(Check out our complete overview of the official 2018 Express Entry Report here.)
A new Canadian immigration report has confirmed that the average processing time for applications submitted through the Express Entry system in 2018 was five months.
The report, released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in July, 2019, showed that the average processing time for Express Entry increased by a small amount between 2017 and 2018:
Processing time (in months) for applications submitted through Express Entry programs
|Express Entry Program||2015||2016||2017||2018|
|Canadian Experience Class||3||6||4||5|
|Federal Skilled Worker||5||6||4||6|
|Federal Skilled Trades||5||6||6||7|
|For all programs||4||6||5||5|
|Processing times refer to the time in which 80% of applications were finalized by IRCC.|
When Express Entry was introduced in 2015, the system was intended to enable faster processing of immigration applications. IRCC aimed to process 80 percent of all Express Entry immigration applications in six months or less. The 2018 report demonstrates that IRCC has met this objective.
Express Entry remains the Canadian immigration pathway with the fastest average processing times for permanent residence applications. For example, provincial nominees applying through an Express Entry-aligned stream have their permanent residence applications processed in an average of 6 months. Meanwhile, provincial nominees applying through regular streams (not aligned with Express Entry) have to wait an average of 15 to 19 months for their permanent residence applications to be processed.
Understanding the application timeline for Express Entry
Notably, the time it takes for IRCC to process a permanent residence application is only one part of the Express Entry process. So, you should anticipate that the entire process will be longer than the average processing time listed above for the permanent residence application.
Generally, there are four major parts to the Express Entry immigration process:
Step 1 – Create your Express Entry profile
In order to be considered for Express Entry, you first have to create your Express Entry profile. This will take some time, as you will require certain documents in order to create your profile. Specifically, all candidates need to submit official language test results in either English or French, plus proof of education. If you completed your education in a country other than Canada, you’ll also have to get an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) before you can create your Express Entry profile.
Step 2 – Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
Once you create your Express Entry profile, if you’re eligible, you will receive confirmation you’ve been entered into the pool, plus your Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS score). The CRS score is used to rank candidates in the pool against one another. If you have a competitive CRS score, you may only have to wait a week or two to receive your Invitation to Apply (ITA). However, if your CRS score is not competitive enough, you may have to wait for the CRS score cut-off to drop, or try to find ways to increase your CRS score.
In some cases, candidates do not receive an ITA and their Express Entry profile expires after 12 months. If you’re worried about the competitiveness of your CRS score, don’t fret, check out some of these other options for making the move to Canada.