Express Entry is the main driver of economic immigration to Canada, but many people hoping to immigrate through Express Entry are led astray by some common misconceptions.

We’re here to set things straight.

Misconception 1: Everyone is eligible to submit an Express Entry profile

The most common misconception about Express Entry that we hear is that everyone is eligible to submit an Express Entry profile. Unfortunately, this is not true. Only those who meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class are eligible to create Express Entry profiles. If you do not meet all of the requirements of one of these programs, then you will be found to be ineligible for Express Entry. Even if you complete an approved language test and obtain an educational credential assessment, these documents alone do not mean that you meet all of the criteria of one of those three programs.

Misconception 2: If you submit an Express Entry profile you will get to immigrate to Canada

Not everyone who creates an eligible Express Entry profile will receive an Invitation to Apply and get to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence. Express Entry profiles are only valid for 12 months. Applicants can renew Express Entry profiles every 12 months, but if their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is too low they may never receive an Invitation to Apply, unless they can increase their CRS score. The Express Entry system is not a lottery system, and candidates are not selected at random they are selected based on their CRS score. Prospective applicants can view previous draw results to see if their score will be competitive or not.

Recent Express Entry draw results

>
 DateNumber of invitations to apply issuedMinimum CRS points required
Draw 223May 25589741
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 222May 11545753
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 221Apr 27829772
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 220Apr 13787782
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 219Mar 30919785
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 218Mar 16924754
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 217Mar 21,047761
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 216Feb 161,082710
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 215Feb 21,070674
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 214Jan 191,036745
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 213Jan 5, 2022392808
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 212Dec 22746720
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 211Dec 101,032698
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 210Nov 24613737
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 209Nov 10775685
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 208Oct 27888744
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 207Oct 13681720
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 206Sept 29761742
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 205Sept 15521732
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 204Sept 142,000462
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 203Sept 1635764
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 202August 193,000403
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 201August 18463751
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 200August 53,000404
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 199August 4512760
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 198July 224,500357
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 197July 21462734
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 196July 84,500369
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 195July 7627760
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 194June 246,000357
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 193June 231,002742
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 192June 106,000368
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 191June 9940711
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 190May 315,956380
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 189May 26500713
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 188May 201,842397
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 187May 134,147401
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 186May 12557752
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 185April 296,000400
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 184April 28381717
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 183April 166,000417
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 182April 14266753
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 181April 15,000432
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 180March 31284778
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 179March 185,000449
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 178March 17183682
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 177March 8671739
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 176February 1327,33275
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 175February 10654720
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 174January 214,626454
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 173January 20374741
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 172January 74,750461
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 171January 6, 2021250813
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 170December 23, 20205,000468
Draw 169December 95,000469
Draw 168November 255,000469
Draw 167November 185,000472
Draw 166November 54,500478
Draw 165October 144,500471
Draw 164September 304,200471
Draw 163September 164,200472
Draw 162September 24,200475
Draw 161August 203,300454
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 160August 19600771
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 159August 6250415
*FST-specific draw
Draw 158August 53,900476
Draw 157July 233,343445
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 156July 22557687
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 155July 83,900478
Draw 154June 253,508431
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 153June 24392696
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 152June 113,559437
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 151June 10341743
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 150May 283,515440
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 149May 27385757
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 148May 153,371447
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 147May 13529718
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 146May 13,311452
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 145Apr 29589692
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 144Apr 163,782455
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 143Apr 15118808
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 142Apr 93,294464
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 141Apr 9606698
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 140Mar 233,232467
*CEC-specific draw
Draw 139Mar 19668720
*PNP-specific draw
Draw 138Mar 43,900471
Draw 137Feb 194,500470
Draw 136 Feb 53,500472
Draw 135 Jan 223,400471
Draw 134 Jan 83,400473
Draw 133 Dec 193,200469
Draw 132 Dec 113,200472
Draw 131 Nov 273,600471
Draw 130 Nov 133,600472
Draw 129 Oct 303,900475
Draw 128 Oct 16500 (Federal Skilled Trades only)357 (Federal Skilled Trades only)
Draw 127 Oct 23,900464
Draw 126 Sept 183,600462
Draw 125 Sept 43,600463
Draw 124 Aug 203,600457
Draw 123 Aug 123,600466
Draw 122 July 243,600459
Draw 121 July 103,600460
Draw 120 June 263,350462
Draw 119 June 123,350465
Draw 118 May 293,350470
Draw 117 May 15500 (Federal Skilled Trades only)332 (Federal Skilled Trades only)
Draw 116 May 13,350450
Draw 115 April 173,350451
Draw 114 April 33,350451
Draw 113 March 203,350452
Draw 112 March 63,350454
Draw 111 February 203,350457
Draw 110 January 303,350438
Draw 109 January 233,900443
Draw 108 January 93,900449

