Canada Immigration: Express Entry to Work or Study in Canada

Express Entry is an electronic management application system for immigration to Canada.
It is not an immigration program. Rather, it facilitates the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Worker Program),
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Trades Program)
  3. Canadian Experience Class, and
  4. portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.


Applicants make an “expression of interest” (EOI) in immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool.

The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool who will then receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for immigration to Canada under one of the programs.

Express Entry moves Canada from a first come, first served (or supply-driven) system to an invitation to apply (or demand-driven) system. Modelled on similar systems in use in Australia and New Zealand.

Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.

Why is it called Express Entry?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC) aims to process applications within six months from the date of submission, hence the name Express Entry.

Note that this does not mean six months from the date a candidate made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, but rather six months from the date he or she submits a complete application for permanent residence after an invitation to apply has been issued.

Does Express Entry change the requirements of Canadian immigration programs?

No. Express Entry does not change Canadian immigration program requirement. Express Entry is not an immigration program. Rather, it is a management and selection system for existing immigration programs.

What is an Express Entry profile?

Potential candidates make an expression of interest (EOI) in coming to Canada by creating an Express Entry profile and providing information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other personal information.

This profile is self-declared; that is to say that the material provided by the potential candidate is based on his or her own assessment of his or her personal information.

What happens if the personal information declared by a potential candidate going into the pool turns out to be false?

If the information provided by the potential candidate turns out to be false, this is known as misrepresentation and, depending on the nature and severity of the false claim, carries penalties.

A potential candidate who has been found to have provided false information going into the Express Entry pool can be banned from re-entering the pool for five years. Therefore, it is hugely important to provide accurate and correct information always.

Candidates who are unsure about how to assess their own abilities and credentials may want to seek advice from an immigration lawyer before entering the Express Entry pool.

What is the Canada Job Bank, and what role does it have under Express Entry?

The Canada Job Bank is an online search engine for open job positions across Canada. It helps match candidates with Canadian employers and jobs based on their skills, knowledge, and experience.

Under Express Entry, candidates may register with the Job Bank if they do not already have a Canadian job offer or a Provincial/Territorial nomination. As of June 6, 2017, registration in the Job Bank is voluntary.

If a candidate is currently working in Canada on a Labour Market Impact Assessment-based work permit, he or she will not have to reapply for a new LMIA, insofar as the LMIA is still valid.

Should the Express Entry candidate choose to apply to a job opportunity, the recipient employer will then be required to go through their usual interview or assessment process.

If the employer finds that the Express Entry candidate meets their needs, and they are eligible to hire a foreign national, they can offer them a job. Employers with a positive LMIA will then provide this information along with a job offer letter to the candidate to include in their Express Entry profile.

A Canadian job offer awards points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and consequently may increase a candidate’s chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.

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