Express Entry Frequently Asked Questions

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Express Entry Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the characteristics of an ideal candidate for Express Entry?

The profile of an ideal Express Entry candidate is one that meets the requirements of the comprehensive ranking system (CRS) and scores higher. However, it is worth noting that even if a candidate does not meet all of the above criteria, they may still be competitive in the Express Entry pool depending on the specific circumstances.

To summarize, ideal Express Entry candidates would be under 30 years old, hold at least two Bachelor’s degrees or a Master’s degree, demonstrate moderate to high proficiency in English or French (CLB level 9 or higher), and have at least three years of skilled work experience. Factors that can further boost their CRS score include higher language proficiency, bilingualism, a Master’s or Ph.D., Canadian work or education experience, a Canadian family member, an arranged employment offer and a nomination from a provincial nominee program.

What are the steps to apply for Express Entry?

To apply for Express Entry, you will need to go through a two-step process:

  1. Create an online profile in the Express Entry system by providing information about your skills, education, work experience, and other qualifications. This will be assessed based on a points system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
  2. If you are invited to apply, you will have 60 days to submit a complete application along with additional documents such as language test results, educational credential assessment report, police clearance certificates, medical examination results, proof of funds and reference letters.

It’s important to research the best option that match your profile, and consider consulting with a professional immigration consultant to help ensure you have all the necessary documentation and information.

What is the method used to calculate points for Express Entry?

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is used to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool for Canadian Permanent Residency. The CRS score takes into account factors such as:

  • Core human capital factors (age, education, and language proficiency)
  • Accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors
  • Skilled work experience
  • Additional points for certain factors (sibling in Canada, Canadian degree or diploma)
  • Provincial nomination
  • French language ability. A candidate with a provincial nomination will have additional 600 CRS points and CRS score may change based on frequent draws and immigration plan.

To calculate CRS score click the link below:

What are the fees associated with applying for Express Entry?

The cost of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry can vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of family members in your application, the cost of language tests and educational assessments, and any additional fees required by the province or territory you plan to settle in.

The government processing fee for a single applicant is $1,325 CAD. The biometrics fee for an adult is $85 CAD and for a child is $170 CAD. And also, in case you are applying for a PNP program, there could be additional fees.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are additional costs associated with immigrating to Canada, such as the cost of flights, temporary accommodation, and living expenses while you get settled. Therefore, it is recommended that you budget accordingly and have sufficient funds available before you apply.

Number of Family Members

Funds Required















For each additional family member





Is having a job offer a requirement for Express Entry?

You do not require a job offer to apply through the Express Entry system. The majority of candidates who are selected for Express Entry do not have a formal Canadian job offer.

However, having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer can help boost your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and increase your chances of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. A valid job offer is one that is in a skilled occupation and is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

There are also other factors that can boost your CRS score, such as having a provincial nomination, having a Canadian education, having a sibling in Canada, or demonstrating strong French language skills.

It’s worth noting that, there are specific programs to apply for Express Entry like Canadian Experience Class which you don’t need a job offer but you need a certain number of months of Canadian work experience.

Furthermore, it’s always recommendable to have a professional immigration consultant to help you with the process and ensure that you understand the best ways to increase your CRS score and boost your chances of being invited to apply.

What is the duration of the Express Entry process?

Express Entry can take as little as six months from the time you submit your profile to the time you receive your permanent resident visa. However, it’s important to keep in mind that processing times can vary depending on a number of factors, such as demand and complexity of your case, and not all cases will be processed in six months. The profile will remain valid for 12 months, during that time if you don’t receive an invitation to apply, you can resubmit it for another 12 months.

What are the ways to improve your CRS score for Express Entry?

