The Express Entry process in Canada

The Express Entry process in Canada

Nojus, a Lithuanian citizen, intends to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry system. However, he is not familiar with the Express Entry process. Nojus would like to know the basic requirements and how to be successful. Lucky for him, I have written this easy-to-understand article. 😉

The Express Entry process as a flowchart

The following flowchart shows the Express Entry process in a nutshell. Just locate Start and follow the arrows to track a typical process. Of course, exceptions could happen. I also explain the presented concepts in the following sections of the article.

The Express Entry process in Canada for most the applicants

The minimum requirements for Express Entry

The Express Entry system covers the following three immigration options. You may read the articles associated with these options. Alternatively, you may read my article on the minimum requirements for this system. Of course, knowing the benchmarks enhances your understanding of the Express Entry process.

Depending on your immigration option, you may also need to show proof of settlement funds.

Being expelled from the pool of Express Entry

Sometimes IRCC expells you from the pool of Express Entry. Here are some examples:

  • Your language test results are more than two years old
  • A change in family structure has disqualified you from all CEC, FSWC, and FSTC options. For example, a divorce, a marriage, or the death of a dependent family member could cause this.
  • Due to another reason, you do not meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry

The selection process for Express Entry

If you meet the minimum requirements, you may enter the pool of Express Entry. This pool consists of all active applicants. At this stage of the Express Entry process, you receive points from CRS, a unique point system. With a higher CRS score, you have a more promising chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Of course, you could increase your CRS score if any of the following happens:

  • Taking a new language test with better test results
  • If you know both official languages, taking a test for the other language and updating your Express Entry profile
  • Receiving an official invitation from a Canadian province under the various PNP Express Entry options
  • Obtaining a valid arranged employment offer

This list is not comprehensive, and other activities could also enhance your chances. Moreover, IRCC intends to introduce particular criteria for selection in 2023 and after. These criteria could invite people with lower scores.

Remaining in the Express Entry pool for one year, results in the expiry of your Express Entry profile. Therefore, you either need to walk away or enter the pool of Express Entry again.

The Express Entry process after ITA

After receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you usually need to take the following actions:

Officers review the submitted application. If they find you eligible and admissible, they will issue you either a COPR or an eCOPR. The former allows you to become a permanent resident upon entering Canada. However, an eCOPR makes you a permanent resident on the spot. Of course, if the officer finds you ineligible or inadmissible, they will refuse your application.

What is the Express Entry processing time?

IRCC claims they intend to process Express Entry applications in under six months. Nonetheless, in reality, some applications could wait for 12 months or even more. If you are inside Canada, there is a chance you could apply for a work permit under the BOWP program. Alternatively, you could qualify for an employer-based work permit or special measures such as IMP T13.

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    Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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