How to Migrate to Canada Through Express Entry

express entry canada

Permanently immigrating to Canada as a foreigner through express entry is the dream of most young individuals, especially ones who have lived in Canada and worked in Canada for a stipulated period. But how can you successfully immigrate? What is Canada Express Entry? How does Canada Express Entry work?

This article is a complete guide on Canada Express Entry. It explains how to immigrate through express entry; who is eligible to apply for express entry; how to apply and how long the express entry takes, and finally, how to increase your CRS score.

What is Express Entry System?

Express Entry is a point-based immigration program considered the most prominent and quickest pathway for newcomers and professionals seeking to settle in Canada permanently. It is a point-based program because applicants are awarded points based on their skills, experiences, Canadian employment status, age, and provincial/territorial nomination. Applicants with the highest points receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency (PR).

How Does the Express Entry Work?

The Express Entry program has three different immigration programs through which applicants can apply:

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program
  • Federal Skilled Traders (FST) Program
  • Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program

Applicants will be required to submit an Expression of Interest and apply under any type of job as mentioned in skill types 0, A and B. Their applications are assessed solely on points and will be set in the Express Entry application pool.

Afterwards, Canadian provinces and territories will evaluate the application pool and select applicants with the talents that meet their needs. Applicants with the highest scores will be sent the ITA for permanent residence.

Who is Eligible for Canada Express Entry?

Typically, there’s no specific eligibility profile created for every individual applying to meet. However, there are requirements to meet which determines your points.

Because there’s no one-size-fits-all eligibility profile, the program is open to candidates with college or university degrees with skilled work experiences and reasonable proficiency in English and/or French. Now, this leads us to the requirements for express entry.

canada express entry requirements
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Canada Express Entry Requirements

As mentioned earlier, the Canada Express Entry is a point-based immigration program with a points scale of 1200.  This means that applicants are evaluated based on their information which are the minimum requirements they are expected to meet to be eligible for the program. The central motive is to recognise individuals who have higher chances of succeeding in Canada after immigration.

The eligibility requirement for the Canadian Express Entry point is 67 out of 100 points under different eligibility criteria. The eligibility calculator assesses and scores applicants based on the following criteria:


The age requirement to qualify to apply for Express Entry is between 18-35 years. Applicants who are younger or older will earner lesser points.


It is mandatory that your minimum educational qualification must be equivalent to a higher secondary education level in Canada. Applicants with higher educational qualifications, like at least two bachelor’s degrees or a master’s degree, earn more points.

Work experience:

You must have gained at least one year of work experience of a continuous paid full-time job in the last ten years. You can have the equivalent in part-time by doing as many part-time jobs as possible to gain the equivalent of one year of work experience. Having more also increases your score points.

Also, note that work experiences from volunteering or unpaid internships will not be accepted or scored. They should also not be mentioned in your application. On the other hand, a formal Canadian job offer for a skilled and full-time position can boost your points by 50-200 points. However, it will require a practical Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for these points to be awarded.

Language ability:

You must have taken language tests within the last two years and must have attained at least 6 bands in your IELTS, which equals CLB 7 in either English or French. Higher scores in your language tests increase your points.


This is one of the biggest boosts to your score points. If you have family members or close relatives who are already living in Canada and support your immigration, you are sure to earn more points. Also, if you have an accompanying spouse or children, you will earn more points too.

Arranged Employment:

You will already have attained 10 points if you have been offered employment as of the time of your application.

Provincial Nomination

A nomination from a provincial nominee program can also boost your score points.

In all, you must score at least 67 out of 100 percentage points to get your application in the express entry pool. These points are awarded to applicants based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and if you meet the required score point or above, you will receive the ITA for PR.

Image: Pixabay

How Much Does Express Entry Cost?

Here’s a breakdown of what it costs to apply for the Express Entry:

  • Language tests – average cost of $300
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) – average cost of $200
  • Biometrics – average cost of $85 per person
  • Government fees – average cost of $1,325 for adults and $225 per child
  • Medical examination fees – average cost of $450 per adult and $250 per child
  • Police clearance certificates – average cost of $100/country

No further fees or government fees are required to apply or submit your express entry application. The fees listed above are only required after having qualified and sent the ITA to apply for PR.

Also, it is essential to note that unless you are applying for the Canadian Experience Class program or have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, you will be required to show that you have adequate funds to cater for your resettlement in Canada.

Image: Pixabay

How do I apply for Canada Express Entry?