Misconception 3: Everyone who submits an Express Entry profile needs a provincial nomination 

A provincial nomination is not required to submit an Express Entry profile. A provincial nomination will add 600 points to a candidate’s CRS score, but those whose CRS score is already high enough to be selected on their own do not require a provincial nomination. Provincial nominations cost additional money in provincial government fees and can take longer to process. Also, those who accept a provincial nomination have to demonstrate their intent to live and work in the province that has issued them with the provincial nomination.

Misconception 4: Everyone can apply for a provincial nomination to increase their CRS score 

While each of the provinces (except Quebec) and two of the territories of Canada have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in place, not everyone is eligible to apply to these programs. Most PNP streams offered by the provinces and territories require applicants to have a job offer in place. The provinces that do not require a job offer for some PNP streams look at other factors such as the applicant’s primary National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, Comprehensive Ranking System score and any connections that they may have to the specific province or territory. 

Misconception 5: Language scores don’t matter if you speak French or English 

All candidates who create an Express Entry profile are required to take an approved language test in French or English. It does not matter if you did a degree in French or English or come from a country whose first language is French or English. Many applicants believe that as long as they write the approved test and obtain the minimum scores required for their immigration program that their score will be as high as possible. This is not correct. The way that the CRS score works, applicants who achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 9 will have higher scores than those who achieve the minimum requirements, and there are even more points available for those who reach CLB level 10 or above. 

Misconception 6: You need a job offer to submit an Express Entry profile

Not all candidates require a job offer to be eligible for Express Entry. Depending on which immigration program you are eligible for, you may not require a job offer from a Canadian employer. For Federal Skilled Worker, certain candidates may need a valid job offer to meet the minimum FSW points threshold, but many candidates meet this threshold without a job offer. For Federal Skilled Trades, candidates may need a valid job offer in order to meet the minimum program requirements, but a job offer is not required if they have a certificate of qualification to practice their trade issued by a provincial or territorial authority in Canada. Those candidates that do have a valid job offer will receive an additional 50 or 200 points on their CRS score depending on their job’s NOC skill level. In summary, a job offer is not always required to create an Express Entry profile, but it does help your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.

Misconception 7: Express Entry is a lottery system

Express Entry is not a lottery system. There is no randomization in invitation rounds, also known as draws. Applicants are invited to apply solely on their CRS score. If you do not meet the minimum CRS score required for a round of invitations, you will not receive an Invitation to Apply. 

Misconception 8: Family is excluded from an Express Entry profile

When creating an Express Entry profile, the candidate has to declare their spouse or partner, if applicable, and whether the spouse or partner will be accompanying them or not. Once the candidate receives an Invitation to Apply, they will be asked to list their spouse or partner, if applicable, as well as any dependents. This includes biological children, adopted children, and step-children. All spouses or partners and dependent children can obtain permanent residence status with the applicant as long as they are not found to be inadmissible to Canada.

Misconception 9: Only one spouse can create an Express Entry profile

If a candidate is married or in a common-law relationship, their spouse or partner can also create an Express Entry profile as long as they meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class. Typically, couples choose one person to be the principal applicant based on them having the higher CRS score. However, it may benefit couples for both partners to create a profile if they are both eligible to do so, because the person with the lower CRS score may in fact be eligible for different PNPs, effectively doubling the couple’s chances of obtaining a provincial nomination.

Misconception 10: Express Entry restricts where you can live in Canada

The Express Entry system is used by workers and families  wanting to immigrate to Canada through any of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. Once applicants are in the Express Entry system, they may also qualify for a provincial nomination. If you are invited to apply through Express Entry, you can move anywhere in Canada with the exception of Quebec. Those wanting to immigrate to Quebec should not use the Express Entry system. If a candidate receives an Invitation to Apply as a provincial nominee, they have to intend to live and work in the province who has issued them with the provincial nomination. However, once a person is granted permanent resident status in Canada they have the right to live and work anywhere in the country.

You can get started with Canada Abroad by completing a free eligibility assessment for Canadian immigration:

 

Deanne Acres-Lans is a regulated Canadian immigration consultant (#508363), leading the immigration consultancy, Canada Abroad. You can book a consultation with Canada Abroad here.