Express Entry Immigration to Canada

Based on section 12 of the Canadian immigration law, people may become permanent residents of Canada under one of the following three groups.

  • Family Reunification – Immigrating to Canada because of a relative (spouses, children, etc.)
  • Economic Immigration – Immigration to Canada because of skills, financial status, etc.
  • Refugees – Immigration to Canada for displaced people or those who need protection

The largest group of immigrants to Canada are Economic Immigrants. For example, the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration shows our country accepted 296,346 new immigrants in 2016, out of which 155,994 or rather 53% where Economic Immigrants.

NOTE: The destination of federal immigration is any province or territory of Canada, but Quebec. If you intend to immigrate to Quebec (e.g. to Montreal or Quebec City), you need to use one of Quebec immigration options.

Economic Immigrants are further divided into several subcategories, namely:

  • Immigration to CanadaFederal Economic – Skilled (59,999 admitted in 2016)
  • Federal Economic – Caregivers (18,467 admitted in 2016)
  • Federal Economic – Business (867 admitted in 2016)
  • Provincial Nominee (46,170 admitted in 2016)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers (25,857 admitted in 2016)
  • Quebec Business Immigrants (4,634 admitted in 2016)

* All the statistics are taken from the 2017 Report to the Parliament.

The first and largest subcategory consists of the following three streams of immigration to Canada.

The Government of Canada presented a system of immigration to Canada in 2015 to manage all applications under the FSWP, CEC, and FSTP programs. The name of this system is Express Entry or EE. Here is how EE works.

  1. The applicant creates an online account on the IRCC website (Note: If the applicant hires a licensed representative, they create an account for the applicant on their special portal with IRCC).
  2. The applicant enters basic information about their work experience, education, knowledge of the official languages of Canada, age, etc.
  3. IRCC reviews the application. If it meets the conditions under any of the FSWP, CEC, or FSTP programs, the applicant enters the pool of Express Entry for up to one year. IRCC also calculates the points of the applicant under the Express Entry criteria. This pointing system is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Currently, a Candidate may receive up to 1200 points under the CRS system.
  4. IRCC picks several applicants from the pool of Express Entry every few weeks. The rounds of selection happen a few times a year (usually at least once a month). Only those who hold the highest CRS scores will be invited to apply for immigration to Canada.
  5. The invited applicant fills out a new set of forms and uploads several documents to the IRCC account to support their claims.
  6. IRCC officers review those documents. If they are convinced the applicant is eligible they ask the applicant to complete a medical examination via an approved physician, also known as the Panel Physician. They also complete background assessments and security screening to make sure the applicant is admissible to Canada.
  7. If the applicant passes all the tests they could land in Canada as a Permanent Resident.

Of course, the devil is in the details. I highly recommend studying this system carefully or consult with a licensed professional before initiating an application. I have seen many people who applied on their own but IRCC refused them for simple mistakes that could be easily prevented. Stay tuned as I will write a lot more on this subject.

Last but not least, consider reading the following articles:


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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.