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Immigrate to Canada Through Express Entry

Express Entry is the main way that the Canadian government provides permanent residence to skilled workers.

Competing for permanent residence under the Express Entry system can be a challenging and lengthy endeavor. There are many opportunities to game the system and stay ahead of your competition, but you have to know what to look for. Our comprehensive Cougar Immigration page has everything you need to know on how to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry so that you can be successful in your pursuit of residency.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an electronic system used to process the applications of skilled workers who wish to become permanent residents of Canada.

When an interested candidate has submitted an online profile, the federal government determines who is eligible for a program that Express Entry manages. If the candidate is eligible, they are accepted into the pool and ranked according to their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS score is calculated based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, language skills, as well as other factors.

Every two weeks, the Canadian government selects high-scoring candidates from the Express Entry pool and offers them an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.

How does Express Entry work?

Express Entry is a two-stage process that is relatively straightforward. In the first main stage, candidates who are qualified for Communicate Entry express their interest in obtaining Canadian permanent residence status with the Canadian government. In the second significant step, the Canadian government invites the highest-scoring applicants to immigrate to Canada.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to submitting your Express Entry profile and obtaining a permanent residence visa in order to immigrate to Canada:

The first step to immigrating to Canada is figuring out if you’re eligible for Express Entry.

The second step is to complete your language tests and get an Educational Credential Assessment.

Step 3: Submit your profile on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website.

Step 4: Wait to see if IRCC sends you an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Step 5: Submit to IRCC your completed Application for Permanent Residence (APR) and pay your fees before the deadline. This stage requires you to include your medical exam and police certifications. IRCC will then issue you an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR).

Step 6: Submit your biometrics once IRCC (the Department of Immigration and Citizenship) asks for them.

Step 7: Wait for IRCC to make a final determination on your application. IRCC aims to finalize applications in 6 months or less. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and a permanent resident visa that is valid for use within Canada and abroad (or, if you’re from a country that requires a visa). This confirmation provides permission to complete the immigration process through landing, which is the last step.

How long does the Express Entry process take?

Express Entry profiles are valid for up to one year, but candidates can re-submit their profiles if they’re still eligible. If they don’t receive an ITA within this time period, the government begins to measure the processing time. They’ll process a permanent residence application within six months of receiving it. If you submit your complete application within one year of creating the Express Entry profile and you don’t receive an ITA by that time, then the timers will start when the application is received by CIC.

What are the pros and cons of Express Entry?

If you are considering immigrating to Canada, you may be wondering if Express Entry is the right option for you. Here are some pros and cons of Express Entry to help you make your decision:


• You may be eligible for Express Entry if you have certain skills and qualifications that are in demand in Canada.

• The Express Entry system is designed to speed up the immigration process for eligible candidates.

• You can receive extra points under the Express Entry system if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer.


• Not everyone is eligible for Express Entry. You must meet certain criteria to be considered.

• Even if you are eligible for Express Entry, there is no guarantee that your application will be successful. The number of invitations issued each month is based on the needs of the Canadian labour market.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for Express Entry?

You do not have to engage a lawyer to go through the Express Entry process, but it may be useful.

For a little legal charge, an experienced, professional, and trustworthy Canadian immigration lawyer can optimize your prospects of success under Express Entry.

They can advise you on how to obtain the most Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points possible, as well as walk you through the Express Entry process, from submitting your profile to preparing your permanent residence application after you have received an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Furthermore, it is a lawyer’s responsibility to verify that you do not make any errors or mislead your Canadian immigration application.

Cougar Immigration Law Firm is recognized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to represent Express Entry immigration seekers. Cougar Immigration Law has over years of experience assisting skilled professionals in obtaining permanent residence in Canada. Every year, a substantial number of Express Entry candidates employ Cohen Immigration Law to help them submit the best Express Entry profile possible and secure a permanent resident visa after receiving an ITA.

Am I eligible for Express Entry?

