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Express entry

In January 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic categories. According to the federal government, Canada needs high levels of immigration to meet current and future labour market needs, which will ensure our economic growth and long-term prosperity. 

Express Entry allows IRCC to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants under the following federal economic immigration categories: 



Provinces and territories are also able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs.

Step 1)

Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile

Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile, where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration categories subject to Express Entry (CEC, FSWC or FSTC) will be placed in a pool of candidates.


For a job offer to be deemed valid and enable the candidate to claim points in Express Entry, employers will usually need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). There is no fee for a LMIA for permanent residence applications under Express Entry system. 

Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

Step 2)

IRCC will invite certain candidates to apply for permanent residence and process their electronic applications within six months

Candidates will receive an Invitation to apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool. Candidates are awarded points for having a valid job offer and/or a nomination from a province or territory and/or for meeting certain skills and experience factors. Additional points are awarded to those who have completed post-secondary studies in Canada, who have a valid job offer or who have received a nomination from a province or territory. 

If invited to apply, the applicant will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence through one of the following categories: 

• Canadian Experience Class (CEC) 

• Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) 

• Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST) 

• A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

If you are applying for one of the three federal economic categories under Express Entry, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

Proof of funds

You must show that you have enough money for you and your family to settle in Canada, unless you

*Proof of funds can be exempt for an applicant applying for Canadian Experience Class, if an applicant is legally working in Canada with a valid job offer


You must be admissible to Canada.

Where you can live in Canada

You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.

When you fill out your profile, we’ll ask you where you plan to live in Canada. You don’t have to settle in that province or territory.

If you meet all required requirements, IRCC will process the majority of complete applications (i.e., applications that include all the necessary supporting documents) within six months or less.

*For Express Entry CRS tool:

*For more information:

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