidates who are here under the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA), a federal-provincial agreement, or Intra-company transferees. For the points to be awarded, the candidate must meet specific criteria, like having a minimum of one year of work experience from an equivalent employer who is providing their job offer.

Job offers will only require a minimum of 1 year after they receive permanent residence. Changing the work offer requirement from permanent to at least one year means more highly skilled candidates working in contract-based industries will be more likely to receive a call for participation to use for permanent residence.

Points awarded for job offers are going to be reduced. A completion of fifty points will be awarded to candidates with a legitimate job offer during a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B occupation while completing 200 points will be awarded to candidates with a fair job offer during a NOC 00 occupation.

80% of Express Entry candidates in 2017 got ITAs, even without a job offer. Even without a job offer, it is still possible to qualify for this program.  


The Canadian Rating System (CRS) now offers points for higher education studies in Canada beyond high school level. A one or two-year diploma or certificate earns 15 points, while a degree, diploma, or certificate of three years or longer (including a master’s, professional or doctoral degree) earns 30 points. These changes make it easier for former international students to become permanent residents, as they are a valuable source of candidates due to their age, education, skills, and experience. Additionally, they are already familiar with life in Canada, making the transition smoother. Candidates now have 60 days to complete their permanent residency application if they receive an invitation to participate. This extra time allows them to gather all necessary documentation and submit a complete application. Since the implementation of these changes, the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) has risen and the required CRS points have decreased significantly.

Express Entry to Canada ITA Numbers

  1. Most number of ITAs issued in one draw – 27,332 on February 13, 2021
  2. Least number of ITAs issued in one draw – 250 on Epiphany, 2021 (this draw was for candidates invited under provincial nomination only)

Number of ITAs issued in:

  1. 2015 – 31,063
  2. 2016 – 33,782
  3. 2017 – 86,022
  4. 2018 – 89,800
  5. 2019 – 85,300
  6. 2020 – 107,950
  • Total number of ITAs issued so far in 2021 – 37,986
  • Total number of ITAs issued since the system was introduced – 471,903


Why the Program Is Popular?


Express Entry applications can take as little as six months to process, making this program one of the fastest immigration programs in Canada. Only immigrants who have the proper skills required in each province can qualify, unlike the Green Card Lotteries utilized in the U.S.

Successful applicants can eventually apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Canada Immigration Plan: 2021-2023

  1. In October 2020, the government of Canada released its Immigration Plan for the following three years, seeking to improve ways to immigrate to Canada by making the application process more accessible and less time-consuming.

    Canada has continued to raise its immigration targets. It aimed to welcome 401,000 newcomers in 2021. A total of 108,500 are expected to be invied to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system and about 80,800 through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These totals are expected to increase by 1,000 ITAs every year to 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.

    Below is a breakdown of the Government plan for Economic Immigration for 2020.