What is Express Entry and how does it work?
Express Entry is a new way of managing applications in a number of existing economic immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
- Canadian Experience Class.
Provinces and territories are also able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in order to meet local labour market needs. Through Express Entry, people who meet the criteria for one of these programs are placed into a pool of candidates.
The Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and Canadian employers are then able to select people from this pool.
Employers in Canada must first make every effort to try and find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill vacant job opportunities. Eligible employers who cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for a permanent job will be able to consider candidates from the pool who meet their needs. Express Entry and the Government of Canada’s Job Bank will let eligible employers in Canada and skilled foreign nationals connect with one another more easily, making integration faster once immigrants arrive in Canada.
Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
Candidates will be awarded points for:
- a job offer and/or
- a provincial/territorial nomination and/or
- skills and experience – factors that contribute to success in Canada
How will the Express Entry system benefit Canada?
The Government of Canada is reforming its economic immigration system to ensure that Canada’s economic and labour market needs are met. Express Entry is a key part of this. Its goal is to make the system faster and more flexible. It will improve how Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) accepts and processes applications, which will mean:
- faster and more efficient processing
- a better ability to respond to Canada’s labour market
Under Express Entry, CIC will only accept applications from people we have invited to immigrate to Canada under certain economic immigration programs. This will prevent the growth of backlogs by ensuring that only the candidates who are most likely to succeed—not simply the first to submit their application—are able to apply to immigrate to Canada.
Most applicants who are invited to apply under the Express Entry system will see their electronic permanent residence applications processed within six months or less. This reduction in wait times will make it possible for Canada to keep pace with peer countries, attract the best skilled immigrants, and get them working and contributing to the Canadian economy faster.
What is an Express Entry submission?
An Express Entry submission is process through which a potential immigrant submits the required information sufficient to demonstrate their eligibility for an immigration program. Individuals who submit their profiles into Express Entry indicating that they are eligible for a specific immigration program can be invited to apply for that program based how they rank compared to other eligible candidates.
CIC conducts regular draws from the pool of submissions, selecting those who score the highest points based on a new points grid, the Comprehensive Ranking System. Applicants benefit by receiving faster processing times and a higher rate of approval. Individuals who are able to enter the Express Entry pool, but are not invited to apply, are not refused but simply have their submission expire after one year, after which they can resubmit a new profile.
Does Express Entry change immigration program requirements?
No. Express Entry will not change immigration program requirements. Express Entry is not a new program. It is a new way for CIC to manage the intake of economic immigration applications online.
Is there a cap on the number of candidates admitted to the Express Entry pool?
There is no limit to the number of people who may enter the Express Entry pool. CIC expects this to result in a range of candidates with a greater variety of skills and experience from which employers, provinces and territories can select to meet their needs. However, CIC will base the number of candidates who get an ITA for permanent residence on the Annual Immigration Levels Plan. The Levels Plan will still set out the broad admission ranges for the immigration programs that are part of Express Entry.
Express Entry will create an inventory of high-quality candidates who employers in Canada will be able to consider when they cannot find Canadians or permanent residents to fill job vacancies. Under Express Entry, labour market demand, in the form of a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a nomination by a province or territory will provide candidates with enough additional points and be ranked high enough to be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of candidates. Draws will be made from the Express Entry pool on a regular basis, and instructions for each draw will be posted on our website. Note that all job offers will be subject to Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) LMIA requirements in place at that time.
Employers and potential candidates will also benefit from faster processing. CIC’s goal is a six-month or less processing time from the day they receive a complete application for permanent residence to the day a final decision is made.
What happens to permanent residence applications received by CIC before the launch of Express Entry?
Applications received by CIC before the launch of Express Entry will be processed according to the rules in place at that time.
How will provinces and territories use the Express Entry system?
Provinces and territories will be able to nominate a certain number of foreign nationals through the Express Entry system to meet their local immigration and labour market needs. If an applicant gets a nomination from a province or territory, they will be given enough additional points to be invited to apply for permanent residence at the next eligible draw of candidates.
Just as they manage their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) now, provinces and territories can set the criteria they use to nominate Express Entry candidates.
Express Entry candidates may either:
- enter the pool first, and then be nominated by a province or territory; or
- be nominated by a province or territory, and then complete an online Express Entry profile.
Note: All prospective candidates (whether PNP applicants or not) must meet the criteria of at least one of the federal immigration programs managed through Express Entry in order to enter the pool, and must submit their application online.
Provinces and territories will also continue to be able to make nominations under their regular PNPs outside of Express Entry via the existing application process.
Does Manitoba participate in Express Entry?
Manitoba has been awarded up to 500 additional nomination spaces to be used for candidates who qualify under Express Entry. Manitoba has now implemented a formal “sub-stream” for MPNP applicants which in Phase 1 can be used by existing applicants who are invited by the MPNP only. Once Phase 2 is introduced later this year, the Express Entry “sub-stream” will be open to all new applicants to the MPNP who qualify.
Can I participate in Express Entry if I have already been nominated?
MPNP applicants who are already nominated should not enter Express Entry as the MPNP will not be able to support this application. Nominated applicants should follow the steps outlined in their Letter of Approval from the MPNP when applying for permanent residence. For applicants nominated through one of the regular MPNP program categories, this includes submitting their permanent resident applications to the Centralized Intake Office, rather than using Express Entry.
I have an active application with the MPNP and would like to use Express Entry. What should I do?
At this stage, only those MPNP applicants directly contacted by the MPNP and advised to do so should submit an Express Entry profile as the MPNP will otherwise not be able to assist you with your Express Entry submission. All applicants should follow the steps outlined in their Letter of Approval from the MPNP when applying for permanent residence.
Please note that candidates who were not nominated through our Express Entry “sub-stream”, but decide to submit an Express Entry profile indicating they are a Provincial Nominee will be removed from the Express Entry pool after 30 days as provinces and territories can only confirm the nomination of those Express Entry candidates that were nominated to designated program categories.
I have not applied to the MPNP, but would like to be nominated by Manitoba through Express Entry. What should I do?
At this time, the MPNP can only assist candidates who have already submitted a full application to the MPNP and only AFTER their application has been assessed by Manitoba. Once Phase 2 of our Express Entry “sub-stream” is launched, Manitoba will be able to nominate new applicants through this pathway if they qualify for Express Entry. In the meantime, you can determine your eligibility to the MPNP by using our Self-Assessment Worksheet.