In order to increase your points in the Express Entry system, you should focus on three main areas:

  1. Improving your IELTS score: The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the main ways that Express Entry assesses your English language ability. By scoring at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher, you can improve your chances of eligibility under the Federal Skilled Worker program.
  2. Leveraging your work experience: Work experience is a critical aspect of the Express Entry point system, and the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix is used to assign points to different occupations. Ensure that the NOC codes you choose accurately reflect your career history and maximize your points.
  3. Utilizing spousal points: If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they may be able to help you increase your Express Entry points through language tests and educational credential assessments. It’s also worth considering whether listing them as non-accompanying may increase your score.

Consulting with an expert and keeping yourself updated on the changing Express Entry system is crucial to help improve your chances of success.



How to make distinction between Express Entry eligibility points and CRS score?

Express Entry eligibility points and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score are two separate evaluations in the Express Entry system. Eligibility points are used to assess whether a candidate meets the criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and require a minimum score of 67. The CRS score, on the other hand, ranks all candidates in the Express Entry pool against each other based on factors such as language proficiency, work experience, education, and other economic success indicators. The CRS score is used to determine the order of invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence, with regular draws held by the Government of Canada and a minimum CRS score cut-off set for each draw.

What is the impact of IELTS score on my CRS score in Express Entry?

Your IELTS or CELPIP scores can significantly impact your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in Express Entry. Scoring a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 9 in each area of the English language test can result in a significant increase in your language points and thus boost your overall CRS score. Additionally, candidates can also demonstrate their proficiency in French through the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF), instead of taking IELTS or CELPIP, with a minimum CLB 9 on each area of the French test to maximize their language points. It is essential to consult with an expert and stay informed of the constantly changing Express Entry system to maximize your chances of success.


Is it necessary for my partner to take the IELTS exam as part of Express Entry?

If your spouse is accompanying you in your Express Entry application through the Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), they may need to take a language exam such as the IELTS to boost your FSW score. A minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in each area of the designated language exams can earn you an additional 5 points towards your FSW score which could make you eligible to submit a profile. Furthermore, your spouse’s language proficiency can also improve your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and increase your chances in the Express Entry pool.


What are the steps to create an Express Entry profile?

To create an Express Entry profile, the first step is to create an account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. If using a representative, they will submit the profile via the Authorized Paid Representatives Portal. After completing an eligibility questionnaire and providing accurate information, such as age, work experience, education and language test scores, the Express Entry system will determine your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and program eligibility.


What are the language proficiency levels required for Express Entry?

Express Entry programs require a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in each area of the French or English language exam, typically corresponding to a score of 6.5 on the IELTS. However, some exceptions exist for specific groups of applicants, such as those applying under the Federal Skilled Trades program who have a CLB 5 language proficiency requirement and CEC applicants with a primary occupation in NOC skill type B having a CLB 5 in at least 2 language abilities. Meeting the minimum language proficiency does not guarantee an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

What is the impact of having a job offer on my Express Entry profile?

In Canada’s Express Entry system, candidates can earn additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) if they have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer that is supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A valid job offer can add anywhere from 50 to 200 points to a candidate’s CRS score. An informal job offer will not be considered valid and will not earn any additional points.

What is the validity period for an Express Entry profile?

An Express Entry profile is valid for 12 months from the date of submission. However, if a candidate becomes ineligible for Express Entry while their profile is still active, their profile may be removed before the 12 months have passed. This can happen if a candidate no longer meets the eligibility criteria for one of the programs that are part of the Express Entry system (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class) or if they lose their valid job offer or LMIA.

It’s important for Express Entry candidates to keep their profile up-to-date and to ensure that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the programs they have chosen. If a candidate’s profile is removed from the Express Entry pool, they will need to submit a new profile if they wish to be considered for an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the future.

What is the next step after receiving an Invitation to Apply for Express Entry?

If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through Express Entry, you must submit a complete and accurate application within 60 days. If the deadline is missed or the invitation is declined, the ITA will expire and the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in that particular draw will be lost. It’s important to be well-prepared and act on the ITA promptly, hiring a reputable immigration consultant is also a good idea.


What is the process for obtaining a police certificate for Express Entry?

