What Is an Express Entry Program?
Canada welcomes skilled immigrant workers to join our national labor pool, which is decreasing due to an aging population and low birth rate. There are three Express Entry programs that invite foreign workers into Canada:
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
When enacted in 2015, the Express Entry Program envisioned inviting 400,000 immigrants to fill 110,000 employment spots based on the talents and skills of these new residents – talents and skills that are needed to sustain and build the Canadian economy. Every 2 weeks the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invites those applicants with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores to apply for Express Entry permanent residency status.
How Does Express Entry Work?
Express Entry is the primary way skilled foreign workers can gain permanent residency status in Canada. Express Entry is a two-part process. As a candidate you need to let the Canadian government know that you are interested in securing Canadian permanent residency by completing an Express Entry Profile. This portion of the application process is free of charge. The second stage requires an invitation from the Canadian government to the highest scoring candidates to apply to immigrate to Canada. This is called an “invitation to apply” (ITA).
Once you have received an ITA, you will be expected to pay application charges:
- Processing fee: $850
- Right of permanent residence fee: $515
- Spouse or partner processing fee: $850
- Spouse or partner permanent residence fee: $515
- For each dependent child: $230
How Long Does the Express Entry Process Take?
Your Express Entry Profile expires after one year. If you have not received an ITA during that time, you may update and reactivate your Express Entry Profile.
Once the Canadian Government issues an ITA, the process of reviewing your application usually takes about 6 months.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Express Entry?
Let’s start with the con: under the Express Entry Program a candidate must be invited to complete the application process so that you might have to wait until your CRS score is high enough to qualify. However, although the Express Entry Profile expires after a year, you are able to renew the Profile to maintain eligibility.
The pros outweigh the cons considerably. The speed of Express Entry is extraordinary. The approval process for an Express Entry application, once the invitation to apply has been acted upon, is usually 6 months. Under the former system that approval process might have taken 6 years! The comprehensive ranking system that is used to determine who is invited to apply for permanent status is based on data, so that your skills and profile characteristics are reviewed with a real understanding of what skills Canada needs and what qualifications can assure applicants some success with immigration.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Express Entry into Canada?
Although the Express Entry program can be accessed without legal assistance, there are advantages to using an experienced immigration lawyer to help you. Because an invitation to apply is secured based on the highest number of CRS points, a savvy immigration attorney knows how to construct an Express Entry Profile that maximizes your credentials in the way Canadian immigration authorities value. And an experienced immigration lawyer can make sure that you do not misstate anything on your application or make any application mistakes.
Do I Need a Canadian Job Offer Under Express Entry?
You do not need a formal job offer to qualify for Express Entry. However, a legitimate job offer can increase your CRS score by as much as 50-200 points.
Can My Family Come With Me Under Express Entry?
For an additional fee, your family—spouse or common law spouse and dependent children under the age of 22—can also obtain permanent residence status.
Eligibility for Express Entry into Canada
There are three Express Entry programs that invite foreign workers into Canada:
- Federal Skilled Trades Program: for applicants with a certificate of qualification or a minimum of 2 years of experience working in a specific skilled trade, along with language proficiency
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: for applicants with one year of work experience in a skilled occupation along with at least intermediate language proficiency, and a foreign educational credential that has been assessed by Canadian authorities.
- Canadian Experience Class: for applicants with at least one year’s experience working in Canada, along with language proficiency
How Can I Become Eligible for Express Entry?
Canada offers over 100 different ways for foreign workers to obtain permanent residency. Express Entry encompasses only 3 programs. To be eligible for Express Entry, you need language proficiency, work experience, and documented work skills.
How Are Express Entry Program Points Calculated?
Each Express Entry applicant can be evaluated with up to 1200 CRS points, which are allocated on education, work experience, work experience in Canada, skills, the skilled trade category, family relationships, and language proficiency.
How Can I Increase My CRS Score?
A CRS score can be increased by including family members on your application, receiving a bona fide job offer, having a sibling already living in Canada, and by securing a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program. Improving language proficiency is another way to increase your CRS score.
Is My Language Test CLB Level Good Enough for Express Entry?
CLB stands for “Canadian Language Benchmarks” which is the rating system for language proficiency. Candidates for Express Entry must take a language test that evaluates four language abilities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You can only submit one language proficiency score, however, you may submit your best score. You can retake the language proficiency tests, although you will have to pay for each test, until you reach a score that you are happy with. A language score is good for 2 years.
Begin Your Express Entry Application Now With Trusted Immigration Counsel
If you are seeking permanent resident status through the Express Entry program, you can trust the knowledge and experience of Canadian Currents Immigration to guide you through the process. Although the application to create an Express Entry profile is free, the requirements for completing a successful application can be daunting. With the aid of an experienced immigration lawyer at Canadian Currents Immigration, you can apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry program once we determine your eligibility.
Our immigration lawyers at Canadian Currents Immigration will review your status to determine your eligibility for Express Entry and to fit you into the most appropriate category available.
Start with a confidential 30-minute consultation with a Canadian Currents Immigration immigration lawyer in Vancouver.
Call us now to book a time: 778-331-1164.