What Is Express Entry in Canada

The Canadian Express Entry system was introduced early in January 2015 as a direct result of the many previous innovations launched after the 2002 immigration reform.

What Is the Express Entry Program?

Express Entry is an online system that is used by immigration authorities to select skilled and qualified applicants out of an existing database of immigration-ready individuals. The database compiled applicants that have expressed the desire to relocate to Canada and have met the basic proposed requirements. These include:

  • a certain age range;
  • work experience;
  • education;
  • proficiency in English or French.

How Does Express Entry Work in Canada?

Express Entry is often incorrectly referred to as an immigration program. This, however, is not the case.

Express Entry is an electronic system. This system plays a part in filtering out viable candidates for immigration out of a larger pool of registered individuals that have voiced a desire to relocate to Canada.

This pre-selection process is similar to what an HR would do when looking for a pool of existing job seekers before selecting candidates to invite to an interview. To build on this analogy, the HR would then ask suitable candidates to “bring their diplomas and recommendations, and apply for the job.”

This is exactly how Express Entry works. Candidates register in the system and create a detailed profile – their immigration “resume”. The immigration authorities look through these profiles and invite candidates whose skill set best meets the needs of the current Canadian job market.

Prior to 2015, Canadian immigration authorities would take in all submitted “resumes” and examine them one by one to determine whether or not the candidate had a chance to integrate into the labor market.

Chances of Getting Selected in Express Entry

Canada’s willingness to take in new immigrants can be judged based on several factors:

  • government-approved immigration plan for the current year;
  • basis on which Express Entry candidates are ranked;
  • annual amount of positive LMIAs;
  • annual amount of Provincial Nomination Certificates, etc.

With the yearly immigration quotas and positive LMIAs lingering on the higher side, scoring an Express Entry invitation seems totally plausible. This is further confirmed when comparing the Canadian Express Entry system to similar programs in other developed countries. Furthermore, the 2020 Canadian Immigration Plan does not reduce the quotas for immigrants, setting the yearly target at about 341,000.

What Is the Base Score Required for Express Entry?

Contrary to popular belief, the Express Entry system does not have an in-built minimum score. Each candidate is individually rated based on a variety of factors that show the potential value they could bring to the Canadian labor market and the country as a whole.

Skilled and qualified specialists have a significantly higher chance of success: bringing qualified specialists into areas with an obvious lack of skilled labor is a top priority for immigration authorities.

The current statistics on Express Entry selectees – including the total number of candidates selected for immigration and their individual scores – can be found through this link.

How to Improve Your Express Entry Score?

Candidates that do not have an offer of employment when joining Express Entry have to register with Job Bank Canada – a government-run resource that compiles information on employment opportunities across the country.

Setting up a solid Job Bank profile complete with thorough and up-to-date information is the number one step to a good Express Entry score. A candidate that has been selected by a Canadian company through Job Bank gets an instant boost in the system.

Getting an education in Canada is another factor that can significantly affect your score. Candidates with a history of studying in Canada receive a higher rating in the Express Entry system.

Why Is the System Called “Express Entry”?

The name is meant to stress the ease and speed with which a viable candidate may be selected for immigration. The processing time for most immigration applications is estimated to be around several months at most.

This article provides a generalized overview of the Express Entry system; other region-specific or business-oriented immigration programs were not taken into account.

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