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What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is a system Canada uses to select and manage immigration applications for Canadian permanent resident status. Most new skilled worker immigrants come through Canada’s Express Entry system.
There are three immigration programs aligned with Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, and Federal Skilled Trades. If you are eligible for one of these three programs, you can create an Express Entry profile.
But! Creating a profile is not enough to get your permanent resident status. Express Entry is a highly competitive system. Eligible candidates are ranked against one another using the points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Only the most competitive profiles are invited to submit applications for permanent residence.
Prior to Express Entry’s introduction in 2015, economic immigration candidates were processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This caused significant delays, as it meant that candidates who did not have a realistic chance of meeting eligibility criteria were still processed. 80 percent of Express Entry applications are processed in less than six months.
How do I become a candidate in the Express Entry pool?
In order to become a candidate, first you have to be eligible for one of the three programs that are aligned with Express Entry:
If you are eligible for one of these three programs, you have to gather a few required documents and then you can build your Express Entry profile using the official online portal.
For details about eligibility and required documents, please refer to our Express Entry guide.
Is my Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score good enough?
The score needed to receive an Invitation to Apply changes from one draw to the next. You can find out what the most recent score cut-off was along with details about record-lows on our Express Entry Draw page.
If your score is far below the CRS score cut-off for recent draws, you may want to consider some of the possible alternative immigration options to Express Entry.
How can I improve my CRS score?
It is possible to boost your score, for example, by attaining an additional qualification, improving your language skills, or gaining more valid work experience.
If your score is significantly lower than recent CRS cut-offs, then we encourage you to explore ways to improve your score, rather than waiting in hope for the scores to drop.
For insights on how to boost your score, see our How to Improve your CRS Score page.
Additionally, our Comprehensive Ranking System page explains the factors being considered when your score is assigned.
Will the CRS cut-offs fall in future Express Entry draws?
It is impossible to predict with certainty how the CRS score cut-off may fluctuate in the future. The CRS score cut-off is influenced by a number of different factors including:
- How many invitations are issued in each Express Entry draw;
- How many new candidates enter the Express Entry pool; and
- How many existing candidates take actions to improve their CRS scores.
No one can accurately predict each of those various factors which is why we cannot predict whether the cut-off will rise or fall.
If your score is not in the competitive range for the cut-off you see in recent draws, you may want to pursue options for increasing your CRS score. Or, you may want to consider one of the possible immigration alternatives to Express Entry.
When will the next Express Entry Draw take place?
Often, the draws take place at two-week intervals, on Wednesdays. But there are regular departures from this routine and we have seen many of these lately.
Nobody can ever say for sure as it’s entirely at the discretion of immigration authorities. The answer is: we don’t know until it’s announced.
Your best bet is to check our Express Entry Draw page regularly as we update it every time a draw takes place.
A draw has taken place, and my CRS points are above the cut-off. When will I receive my invitation to apply?
It can take up to 24 hours from the time the draw is conducted to the time that you receive your ITA in your IRCC online account. Don’t fret if you don’t see it immediately!
My question was not answered above. Where can I find help?
To learn everything you need to know about Express Entry, sign up for the Express Entry Roadmap. This is our free email-education service designed to teach you about Express Entry.
If your query is of a general nature, you may be able to find help on our Canadian Permanent Residency / Express Entry forum on Facebook.
If you have a specific query, then we recommend a consultation with a regulated expert. We have a number of consultants whom we are happy to recommend. You can book a consultation with them here.
Please note that Moving2Canada cannot provide one-on-one assistance with immigration queries.