Explore Courses

Canada Express Entry - Everything you should know

Updated on 09 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Want to migrate to Canada in the fastest way possible? Then Express Entry Canada is the solution for you! With a standard processing time of 6 months, get a permanent residency in Canada through the Canadian Express Entry. To be eligible to immigrate to Canada, one needs to qualify for the Express Entry draw conducted by the Government. However, a Canadian job offer can help you increase your Canada Express Entry points as it will improve your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).


What is Express Entry Canada?

The Express Entry system of Canada is the course of action that one needs to undertake to immigrate to Canada or become a permanent resident of the country. It comprises a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), a point-based evaluation system that the candidates need to clear through the Canada Express Entry points. The Express Entry system started in 2015  was introduced to make the immigration process of skilled professionals a lot easier. 

There are three significant immigration programs under the Express Entry system:

The Government conducts an Express Entry draw every two weeks and then invites applicants to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) based on their CRS score. The highest Canada Express Entry points cut off in 2021 was 461 in all programs and 751 in Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and the lowest was 75 in CEC. 

How to apply for Express Entry Canada?

If you have a graduation degree, 3+ years of work experience, are above 18 years old and speak fluent English, you fit the express entry draw criteria. If you qualify for these criteria, you can apply for immigration or permanent residency in Canada. 

Here’s how you can proceed with your application.

A mandatory ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) 

To apply for an Express Entry, you need to procure necessary documents such as the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an Approved Assessment Body like World Education Services (WSE).

Knowledge of English or French 

You need to prove your proficiency in English or French. 

Score minimum Canada Express Entry points

An applicant has to go through an Express Entry FSW test based on the parameters of their age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. A minimum score of 67 points is mandatory to apply for the Express Entry system.

Some miscellaneous criteria

Besides proficiency in English or French and a minimum score of 67, the candidate should be in good medical condition and be capable enough to clear the debt. Though there is no age bar as such, however, no extra points will be rewarded to the people who are aged above 47. 

Once all the requirements are met, the aspirants need to create their Express Entry profiles and submit their applications along with the required documents on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC) website. The Canada Express Entry points will be assessed through the CRS score, and IRCC will summon the candidates with the highest CRS scores. 

How much does Express Entry cost?

Now that you know the eligibility criteria to apply for Express Entry. Let us know how much does Express Entry costs. 

  • Language tests: $300 
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA): $200 
  • Biometrics: $85/person (INR 4,976)
  • Government fees: $1,325/adult & $225/child
  • Medical examination fees: $450/adult & $250/child approx
  • Police clearance certificates: $100/country approx

Note: All these amounts are subject to changes.

To submit your initial Express Entry profile, the Canadian government has not determined any amount of money. The fees are only requested when you are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Government processing fees, and provincial immigration fees may be required if you are nominated for a PNP program

Read More
MBA in Canada CostData Scientist Salary in CanadaStudy in Canada after 12th
BBA in Canada after 12thEligibility for MBA in CanadaSalary after MBA in Canada
Average Salary after MS in CanadaJobs after MS in CanadaAverage Salary in Canada after MS in Computer Science

How to create Express Entry profiles?

The official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has an online tool that helps applicants assess if they are eligible to apply under the Express Entry system. Before that, make sure you identify your National Occupation Classification (NOC) skills under which you want to apply for immigration or Permanent Residency. 

Once the tool gives a thumbs up, you can go ahead with the creation of your Express Entry profile and submit the information as follows:

  • Name and age.
  • Contact number(s).
  • Information about the candidate’s educational history.
  • An extensive background of their work experience.
  • How will they adapt to the lifestyle in Canada?
  • The number of members in the family.

For the successful completion of the Express Entry profile, one needs to keep the following documents handy:

  • Passport.
  • Results of their language tests.
  • If the candidate wants to migrate for job purposes, then the employer’s written job offer letter is mandatory.
  • The reference code provided by IRCC on the successful use of the online tool to determine their eligibility to apply for Express Entry. 

Upon successfully creating and furnishing all the details, the applicants shall receive an Express Entry Profile Number and a job seeker validation code. 

How does Express Entry work?

A management system that looks after the immigration and granting of Permanent Residency in Canada, Express Entry is a method that helps in zeroing down on the best candidates to the already existing skilled workers in the country. 

Want to know how it works? Read on!

Interested candidates need to assess their Canada Express entry points by submitting their profiles online, which evaluates them on the basis of their CRS scores. Every 15 days, the Government of Canada invites the top-scoring candidates and issues them an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry draws. Moreover, people with a job offer from a Canadian employer and a provincial nomination will get some significant points during the process. 

Upon receiving a coveted ITA, the applicant gets a time period of 60 days to apply for permanent residency in Canada under any of the applicable programs. If the applicant fails to abide by the same, the ITA becomes invalid. 

