Understanding the Canada Express Entry Visa System


Canada has taken some great steps forwards with their Immigration system and has updated their visa application system to one that works better for both Skilled Migrants, Employers and the Canadian Economy.


Express Entry does not replace the traditional Canada Visa programs namely the Federal Skilled Worker Visa, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class Visas although it is a way of ‘applying’ for these visas types.


Individual states and provinces in Canada will also be able to call applicants forward through the Provincial Nominee Program.


Essentially Express Entry means that those displaying the best skills and the presenting the very best application will be granted their Canadian Visa quicker whereas previously Immigration worked on a ‘first come first served’ basis.


A lot of people wonder if they’re eligible to apply for the Express Entry System. If they are, what it takes to apply, and how long it takes. Now, in order to apply through the Express Entry online system. You actually have to meet the qualifications in one of four different immigration programs.


Express Entry Canada Visa:



The best way to describe the Express Entry System is more of an online file management system used by the Canadian Government for anyone who is applying for permanent residency under one of those four immigration programs.


If you don’t actually meet the minimum criteria of one of those four immigration programs, then you cannot apply through the Express Entry System.


Once you do submit an application through the Express Entry System. You are then placed in what’s called the express entry pool. This is where all the candidates who are applying to one of those four immigration programs, submit their application, and they’re each then assigned what’s called a comprehensive ranking system score.


This score is out of 1200 points.


And this is the score that the government will use when they’re actually selecting people for permanent residency. So again it might be possible for someone to submit an application through the Express Entry System. But if their comprehensive ranking system score is too low, they may never be selected from the express entry pool or proceed with a permanent residency application. So it’s very important, before you submit an application, that you understand what your comprehensive ranking system score is and what the realities of being selected are.


Express Entry Draws


Once you are in the express entry pool, and you’ve been assigned your comprehensive ranking system score. The government will do what’s called a draw. These occur on average every two weeks, they can fluctuate, what the government does is they go into the express entry pool and they select a certain number of candidates based on score alone.


So what they will do depending on the week, say it’s 2500 people for this week. They will go into the System, and pick the top 2500 people based on score alone.


If there is a tie for instance maybe there’s 2585 People with a similar score. Those that submitted their application first would be picked before those who submitted them later.

Invitation to Apply


If you are selected by Express Entry you then get what’s called an invitation to apply.


Only once you’ve received the invitation to apply can you actually submit your application for permanent residency. Once you receive that invitation. You’ll then be given 90 days to submit your full application to the Canadian government, and if it is approved, you would then be eligible to enter Canada to activate your permanent residency.


Creating an Express Entry Profile


  1. Once you’ve read these instructions follow the links at the bottom of this page to Canada Immigration.
  2. Fill in the online form
  3. Take your English or French language test (if you haven’t already)
  4. Have your education verified with WES or equivalent
  5. Register with Job Bank Canada
  6. If you’re a Skilled Tradesperson apply for Red Seal Challenge
  7. If you’re a regulated Professional apply for the local Canadian equivalent registration and regulation.
  8. Start applying for Jobs in Canada
  9. Make sure you’re doing everything possible to Immigrate to Canada without a Job Offer
  10. Work to increase your English or French language skills results


It is important that you do not submit an Express Entry profile before having your paperwork or skills verified according to your underlying Canada Visa program.


Express Entry Key Points


  • Ensure that you satisfy all the requirements of your underlying visa program before creating your profile.
  • Complete your profile. This profile is valid for 12 months.
  • At this stage you will need to register with the Canadian Job bank unless of course you already have an existing valid job offer or Provincial Nomination.
  • You are awarded points based on what is called the Comprehensive Ranking System and based on the total score (and the total score of other applicants) you will be invited to apply.
  • Congratulations! At this point you have 90 days to complete and submit the formal element of your application and the Canadian Immigration Department have given undertakings to process these within six months.


Express Entry benefit of having a valid job offer


Having a valid job offer is by no means a mandatory step in the process; Visa applicants are routinely invited forward for Permanent Residency based entirely on the strength’s of their skills.


When your Skills end Education has been verified we do however recommend that you start the job search in earnest for two reasons:


1. It gives a significant boost to your Profile and in many cases guarantees your Invitation to Apply

2. Very few Skilled migrants have the luxury of being able to take a ‘year out’ when Emigrating to Canada; We find that most clients prefer to have a great role organized before they leave their current country.

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com at EmigrateCanada.com | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established EmigrateCanada.com more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as EmigrateCanada.com, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at EmigrateCanada.com and serves as Editor-in-Chief.