What is Express Entry Canada?

One of the main categories through which potential candidates can apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident status is Express Entry. Express Entry is an electronic immigration system, first started in the year 2015 by the Canadian Government, allows you to immigrate to Canada within a few months.

Express Entry Canada is an application system where candidates can apply for immigrating to Canada. The eligible applications are then ranked based on the candidate’s age, education, work experience, language proficiency either English or French and other additional factors. Based on this rank, the list of candidates who can apply for Canadian permanent residency status is drawn.

Candidates above a certain rank will receive a formal invitation to apply for the Canada Permanent Residency.

Who Can Apply?

To apply for the Canada Express Entry program, candidates need to be eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs-

The Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWP)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The eligibility requirements for each of the above program varies but in addition, every applicant must have:

At least one year of skilled work experience

Proof of language proficiency test

Must pass the criminal history and medical screening.

Documents Required

The below documents are needed to apply via Express Entry.

Language Tests: Candidates are required to provide proof of language proficiency. The minimum requirement for language test varies by the economic immigration program. Your test should be valid before you submit your final permanent resident application. Please do not submit expired test results as your application will become ineligible. Note that IELTS test scores expire in two years. For English, you can opt for the General International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The Academic IELTS is not accepted for Permanent Resident applications. For French, TEF Canada or TCF Canada scores are accepted.

Educational Credentials Assessment: This is to evaluate non-Canadian education to Canadian standards. This assessment is not required for education programs completed in Canada.

Passport: A valid passport is required to submit an Express Entry profile.

Proof of Funds (for Permanent Resident application): If you receive an invitation to apply for Express Entry Permanent Residency, you are required to provide proof of finances to cover the costs for you and accompanying family members if any. The funds required will vary depending on the number of family members you intend to bring with you. It is less if you are travelling by yourself. It can vary between CAD $12,960 to CAD $35,000. Note that these funds should be readily available to you which means you cannot count real estate or equity value.

For proof, you will need to get an official letter from your respective banks or financial institutions.

Application Process Steps

Once you have reviewed the eligibility criteria and are eligible to apply for Express Entry Canada, you can proceed with the mentioned steps below.

Step 1: Fill Out an Online Express Entry Form

Candidates must fill an online application for Express Entry Canada which acts as an Expression of Interest for the program. The application will require details about the applicant such as their age, education, work experience, language proficiency either English or French and some additional factors.

After this an eligibility check is done on the applications and those that meet the criteria of one or more of the federal economic immigration programs are classified into eligible candidates’ pool. Following this the eligible candidates are ranked against each other based on their application. The candidates that already have a qualifying job offer from an employer in Canada or have received a provincial nomination will automatically receive high rankings.

Step 2: Sign Up to the Government’s of Canada’s Job Bank

If a candidate does not have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial nomination, it is advisable to sign up to the Government’s of Canada’s Job Bank in order to connect with relevant Canadian employers.

Step 3: Receive a Formal Invitation to Apply(ITA)

The express Entry draw is conducted at regular intervals by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Candidates above a certain rank will receive a formal invitation to apply for the Canada Permanent Residency.

Read our article on Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and ways to improve your CRS score to increase your chances of receiving an ITA.

If a candidate is not invited, they can resubmit their profile after a year to re-enter the pool given that they are still eligible for the program. You can update CRS scores and other information if needed.

Step 4: Apply online for Permanent Residency

Upon receiving the invitation, the candidate must apply online for permanent residency within 60 days through one of the below programs:

The Federal Skilled Worker Program(FSWC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)


To receive an invitation to apply for Permanent Residency via express Entry can take few days to months provided you qualify for the invitation.

Once you have submitted your Permanent Resident application, the processing time is about six months or less for most Express Entry Permanent Residency applications.

Upon Approval

If your application is approved, you will receive a formal notification to activate your permanent resident status in Canada.

Express Entry Fees

This includes language tests (approx. CAD $200), Educational Credentials Assessment (approx. CAD $200), police clearance certificate and medical report costs. Processing fee for each applicant is CAD $825 and right of permanent resident fee is CAD $500. Fees for dependents (includes children) is CAD $225 per child.

Applying with spouse or common law partner

In the case of applying with your spouse or common law partner, you will need to list one person as the principal applicant. The majority of CRS scoring will be drawn from the principal applicant’s profile.

Have anymore questions or doubts on the Express Entry program? Feel free to ask us in the comments below!

Don’t forget to download the Edapt App to connect with consultants, service providers and fellow applicants!


Netsanet Wubetu
July 26, 2020

Netsanet wubetu from ethiopia i belive if their would be a scholarship for high school 1st qnd 2nd year students .

    August 7, 2020

    Hi there! Thank you for stopping by! Yes there are scholarships offered. You just have to search for it diligently. It might take some time and effort.


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