How to get a Provincial Nomination for Express Entry?

The first and foremost criteria that an aspirant needs to fulfill is that they have to complete their biometrics (fingerprints and photographs). To apply for Express Entry through Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), one needs a Canadian province or territory nomination. To procure a province or territory nomination, the candidate can follow either of the two steps:

  • Either get in touch with the province or territory and ask them for a nomination under the Express Entry system and if they agree to do the same, you can either create a profile or update your existing one. Thereby, your nomination will be reflected in your profile.
  • Or, create your Express Entry profile and bring it to the attention of the province or territory that you are interested in migrating to. If they are willing to nominate you, they will send a “notification of interest” to your account, after which you can apply through their Express Entry stream. The nomination will be offered through your account, and it has to be accepted electronically. 

In case if the province or territory withdraws your nomination before sending you an ITA, then a new profile can be submitted on the Express Entry pool after the withdrawal of the old one. However, if the nomination is withdrawn after issuing ITA but before you have completed the submission of the application, then you have to reject the invitation. After which, you must remove the existing profile and submit a new one.

How to delete your Express Entry profile?

If you want to delete your Express Entry profile, then follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Visit your profile. 
  • On the main page, there is a section named “What would you like to do today?”
  • After clicking on that option, browse through the “not yet submitted” section of “Continue my profile/application.”
  • After that, click on the “Delete profile” option.
  • Head on to the “What would you like to do today?”, just under the “Warning!” text and then click on the “Continue” option. 

How long does the Express Entry process take?

The process of the express entry profile takes a minimum of six months. The period includes the process beginning from the submission of the Express Entry profile to the issue of the permanent resident visa. However, it is to be noted that not all cases and applications are processed within this much time. For 12 months, all the applications remain active in the pool of candidates. If the applicants do not receive any notification from the authorities within 12 months, they are advised to resubmit their applications. 

Some points to note:

  • The profile of the candidate remains valid for 12 months.
  • The candidates will have 60 days to provide the complete application of documents after the issuance of the ITA.
  • After submitting the complete application, IRCC may process the application in the next six months. 


What are the pros and cons of Express Entry? 

The Express Entry has its own set of pros and cons. The major plus point of the system is speed. The turnaround time for the applications is less than a year; however, it generally takes several years for the application process to be completed. A challenge that Express ENtry brings in is giving half points to the provincial nomination program (PNP) or an LMIA approval. 

Let us have a quick look at some of the pros and cons of the Express Entry system

Immigrants with job offer gets a chance at an early stageJob offers should be LMIA approved, which can affect entry-level positions
Fast processing timeHalf points are awarded for job offers which can be a disadvantage for immigrants with no job offer
No first come first serve basis can increase the chances of applications being processed fasterNo first come first serve means there is a probability that the application never get noticed.
If more than one candidate ranks equally, they all are given a chance to apply for permanent residency. There is no certainty which applications will be invited as per draws.
Also Read
MBA in Canada Fees for Indian StudentsSalary of Data Scientist in CanadaBest Courses in Canada After 12th
BBA in Canada for Indian StudentsEligibility for MBA in Canada for Indian StudentsSalary after MBA in Canada
Average Salary after MS in CanadaJobs after MS in CanadaAverage Salary in Canada after MS in Computer Science

Frequently Asked Questions

How does my IELTS score affect my CRS score?

The English Language proficiency tests can affect the CRS score and chances of getting a PR in Canada. 8 or 9 bands in IELTS is considered a good score when it comes to express entry points. Scoring 8 bands give candidates 32 CRS points with a spouse and 34 points without a spouse. 32 or 34 points increases the chances of getting an invitation from IRCC.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for Express Entry?

The Canadian government treats all applicants equally with or without a lawyer. If you can easily read and understand the instructions well, then the Express Entry system is completely do-it-yourself. However, if you still feel, you can hire a Canadian representative to help you complete the process.

Do I need a Canada job offer under Express Entry?

No. In most cases, you do not require a job offer. It is required only in the following cases:

  • If the candidate is eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
  • If the candidate does not have much money to support themselves or their family in Canada.

Can my family come with me under Express Entry?

You can include the dependent family members in your Express Entry. The dependent family members are:

  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent child
  • Spouse or common-law partner’s dependant child
  • Dependent child of a dependent child

How can I improve my Express Entry CRS score?

Here is how you can improve your CRS score:

  • A good score in the language proficiency test can improve your scores.
  • Work experience can help you increase your score.
  • Education from Canada can help you improve your CRS scores.
  • Nomination from PNP can also give extra points to the application.
  • Qualifying job offer can add relative value to the profile.

Do Express Entry immigrants find good jobs in Canada?

Immigrants can get jobs in Canada, as per studies.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

See More

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.