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After months of preparation, your Express Entry profile is ready for submission and now is the time to start uploading the information into the Express Entry portal. With so much at stake, now more than ever, you must ensure you enter all the information correctly and make sure your Express Entry profile is eligible to be placed in the pool to avoid a rejection. With this in mind, we have listed some of the common reasons an Express Entry profile may be rejected so you can avoid these mistakes.

Key Takeaways

  • Once you submit your Express Entry profile, it will be reviewed and categorised as eligible or ineligible.
  • If eligible, your Express Entry profile could remain in the pool for 12 months and could receive an invitation to apply (ITA) or a provincial invitation.
  • If ineligible, your Express Entry profile will not enter the pool and cannot receive an ITA or provincial invitation.
  • During the 12 month validity period of your Express Entry profile, it can be declared ineligible and therefore removed from the pool
  • There are common reasons why your Express Entry profile may come back ineligible- these are listed below along with how to avoid them.
  • If your profile comes back ineligible, with a little modification you may resubmit and be eligible. 

What Happens After You Submit Your Express Entry Profile?

If you want to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system, your first step will be to create an Express Entry profile and submit it to the Express Entry pool. When you submit your Express Entry profile, your profile goes through a computerised assessment to check whether your profile is eligible to be entered into the Express Entry pool.

If it is determined that your profile is eligible, you will enter the Express Entry pool and receive a Comprehensive Ranking Score. Your profile will then be eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply. 

The alternative to being eligible is to be ineligible or rejected. This is when you submit your profile but it is determined that you are not eligible to enter or remain in the Express Entry pool. This can happen when you first apply or at any time during the 12 month validity period of a profile. 

Fun Fact: A lot of profiles that are deemed ineligible upon submission of the profile could be eligible with a little modification.

Common Reasons an Express Entry Profile is Ineligible or Rejected

Here are some common reasons why your Express Entry profile may be ineligible or refused as well as things you can do to avoid them.

Taking the wrong language test

Only 5 accepted language tests can be used to demonstrate your language proficiency as part of your Express Entry Profile.

For English, these are:

  1. CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program- Only the CELPIP- General exam is accepted.
  2. IELTS: International English Language Testing System- Only the IELTS General Training is accepted. 
  3. PTE Core: Pearson Test of English- Only the PTE core is accepted. 

For French, these are: 

  1. TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français
  2. TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français

Any other language test will not be accepted. If an applicant submits their Express Entry profile but with the IELTs Academic version of the exam, their Express Entry profile will be rejected.

To avoid a rejection here, be sure to sit and submit the correct version of the language exam. 

Ignoring Program Requirements

To submit an Express Entry profile, applicants must be eligible under one of the 3 federal immigration programs that use the Express Entry system to source applicants. These are:

If the applicant does not qualify for one of the above programs, their Express Entry profile will be rejected as they will not be eligible. 

To avoid this, be sure to understand the eligibility requirements for the immigration program you are applying under and make sure you demonstrate how you are eligible. 

Selecting the Wrong Primary Occupation

The primary occupation may seem insignificant but it is one of the important elements of your eligibility to enter the Express Entry pool. 

For instance, if you are submitting your application as a FSW, your primary occupation must be continuous, at least 1 year in the last 10 years, full-time or full-time equivalent, and in a skilled occupation. Under the CEC, your experience in your primary occupation must be within the last 3 years. 

To avoid selecting the wrong primary occupation, pick a primary occupation that will remain valid for the duration of your Express Entry profile (if you can).  If you are a CEC applicant, make sure you select a Canadian primary occupation from within the last 2 years if you can. This will see you through the 12-month period your Express Entry profile can remain valid. 

Proof of Funds

Some applicants will need to demonstrate sufficient funds as part of their eligibility to enter the Express Entry pool. You will need to state at least the minimum required for the size of your family. These thresholds increase every year around May. Following an update, if you no longer have sufficient funds for your family size, your Express Entry profile will be rejected. 

To avoid this, when you enter the proof of funds question, add 10% to the current threshold to account for future increases. Then, you should budget to make sure you have this amount in your account, including a transaction history for the last three months showing that balance. 

Expired Supporting Documents 

Some of the documents needed to upload your Express Entry profile have limited validity. For instance, your language tests expire after 2 years and your ECA report expires after 5 years. For your profile to remain valid, your language test results and ECA report must be valid. 

To avoid a refusal for expired documents, make sure you update your Express Entry profile with a new document before the expiry of the old document. This will ensure your profile remains valid. 

Change in Circumstances 

For your Express Entry profile to remain eligible for the 12 month duration, you must continue to meet the eligibility of the immigration program you applied under. This means that any changes in eligibility during that 12 month period will affect whether your Express Entry profile remains active. A common change in circumstances that affects eligibility is age. As an Express Entry profile can be valid for up to 12 months, applicants will likely age 1 year during the validity period. This could be enough to impact your eligibility to be in the pool. 

To avoid this, if you will become ineligible during the validity period of their Express Entry profile, you should proactively try to make up the lost points somewhere else. The easiest way to do this is with language. You can claim up to 28 points for language. Maximizing this could not only help with eligibility but will also give your ranking a boost. 

If you are concerned about getting your Express Entry profile rejected, consider registering for a free Moving2Canada account. For Express Entry applicants, we offer a personalized checklist covering the above and more to make sure you submit the strongest profile possible.

About the author

Rebecca Major profile picture
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Rebecca Major

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Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Moving2Canada.
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Citation "Reasons Your Express Entry Profile May Be Rejected." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation