How Express Entry works

Note: We’ve made some changes to the Express Entry system:

  • you can now get additional points for at least one sibling (brother or sister) living in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident
  • you can now get additional points for strong French language skills
  • it is now optional to create a Job Match account with Job Bank

Find out more about these changes and how they may affect you.

We use Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence for these programs:

Provinces and territories can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to meet local labour market needs.

Ministerial Instructions set out the rules for the Express Entry application management system.

There are two steps to apply to the Express Entry system:

Step 1: create your Express Entry profile

An Express Entry profile is a form where you give us information about your:

  • skills
  • education
  • language ability
  • work experience and
  • other details

Creating your Express Entry profile is:

  • free
  • secure
  • online

Once you start an Express Entry profile, you have 60 days to complete it.

The information in your profile will help us see if you are eligible for an immigration program managed by Express Entry. If you meet the criteria, we will accept you into our pool of candidates.

Note: It is now optional to create a Job Match account with Job Bank.

If you are in the Express Entry pool, you can start your job search by creating a Job Match account with Job Bank. Once you come to Canada, you can continue using Job Bank to find a job.

A Job Match account with Job Bank is an easy, online tool to help match you with employers looking for workers with your skills. To create an account:

  • go to the Job Match sign-in page
  • click the “Sign up now!” button
  • read the privacy notice and click “I agree”
  • follow the instructions to create an account

You can also promote yourself to employers in other ways, such as using:

  • recruiters or
  • job boards

For a job offer to be valid in Express Entry (so you can get points for it), your employer will likely need an LMIA. There are some exceptions.

Getting into the pool doesn't mean that we will invite you to apply for permanent residence.

To be chosen from the pool you need to have one of the highest-ranking scores when we send out invitations. If you are invited, you can apply for permanent residence.

When you apply for permanent residence, you will also need to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements under Canada's immigration law.

Step 2: we invite the highest-ranking candidates in the pool to apply for permanent residence

You will be ranked in the Express Entry pool using a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System.

The CRS gives you a score from the information in your profile, including your:

  • skills
  • education
  • language ability
  • work experience
  • other factors

You can also get points for:

  • Canadian degrees, diplomas or certificates
  • a valid job offer
  • a nomination from a province or territory

We send invitations to apply to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If we invite you to apply, you will have 90 days to submit an online application for permanent residence.

We will process most complete applications that have all the supporting documents in six months or less.

You can stay in the pool for up to 12 months as long as you meet the criteria for one of the federal programs. You should update your profile anytime as your case changes.

If we don’t invite you to apply for permanent residence within 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, you can submit a new profile. If you still meet the criteria, you will re-enter the pool.

Additional resources:

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