Obtaining a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a common requirement for those applying for permanent residence through Express Entry. The process to obtain a PCC varies by country and is subject to change. To find the most up-to-date instructions on how to obtain a PCC for Express Entry, you can visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) webpage and search for your country. Make sure to follow the instructions and guidelines from both the authorities of your country and the IRCC to ensure the PCC will be accepted. Additionally, take note of the processing time in your country, to plan accordingly.


What type of work experience evidence is needed for Express Entry?

To provide proof of work experience on your Express Entry profile, you will need reference letters from each employer for the past 10 years. If a reference letter is not possible, other documents such as pay stubs or T4 slips can be used to verify your work experience. Make sure to check the immigration website for specific document requirements.

What are the steps to obtain a medical certificate for Express Entry?

To obtain a medical report for Express Entry, you must visit an IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) approved panel physician. The panel physician will conduct a medical examination and provide you with a medical report. This report will be required as part of your Express Entry application. For more information on the medical examination process, including a list of panel physicians, please visit the IRCC website or visit our Canada Immigration Medical Exam Report page.

What are the ways to show proof of settlement funds for Express Entry?

To prove financial sufficiency for Express Entry, applicants need to submit letters from their financial institutions that contain the following information: Institution’s letterhead, Contact information, Applicant’s name, outstanding debts/loans, Account numbers, Opening dates, Current balances and Average balances of the past six months.



Which one is more advantageous: PNP or Express Entry?

If you don’t meet the CRS point requirements for a federal draw, a PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) may be a viable option to increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Keep in mind, many PNPs require an Express Entry profile, and creating one is free. If you are selected through a federal Express Entry draw without a PNP, it is considered the preferable option as it avoids additional provincial processing time.


Is it possible to apply for both Express Entry and PNP simultaneously?

When applying through a PNP, the next step is to apply to the federal government for permanent residence status. The way you submit your application will depend on whether your PNP is aligned with the Express Entry system (‘Enhanced’). If your PNP is enhanced, you can submit your application through the Express Entry system for faster processing. Candidates who receive a nomination under an Express Entry-aligned, or Enhanced, PNP will receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, which will essentially guarantee an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the next draw in the Express Entry pool. The processing time for an Express Entry application is typically around 6 months. If your PNP is ‘Base’, you will need to submit through the non-Express Entry permanent residence portal. Base PNPs operate outside of the Express Entry system and are subject to the standard PNP processing time, which is typically longer than Enhanced PNP applications.

What is the impact of a Provincial Nominee Program on my Express Entry profile?

A nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program can significantly boost your Express Entry CRS score by adding 600 points, which will almost certainly result in an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

What is the Express Entry tie-breaking rule?

The tie-breaking rule is a date employed by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to decide which candidates with identical CRS scores get an ITA (Invitation to Apply) in case of multiple profiles with the same score as the CRS cut-off. The tie-breaking rule is used to manage the number of ITAs issued in each draw. If a candidate’s score is the same as the CRS cut-off, they will only receive an ITA if they submitted their profile before the tie-breaking rule date.

What is an Express Entry profile number?

When you complete an Express Entry profile, you will receive a confirmation letter that includes a unique Express Entry profile number. This number is located in the top left corner of the letter and begins with “E”.

Is it possible to apply for Express Entry without any work experience?

Applying for any economic programs through the Express Entry system requires a minimum of one year of skilled work experience.

What is the age limit for Express Entry?

Express Entry has no upper age limit for applicants. Candidates between the ages of 20 and 29 receive the most points for age. If you are older than 35, but have a high level of education or Canadian connections, these factors can compensate for the points lost due to age.


Contact Vizard

At Vizard Immigration, we are a team of dedicated professionals with a wealth of experience and knowledge in immigration consulting. We specialize in providing services to individuals and families seeking to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry program. Our goal is to simplify the immigration process and guide our clients every step of the way. Whether you need assistance with your permanent residency application or require help with obtaining a work or study permit, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with the Express Entry program.