Express Entry

Express Entry is a skilled immigration system to handle permanent residency applications. Each candidate is assigned a score on a 1200 point scale and ranked against other candidates. Cut-off score is determined. Cut-off score determined regularly…

In January 2015 IRCC introduced a new skilled immigration system to handle permanent residency applications under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).

 Minimum entry criteria:

  1. Satisfy the requirements of at least one of the above-mentioned immigration categories;
  2. Take an English or French test (IELTS/CELPIP/TEF) – applies for all categories;
  3. Have their Education Credential Assessment (ECA) done by a designated organization – mandatory for the FSWP, voluntary for the CEC and FSTP categories;
  4. Complete an online Express Entry profile.

Those who meet the minimum entry criteria above will be placed in the Express Entry pool and assigned a score on a 1200 point scale based on their level of education, age, work experience, language skills etc. Each candidate will be ranked against other candidates in the pool. Every few weeks, a cut-off score is determined and all those above that cut-off score are issued an Invitation to apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency. Joining the Express Entry pool does not guarantee that you will be given an ITA.

 Additional ways to boost your score:

  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a valid job offer;
  • A nomination from your province or territory.

Candidates with a valid Provincial nomination have a significant advantage as they are awarded additional 600 points and are therefore virtually guaranteed that they will rank high enough to be selected from the Express Entry pool and given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency.

Candidates with a valid job offer in an NOC 00 are awarded additional 200 points and candidates with a valid job offer in an NOC 0, A or B occupations are awarded additional 50 points. An LMIA is no longer required for certain qualifying job offers to receive these additional 200/50 points. Your employer does not need an LMIA if you:

  • Have a valid job offer from the employer on your work permit for at least 1 year;
  • Have been working full-time for the employer on your work permit for at least 1 year (or part-time equivalent); 
  • Have a valid employer-specific work permit that is exempt from an LMIA under an international agreement, a federal-provincial agreement or the Canadian interests category.

Quick facts

Express Entry launch date: January 1, 2015

Lowest cut-off score (all categories): 413 (May 31, 2017)

Lowest cut-off score (FSTC): 199 (May 26, 2017)

Highest cut-off score: 886

Total rounds of Express Entry draws: 164

Processing time: less than 6 months

Cut-off scores

The cut-off score dropped from nearly 900 in January 2015 to mid 400s in March 2015. It ranged from mid to high 400s throughout the rest of 2015 and 2016. The EE draw on May 31st, 2017 broke a new record with 413 points. In 2019 CRS scores hovered in the mid 400’s . A new trend is observed for 2020 where Covid-19 alters Canada’s focus on applicants already in Canada preferring CEC and PNP categories.