Express Entry: How Canada selects skilled immigrants

Text version: How Express Entry Works

Step 1:

  • Candidates who are interested in coming to Canada fill out an Express Entry profile online. Eligible candidates are placed in the Express Entry pool and given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their skills and experience.
  • Candidates looking for a job in Canada can also complete a Job Match profile to be matched with employers in their industry. Those with a valid job offer are given additional CRS points, increasing their chances of being invited to apply.
  • Creating a Job Match account and posting your job on Job Bank is the easiest and fastest way to connect with Express Entry candidates.

Step 2:

  • Top-ranking candidates are invited to submit an application for permanent residence. The cut-off scores for each round of invitations are published on this website.
  • Once a candidate submits their application for permanent residence, their application is processed in six months or less (in most cases).

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

  • The CRS:
    • uses a transparent, public and objective methodology to determine whether an Express Entry candidate is issued an invitation to apply
    • is a scoring mechanism tied to best predictors of economic success and selects candidates that are most likely to succeed in Canada
    • identifies candidates most likely to achieve high employment earnings based on their profile ( skills, education, language ability and Canadian work experience) and/or a job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination
    • uses point grids for each factor that are weighted to best reflect evidence on positive economic outcomes

We have a tool to help you calculate a potential employees CRS score.

CRS – Structure – Selection factors

  • age
  • level of education
  • official language proficiency
  • Canadian work experience
  • spouse or common-law partner factors
  • a set of skills transferability or interaction factors that amplify the core set e.g. Canadian and foreign work experience
  • additional points for those with a provincial/territorial nomination, valid job offer, Canadian study experience, strong French language skills and/or a sibling in Canada.

Some provinces and territories give priority for their nominations to candidates who have a job offer in their region. Candidates get enough points to be invited to apply at the next applicable round of invitations through provincial and territorial nominations. Contact your province or territory to learn more.

Text version: CRS – Structure – Selection factors

CRS – Additional points (600)

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

  • Provincial and territorial (P/T) nominee programs continue to exist and may be used to nominate candidates under existing criteria
  • Under Express Entry, provinces and territories also have nomination space and their own immigration programs that target certain groups and criteria for their nomination programs.
    • P/Ts can search the Express Entry pool for candidates they may wish to nominate.
    • Some P/Ts prioritize nominating candidates with a job offer in their region, particularly if the candidate would not otherwise meet the cut-off score.
    • All candidates nominated via a province or territory’s PNP stream must meet the minimum entry criteria for Express Entry and the province or territory’s requirements
    • Candidates with a PNP nomination provide this information in their Express Entry profile
  • Each province and territory has its own streams and criteria for their PNP. To learn more, visit the province or territory’s website.

Finding candidates

  • Employers unable to fill job vacancies with Canadians or permanent residents may offer a permanent job in a skilled occupation to a foreign national through Express Entry
    • Skilled work includes jobs under Skill Type – and Skill Level A and B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
    • Candidates with a valid job offer in a NOC 00 job get 200 points and those with a valid job offer in any other NOC 0, A or B job get 50 points.
  • Employers can find qualified candidates through regular recruitment efforts, or through the Government of Canada’s Job Bank

Offering your candidate a Valid Job Offer

A valid job offer must be for at least one year after the candidate gets a permanent resident visa.

  • In most cases, the job offer must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), unless the candidate is already working for you and the job is exempt from needing an LMIA. You can apply for an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada. LMIAs supporting permanent residence only, have  no cost  and the processing service standard is 10 business days
  • Employers may also consider a ‘dual intent’ LMIA ($1,000 fee) if they need to fill a vacancy quickly but intend to retain the worker permanently (10 business days)
  • Candidates with a positive LMIA provide this information in their Express Entry profile. If the candidate is invited to apply, the candidate must also provide a letter of offer as part of their application. This letter of offer must be in writing, and must set out details of the job offer, such as the candidate’s pay and deductions, job duties and conditions of employment (e.g., hours of work).

Step 2: Invitation to apply

  • In each round, invitations to apply are issued to the highest scoring candidates in the pool
  • Once invited, candidates have 60 days to submit their complete electronic application for permanent residence
  • IRCC verifies candidate eligibility and admissibility criteria once candidates have applied
  • Express Entry candidates benefit from processing times of six months or less
  • Candidates with a job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination are given additional points, increasing their chances of being invited to apply

Express Entry highlights

  • You can find Express Entry candidates by creating a Job Match profile.
  • Candidates with a valid job offer receive additional points, increasing their likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply.

Some provinces and territories prefer to nominate candidates with job offers to their Provincial Nominee Programs. Candidates with a nomination receive enough additional points to get an invitation to apply at the next applicable round of invitations.


Fill out our assessment form if you intend to visit, study, work, or immigrate to Canada.