To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates must meet the requirements of at least one of the following federal economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: The FSWP is Canada’s main economic immigration route. A candidate must have at least one continuous year of work experience in the past ten years under NOC category TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 and documented intermediate-level French or English language proficiency for individuals educated outside of Canada. In addition to fulfilling the FSWP’s minimum requirements, successful candidates must obtain 67 points on the point grid.
  • Canadian Experience Class: Under the Canadian Experience Class program, international students and foreign workers can attain Canadian permanent residence by accumulating one year of skilled and professional work experience in Canada within the last three years. Eligible candidates must also meet language proficiency requirements.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program: The FSTP is open to anyone who wants to become a permanent resident based on their skilled trade experience. In order to be eligible, you must have at least two years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the five-year period of submitting the application; meet the job requirements for your skilled trade; have been offered a full-time job in Canada for at least one year that pays decently or has a certificate from an official Canadian authority testifying that you were qualified for a position as per your skilled trade, and demonstrate language proficiency.

How can I become eligible for Express Entry?

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must first meet the criteria for one of the federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. You will also need to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or be eligible for provincial nomination.

If you meet the criteria for one of the programs above, you will then need to create an online profile through Express Entry. This profile will include information about your age, education, work experience, language skills, and other relevant information. Based on this information, you will be given a score out of 1,200 points and placed in a pool of candidates.

The highest-scoring candidates in the pool will then be invited to apply for permanent residence. If you are invited to apply, you have 60 days to complete your application. Your application will be assessed based on factors such as your age, education, work experience, language skills, and whether you have a valid job offer.

What Canadian immigration options do I have?

For talented professionals seeking a Canadian permanent residence visa, Canada offers over 100 different immigration routes. You can pursue one or more of the following choices concurrently:

  • The majority of skilled worker immigrants to Canada enter through Express Entry.
  • The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is Canada’s second major method of attracting skilled workers.
  • Studying in Canada is a significant step toward acquiring a permanent resident visa through the aforementioned immigration possibilities.
  • If you already have a job offer in Canada, you can start your immigration journey by moving to Canada on a work permit and then pursuing the above options to obtain permanent residency.

Is my CRS score enough under Express Entry?

Interested in finding out what your CRS likely score is for a Canadian permanent resident visa? Review the most recent Express Entry results to see a breakdown of which scores are competitive.

It’s possible your CRS score doesn’t meet current requirements. But the requirements can change from one Express Entry draw to the next. For example, CRS cut-offs recently changed in much Express Entry draws. Change is inevitable with unpredictable draws, so it’s important to stay on top of things.

If you’re close to the cut-offs for a program and you think that your CRS score is low enough to worry about it, then stay patient. The cut-offs may change over time, and if not, there are other options for improving your score.

If your CRS score just barely missed the cut-offs and is lower than recent ones, then don’t get discouraged. You can find yourself in the Express Entry pool, which will provide you with an opportunity to receive a provincial nomination. This essentially guarantees that you’ll be successful under the Express Entry system. In the meantime, you can also look for a Canadian job offer, improve your CRS score, pursue other Canadian immigration programs like the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), or earn a degree to build up points under a temporary resident visa (tourist) or student visa.

What can I do to raise my Express Entry CRS score?

You can enhance your Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System score by doing the following:

  • Ensure that you claim all of the CRS points for which you are eligible. Improve your language exam score.
  • Make your spouse the primary applicant.
  • Increase your education.
  • Obtain further job experience
  • Work and study in Canada

What documentation do I need to submit my Express Entry profile?

In order to submit your Express Entry profile, you will need to provide information from the following documents:
– Your passport or travel document
– The results of your language test
– Proof of Canadian education (if you have one)
– A list of your educational qualifications (if you’re not a Canadian citizen)
– Proof of funds that meets immigration requirements
– A provincial nomination (if you have one)
– A current, written job offer from an employer in Canada (if we can’t find a business case for you already)

Will IRCC keep my profile after one year?

No, your profile will expire after one year. However, if you want to stay in the Express Entry pool, you’ll need to wait for your profile to expire and then submit a new one on IRCC’s website. In the meantime, take screenshots of your expired profile so that it’s easy for you to resubmit your information when it’s time.

About Cougar Immigration

Cougar Immigration is a leading Canadian immigration law firm with over years of experience. Cougar Immigration features experienced immigration lawyers, paralegals, and professionals who are dedicated to helping you immigrate to Canada.

If you want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry or another skilled worker pathway, the first step is to complete a free CanadaVisa assessment form. If you are eligible for Canadian immigration, a member of the Cougar Immigration Law team will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.

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