Express Entry System

Express Entry is one of the fastest ways to immigrate to Canada. For people who are eligible for programs covered by this system, it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways too. We usually refer Express Entry to EE.

Express Entry in a nutshell

Since January 1st, 2015, IRCC (CIC then) started Express Entry system. Express Entry includes three immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC)

When the applicant is eligible under one of these three programs, it is how it works:

  1. Applicant creates a profile in the EE system
  2. From time to time, IRCC picks up requests from EE pool
  3. IRCC will send Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to whom selected.
  4. Applicants have 90 days to submit their application to IRCC

IRCC has also published a brochure for applicants who want to apply through this system (PDF, 769.8KB).

The most exciting thing about EE was the introduction of the Pool concept. The pool concept made EE different from other programs or systems.

Pool vs. Line

Before EE, Those three immigration programs opened up every year. The IRCC would open the program intake to intake applications as per their capacity. The capacity was proportional to IRCC available resources to handle the cases.  The request was in a virtual line waiting for IRCC to review them. Top applicants had to wait till IRCC to process applications with lesser merits.

The long waiting times discouraged top skilled workers to apply to Canada. It was also preventing IRCC to choose the best candidates. For above reasons, the IRCC developed the pool concept and implemented it in EE.

In the pool concept, all the applicants would enter into a pool. IRCC will give a rank to each application based on the merits of that case. The name of the ranking system is “Comprehensive Ranking System” or CRS in short.

It is not essential in this concept  when the candidate applied. The only exception is the tie-breaking date which we will describe later in this article.

This method would make top-notch applicants have their cases processed very quick. Making immigration to Canada more appealing to the ideal applicants.

IRCC has prepared a presentation to explain how the pool works. (PDF, 653.55KB)

Success in the pool

In the pool concept the following parameters will make an application selected:

  • CRS score: The higher CRS score means higher chances getting accepted.
  • The pool mix: The more applications with equal/ higher CRS score will reduce the chance.
  • The frequency of EE draws: The more frequent EE draw means less time for the pool to get applications with higher CRS score. Hence the chances would be higher.
  • The number of invitations issues: The more invitations issued means the chances are higher for lower CRS scores. It also will help to clean the pool from high CRS scores and give an opportunity to the lower ones.

CRS criteria

In short, CRS tries to give the highest rank to the ideal immigrant for skilled worker stream. The typical parameters for such perfect candidate would be:

  • Age: It is suitable for the candidate to be young. The reason is that skilled worker could be competitive in the labour market, for a long time.
  • Education: The higher the education, means the skilled worker can find top waging jobs. It will be better for the Canadian economy.
  • Language: Language barriers will cause issues for skilled workers. Poor communication will cause problems for the candidate in the Canadian workplaces.
  • Canadian Work experience: Shows how the candidate will perform in the labour market. Having Canadian work experience will make it easy for a candidate to find jobs. The abroad work experience is also valuable, but not as much as the Canadian one.
  • Skills transferability: Refers to parameters to further help the candidate find the job. Some combinations of Language/Experience/Education will give some extra CRS points.
  • Extra points: There are parameters that known to help an immigrant to settle better in the Canadian society.

Tie-Break Date

In an EE draw, when the last invitation has a CRS score, but there is more than one applicant with the same score, it is a tie. To break the tie, IRCC will give priority to the older applications. In every EE draw, IRCC will inform the public about tie-break date. It means IRCC invited all profiles with the lowest CRS score and before the tie-break date.


EE system covers three major skilled worker programs. Young, candidates with high English / French skills and high university degrees are the target audience for this system. It is crucial that you have your situation assessed before applying to Canada. There might be chances that you may be eligible for even more than one immigration program. In that case, choosing the right plan is very important. An authorized immigration consult can save your time and money by helping you to select the best program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top