How to Move to Canada Through The Express Entry Program

It’s important for anyone looking to move to Canada to know exactly how Express Entry works in Canada. This can save you a lot of time and funds when applying to immigrate to Canada.

Being the most common and fastest method for foreigners looking to move over to Canada, the Express Entry immigration program is an electronic system that oversees most immigration application processes in Canada, for its three (3) economic immigration programs for skilled labor.


Basically, how Express Entry works in Canada is that an interested candidate would be asked to create an online profile, after which, the Canadian government will determine if he or she qualifies or is eligible for the program.

And if you qualify for the program, you are then accepted into the immigration pool where you are ranked amongst other applying candidates based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Your CRS score is based on your age, work experience, degree of education, and language skills.

Consecutively, every two weeks, the highest-ranked candidates based on their respective CRS scores are selected by the Canadian government via this Express Entry pool and given an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for Canadian permanent residency status.

How Express Entry Works in Canada?

The following three (3) steps that accompany how Express Entry works in Canada include:

  1. Creating an online profile for your Express Entry immigration program
  2. Selection of eligible candidates
  3. Invitation by the Canadian government and processing of your permanent residency status

These are further broken down thus:

#1: Creating an Online Profile for Your Express Entry Immigration Program

On being eligible to apply for the Canadian Express Entry immigration program, the first step for you to take is to create and complete your online profile.

How Express Entry works when it comes to creating your online profile is that candidates will submit all necessary details about themselves, details such as your educational background, skills, language ability, and your past work experience.

#2: Selection of Eligible Candidates

On creating and submitting your online profile, you’ll automatically be given a score that relates to your profile, and would be ranked against other qualified candidates in the immigration pool for the best candidates to be chosen.

That is to say, if you meet all the necessary requirements and standards, you will be selected to be enrolled into a pool with other eligible candidates.

Your Express Entry ranking score is based on the Comprehensive (CRS) ranking system and has a maximum of 1,200 points.

#3: Invitation by the Canadian Government and Processing of Your Permanent Residency Status

All highly ranked applicants with a qualifying job offer from a Canadian recruiting manager (or) provincial (or) territory nominations will get a formal invitation to apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency status.

You’ll then be given a 60 days deadline to complete your electronic application which is to be submitted through one of the following programs:

Most Express Entry applications submitted via any of the above programs are pushed through quickly by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), with most of them expected to be completed within six (6) months.

Eligibility Requirements for the Express Entry Immigration Program

All the necessary requirements for the Express Entry Canadian immigration program vary based on the program type that you are applying for.

But, the major eligibility requirement for all Express Entry programs is that you must be legally admissible to Canada and have decided to stay in a Canadian province other than Quebec.

Below are the necessary requirements for each of the three (3) economic immigration programs in Canada:

#1: Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

FSWP is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway. To qualify for this program, you must have the minimum requirements in education status, work experience, and language proficiency.

How Express Entry works for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is that:

  • You must have at least a year of consistent full-time or related part-time paid working experience in the same job within the last ten (10) years. Your corresponding job type must match any of Canada’s skill types (type 0 or levels A or B) of the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • You will need to show proof of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in the form of a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) approved language test results from the last two years.
  • You will be needed to provide a Canadian high school (secondary) or post-secondary schooling certificate; Or a completed of your foreign schooling credential, along side an assessment of the credential by an approved CIC agency, certifying that your completed education is inline with Canadian standards.
  • You must also be able to show that you have the financial strength to support yourself and respective family member(s); with the exemption of if you’ve already worked legally in or have a qualified offer to work from a Canadian employer.

Your submitted online profile for the FSWP program will also be assessed based on your:

  • Age
  • Current Canadian job offer
  • Ability to adapt to the living condition in Canada

#2: Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

This program is available for anyone looking to become a permanent resident in Canada based on his or her experience in a skilled trade. The following eligibility requirements for this program include:

  • You must have at least 2 years of full-time working experience in a skilled trade within the five (5) year period prior to your application request.
  • You’ll also be required to show proof of your experience performing the necessary duties associated with your skilled trade as noted by the National Occupation Classification (NOC) in Major Group 72,82, or 92, or Minor Group 632 or 633.
  • You must meet the minimum language proficiency test requirement in either French or English.
  • You must also provide either an offer of full-time employment in Canada for a one (1) complete year minimum or be certified in one of Canada’s skilled trades by a Canadian provincial or territorial authority.

#3: Canada Experience Class (CEC) Program

International students and foreign workers who have some experience living in Canada can apply for Canadian residency status. The following eligibility requirements for this program include:

  • You must have at least a year of skilled, professional or technical working experience in Canada within three (3) years of the date of applying.
  • You must meet the criteria in language proficiency test.

Express Entry Costs?

How Express Entry works in terms of costs as effective from April 30, 2023 ($CAN) is thus:

$1,325 Your Application: Processing fee and Right of Permanent Resident Fee
$825 Your Application (Excluding Right of Permanent Resident Fee)
$1,325 With your spouse or partner: Processing fee and Right of Permanent Residence fee
$825 With your spouse or partner (Excluding Right of Permanent Residence fee)
$225 per child With a dependent child
$500 Right of Permanent Residence fee (may be paid later on in time)

 Proof of Funds

You will also need to show proof of fund in your Express Entry profile.

Your proof of fund indicates your financial competency to cater for yourself and any additional family member who will be moving to Canada with you.

A general breakdown of funds required (in $CAN) per family member include:

Number of Family Members Proof of Funds
1 $12,960
2 $16,135
3 $19,836
4 $24,083
5 $27,315
6 $30,806
7 $34,299
For each additional family member $3,492

How Express Entry Works in Terms of Processing Time?

Express Entry is definitely the fastest way which you can choose when applying to move to Canada. It can take you up to six (6) months or less to have your application request completely processed from the time of submission of your profile to the final issuance of your permanent resident visa.

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