Canada Express Entry 2021 Guide
Express Entry is the fastest and most popular pathway for newcomers seeking a new life in Canada. Express Entry organizes and processes applications for people who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire residency.
How can I apply for Express Entry?
Applying to Express Entry is a two-step process. The first step is to submit your profile which requires the following documents:
- Language test results
- Educational credential assessment report
- A passport or travel document
After you submit your profile and you receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence, you will need to provide a more substantial application that includes reference letters, additional identity documents, police clearance certificates, and results of a medical examination.
Who is eligible for Express Entry?
Candidates with university or college degrees with skilled work experience and moderate proficiency in English and/or French are ideal candidates. Candidates who qualify for the following programs are also eligible to submit an application under the Express Entry program:
What are the requirements for Express Entry?
In general, to be eligible to apply to express Entry as a skilled worker, you must:
- Have at least one year, in the last 10 years, of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience in a skilled occupation
- Be able to demonstrate on an approved language test a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) seven in either English or French
- Completed post-secondary education that is assessed against Canadian standards with an Educational Credential Assessment
Ideal Express Entry candidate:
There is no one-size-fits-all type of profile that is eligible for Express Entry. Candidates who enter the pool receive a comprehensive ranking system (CRS) score. Those who rank higher are more likely to receive an invitation to apply. Selection factors that can influence your CRS score are language proficiency, your age, your level of work experience, education, and Canadian connections.
Ideal Express Entry candidates would meet the following requirements:
- Be under 30 years old
- Hold at least two Bachelor’s degrees or a Master’s degree
- Be able to demonstrate moderate to high English and/or French language proficiency (Canadian Language Benchmark [CLB] level eight or higher)
- Have at least three years of skilled work experience
Other factors that can really boost your CRS score can include:
- Higher language proficiency in English and/or French
- Bilingualism in French and English
- A Master’s degree or Ph.D. education
- Canadian work or educational experience
- A Canadian brother or sister currently residing in Canada
- An arranged employment offer from a Canadian company
- A nomination from a provincial nominee program
How much does Express Entry cost?
- Language tests: Average cost – $300
- Educational Credential Assessment (ECA): Average cost – $200
- Biometrics: $85/person
- Government fees: $1,325/adult & $225/child
- Medical examination fees: average cost – $450/adult & $250/child
- Police clearance certificates: average cost – $100/country
No government fees are required to submit your initial Express Entry profile. The fees are only requested when you are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. In addition to the government processing fees, provincial immigration fees may be required if you are nominated for a PNP program.
You should also be aware that unless you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class program or have a valid arranged employment offer, you will need to demonstrate you have sufficient funds to support your resettlement in Canada. These settlement fees are not fees paid to the government but you must have access to them in order to be approved for a permanent residence visa. The amounts per family size are mentioned in the table below:
|Number of Family Members||Funds Required|
|For each additional family member||$3,492|
|Updated||January 3, 2020|
Do I need a job offer for Express Entry?
You do not require a job offer for Express Entry. The vast majority of candidates selected for Express Entry do not have a formal Canadian job offer.
A formal Canadian job offer for a skilled, full-time position can add 50 to 200 points to your Express Entry application. Almost always, a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required for these points to be awarded.
An informal job offer will not award any additional points to your Express Entry profile and should not be mentioned in the application.
How long does Express Entry take?
Express Entry can take as little as six months to process, from submission of the Express Entry profile to the issuance of a permanent resident visa. However, not all cases will be processed this quickly. Your Express Entry profile will remain active in the pool of candidates for 12 months if you are not invited to apply. If after 12 months you have not been selected, you are welcome to resubmit your profile and remain in the pool. To break it down further:
- Your profile will remain valid for 12 months in the Express Entry pool
- Upon issuance of the ITA, you will have 90 days to provide the requested full application of documents
- Once the immigration authorities have received your complete application, your permanent resident visa should be processed in six months or less