Express Entry

The Canadian Express Entry system was introduced in 2015. It is used to process immigration applications for various immigration programs that are managed by the Canadian Express Entry system (CES). In order to be considered for an immigration program, a candidate must first apply for an Express entry profile to the candidate pool. All Express entry profiles are compared against each other using a comprehensive ranking system (CRS). The CRS assigns a score to each candidate based on a total of 1,200 points.


What Is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an online system used by the Canadian Government to organise and process applications for skilled workers who wish to move to Canada and obtain permanent residence status in Canada.

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Candidates must meet the eligibility requirements of one of the three federal programs in order to submit a profile using the Express Entry system.

Who Qualifies for Express Entry?

Ideal Express Entry candidates are those who possess university or college degrees, have relevant work experience, and demonstrate moderate proficiency in either English or French.

What is the usual processing time for Express Entry?

The processing time for Express Entry can be as short as six months, starting from the submission of your Express Entry profile until you receive your permanent resident visa. However, it’s important to note that not all cases will be processed this quickly. If you don’t receive an invitation to apply within 12 months, your Express Entry profile will still be active in the pool of candidates. In such a case, you have the option to resubmit your profile and continue to be considered for future invitations.  To summarize:

  • Your profile will be active for a duration of 12 months within the candidate pool.
  • Upon receiving the ITA, a period of 60 days will be given to submit the required complete application documents.
  • Once your full application is received by immigration authorities, IRCC will aim to process your permanent resident visa application within approximately six months.

When comparing PNP and Express Entry, which one takes the lead?

If your CRS points are insufficient for a federal draw invitation, considering a PNP could enhance your chances. Many PNPs mandate having an Express Entry profile. Being chosen in a federal Express Entry draw without a PNP is advantageous as it eliminates the necessity for extra provincial processing time.


Provincial Nominee Programs that utilize the Express Entry framework.

Various Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), known as ‘Enhanced’ PNPs, make use of the Express Entry system. Being selected for permanent residency through an Enhanced PNP enables you to submit an application via the Express Entry system. Certain Provincial Nominee Programs that adopt this method are:

  1. Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  2. Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities
  3. Ontario Human Capital stream
  4. PEI PNP Express Entry
  5. Saskatchewan Express Entry
  6. Yukon Express Entry
  7. Alberta Express Entry
  8. British Columbia Skills Immigration
  9. Manitoba Express Entry Pathway
  10. New Brunswick Express Entry Labour Market Stream
  11. Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker Category
  12. Northwest Territories Express Entry

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is perfect for individuals with recent Canadian work experience who are looking to become permanent residents of Canada. CEC is known for being one of the quickest pathways to Canadian permanent residence, with processing times as short as three to four months!

What is the Canadian Experience Class program?

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is governed by the Express Entry system and relies on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to evaluate candidates. Those with impressive CRS scores will be invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Who qualifies for the Canadian Experience Class Program?

To qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), an individual must possess a minimum of 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) skilled work experience in Canada. This work experience must have been obtained within the last three years prior to the application date. Foreign nationals without recent Canadian work experience are not eligible for the CEC program.

Eligibility criteria for the Canadian Experience Class

To include your 12-months of Canadian work experience in your CEC application, it needs to fulfill the following requirements:

– Acquired in Canada within the 36 months leading up to the submission of the electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR).
– Your job responsibilities in Canada must align with NOC categories TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3, which encompass training, education, experience, and responsibilities.
– The work experience in Canada must have been obtained legally and paid.

Can I apply to the Canadian Experience Class program from outside of Canada?

Yes. As long as you meet the basic eligibility requirements for CEC as mentioned above, you can apply from anywhere in the world.

Federal Skilled Trades

The Express Entry system oversees the management of the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program, which is one of the three federal immigration programs. Similar to other programs under Express Entry, FST utilizes the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess and rank potential candidates. Only the most competitive candidates are then invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Every year, more than 50% of immigrants who come to Canada are skilled workers who are accepted through economic programs, such as the Federal Skilled Trades program. For eligible tradespeople, the FST program offers a swift pathway to acquiring Canadian permanent residence, granting them the privilege to reside and work in Canada indefinitely.

The Program categorizes skilled trades into various groups of NOCs

  • Major Group 72, Transportation officers and controllers and Technical Trades excluding sub-major group 726
  • Major Group 73, general trades
  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture, and related production
  • Major Group 83 occupations in natural resources and related production
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing, and utilities supervisors and central control operators
  • Major Group 93 central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
  • Minor Group 6320 Chefs, cooks, butchers, and bakers
  • Minor Group 62200, chefs

Processing Time

Similar to the processing times for FSW and CEC, the standard processing time for an FST application is approximately six months from the moment the application is submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) after receiving the invitation to apply (ITA) in the express entry FST draw.

(Second IMP POINT)

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows Canada’s provinces and territories to select qualified immigrants who want to establish themselves in a specific area. Canada has ten provinces and three territories, with all except Quebec and Nunavut taking part in the PNP. Quebec, on the other hand, has its own criteria for selecting economic immigrants.

What is the functioning procedure of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has been created with the aim of attracting skilled workers who can make a valuable contribution to the economy of a specific province or territory in Canada. Each province and territory in Canada has its own set of streams or immigration programs that are designed to target specific groups of individuals based on their critical skills, employment sectors, or other specific requirements. In order to apply for the PNP, potential candidates must fulfill the eligibility criteria that have been outlined by the immigration program of their chosen province. Once an applicant’s profile meets all the necessary conditions for their selected provincial stream, they will be nominated by that province, which will then assist them in the process of applying for permanent residency in Canada.

Processing Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applications received through the non-express Entry application process

For skilled foreign workers who are not eligible for the Express Entry program, the non-Express Entry process offers an alternative route to secure permanent residency. It is crucial to note that the eligibility requirements for these programs differ among provinces. Additionally, it is important to be aware that the processing times for non-Express Entry applications are generally longer compared to Express Entry.

Apply as a provincial nominee through Express Entry

Canada introduced the Express Entry system in 2015 to streamline permanent residence applications under key economic immigration programs. Following this, numerous Canadian provinces and territories have devised ‘enhanced’ PNP streams that are coordinated with Express Entry. As a result, some PNPs necessitate applicants to hold an Express Entry profile to satisfy the PNP eligibility standards