Create your Express Entry profile

This is the first step to begin your application. It should include basic details about you like age, education, work experience, language skills and a few others. You will be scored some points based on your details. Submit your profile and have it set in the express entry pool.

Complete your ECA

Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) verifies that your educational qualification is equivalent to that of the Canadian educational system. If you had a foreign education, you must get your ECA.

Complete your language tests

Complete your language ability tests in Either English (IELTS) or the French language – Test de evaluation de Francians (TEF). You are sure to have an edge if you know both.

Calculate your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS)

Once your profile is set in the express entry pool, it is ranked based on the CRS score, which is solely based on your provided details.

Get your Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Getting an ITA means your profile ranked as one of the highest, and you have been invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada by the Canadian Government. Now, begin the documentation for your permanent residence visa.

How Long Does Express Entry Take?

From submitting your express entry profile to the issuance of a permanent resident visa, express entry can take about six months to process. However, some applicants may not receive an Invitation to Apply early. But once you have received an Invitation to Apply, you will have 60 days to prepare and submit all the required documents needed to begin the process for your permanent residence application. Once processed, you will receive your visa for permanence residence in six months or less.

Meanwhile, applicants (who did not receive the ITA)  profiles can remain active in the express entry pool for 12 months. Applicants who were not invited to apply for permanent residence can reapply by repeating every step and process as in the first application.

How Do I Increase my Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS score)?

You must have realised by now that an applicants chances of success at getting the Invitation to Apply as well as receiving their visa for permanent residence depending on their Comprehensive Ranking System score. It is usually difficult to predict how the CRS calculates scores for the applicants as two or more applicants can get into the express entry draws. These applications will automatically be competitive, and no one can predict how the CRS score will change in the future. 

The express entry system is quite a long, complicated process that continuously changes and approval is only at the discretion of the IRCC. This way, no one can guarantee that every applicant who scores up to the required points will receive permanent residence.  Nevertheless, it is vital to do all you can to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System score. 

There are many options through which CRS scores can be increased.  Below, you will find six ways to increase your CRS score:

Take the IELTS again

If you improve your IELTS score, you stand a bigger chance of increasing your points as great IELTS results can earn you up ton160 points. Also, a good IELTS and post-secondary educational qualification can earn you more 50 points. If you combine all of these with at least three years of work experience, you are sure to earn an additional 50 points.

The language test requirement is to score at least, Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 to apply. However, if you can score up to CLB 9 in all languages, which includes the least 6.0 for express entry under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program on the four language abilities (writing, reading, speaking, reading), you could earn about 260 points for only your language ability.  

To ensure you score higher in IELTS, you can take IELTS before applying, or you apply, retake and update your express entry profile with your new result. 


This tip can only apply to accompanying candidates. If you have a spouse and a child/children, or even a common-law partner, these can earn you lots of points. You may have three possibilities here to take advantage of to boost your CRS points:

  • Your spouse retaking the language test and getting their ECA as in the educational requirement mentioned earlier would earn you additional prompts.
  • Your spouse could be the stronger applicant. Calculate how many points over yours your spouse could probably score if they were the primary if or not you accompany them.
  • You and your partner could be strong applicants. You two could submit your profiles each and list each other as accompanying.

Either of these three possibilities could earn you more points too.

Job Offer

As mentioned earlier, getting a Canadian skilled and paid job offer can increase your points by almost 50-200 additionally points. Before your express entry application, network, connect with employers online (LinkedIn is a good place). You could be earning yourself bigger points without knowing it.

Provincial Nomination

A provincial nomination earns you an additional 600 points, although you might have to apply for the nomination program, which is entirely a different process. For a province to nominate you, you must meet their requirements which mostly lies in your work experience.

Work Experience

Your work experience is a massive part of your application that increases your points. Unlike the language test, it is not easy to improve your work experience at the time of application, but there’s a way out. If you find that you are eligible to apply or that you are but with a lower score, you can consider coming to Canada as a student or temporary worker first to gain some work experience.  These experiences can qualify you for more Canadian immigration options. Also, while you work, ensure you choose the proper National Occupational Classification (NOC) code as the express entry system uses its matrix to assign points to all occupations.


Enrolling for a short program like a one-year post-secondary certificate will get you many points, and it doesn’t matter if you already obtained one in the past three years. This increases your CRS score because, in the express entry system, Canadian education credentials are highly recognised and valued.

Are you wondering if this is the best immigration pathway for you? You can contact us at for a consultation on the best pathway for you to immigrate to Canada. You will be joining over 7000 of our clients who are successfully living in Canada today.

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