In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will launch a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs – similar to Expression of Interest systems currently used in Australia and New Zealand.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be processed through the Express Entry system. It is important to note that this is not a new immigration stream, but rather a way for CIC to manage economic immigration applications online. Candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada (rather than the first in line) will receive an Invitation of Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.


Candidates complete an Express Entry profile online.

If the candidate does not yet have a job offer or Provincial/Territorial Nomination, they must register and complete a profile on Job Bank in order for them to be accepted into the Express Entry Pool – this will potentially match them with an appropriate employer before arriving in Canada.

Candidate is entered into the Express Entry Pool and must complete the current criteria of at least ONE of the three federal economic immigration programs (FSWP, FSTP, CEC), or have a nomination from a PNP stream with the exception of Nunavut.

CIC will assess the candidates in the Express Entry Pool to determine who will be most successful. These individuals that are drawn from the pool will receive an ITA, and will be given 60 days to submit a complete online PR application. Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an ITA for permanent residence.

Please be advised that there will be penalties associated with misrepresentation on an Express Entry profile or Job Bank profile, which can include being prohibited from entering Canada for up to 5 years.

Candidates will be scored to determine their place in the pool using a ranking system which will consider skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other factors known to contribute to economic success for immigrants once in Canada. Extra points will be awarded if the candidate already has a Job Offer or Provincial/Territorial Nomination. Candidates completing an Express Entry profile should already have valid language test results (within 1 year), and Educational Credentials Assessments (if their education was completed outside of Canada and they wish to receive points towards their Express Entry score).

An Express Entry candidate can receive an ITA if they:

  • Have a valid job offer (subject to the LMIA process);
  • Are nominated by a province or territory; or
  • Are amoung the top ranked in the Express Entry pool based on their skills, education, and experience.

Once individuals receive an ITA, they will be given 60 days to sumbit a complete online PR application. CIC anticipates that the majority of applications (regardless of the stream) will be processed in six months or less.

Q & A
Q. How long is a profile valid?
A. Express Entry profiles are valid for one year and do not cost anything to create. If the candidate does not receive an ITA after 12 months, they are free to resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria.
Q. Does a candidate need an LMIA in order to get points for Express Entry
A. LMIAs will be required in addition to making the job offer in order for the process to begin under Express Entry. If there is still a valid assessment – and the candidate is already working – then an application can be made.
Q. Will everyone with a valid job offer that is supported by an LMIA receive an ITA?
A. Everyone with a job offer supported by a LMIA who is in the pool will receive an ITA – at the time their application is being processed, they must meet the requirements of the program in question.
Q. Will there still be eligible and ineligible occupations as currently found for some PR streams?
A. No, the eligible occupation lists will be removed as of January 2015 from the FSWP and FSTP.
Q. How will CIC rank candidates within the Express Entry pool?
A. Education, qualifications, experience, skills, and language ability are all factors that are takeninto consideration – and points will be awarded accordingly. When CIC draws from the pool, they will be pulling from the top ranked candidates at the time of the draw, both to meet economic growth targets the government has put in place, and to ensure all candidates with valid job offers and/or Provincial Nominations are able to submit their application.
Q. Will the traditional paper process still be available or will candidates have to go through this Express Entry method?
A. Paper applications will no longer be an option once the Express Entry program has been initiated, all candidates wishing to obtain permanent residence through the FSWP, FSTP, and CEC will be required to follow the Express Entry method.
Q. Will candidates be able to view their score and ranking online?