New Economic Immigration System: Express Entry

  • Starting January 2015: Express Entry

The New Two-Step Application Process

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How Express Entry Will Work

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Moving from the old system…

  • Recruitment of global talent at employer time and expense
  • Difficult to navigate the immigration system due to multiple players
  • First applicant in, first to be processed
  • Average of 12-14 months to process an application

… to Express Entry

  • Government of Canada, provinces and territories (P/Ts) and Employers will have a direct role in economic immigration
  • New and improved Job Bank will connect Canadian employers with a comprehensive pool of candidates if they can't find Canadians or permanent residents to do the job
  • Express Entry candidates with a valid job offer or P/T nomination will quickly be invited to apply for permanent residence
  • CIC will be able to select candidates that are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than the first in line
  • Express Entry candidates will benefit from processing times of six months or less Footnote2

Step 1: Express Entry profile

  • Potential candidates will submit an online Express Entry profile.
  • They will be assessed according to a skills based ranking system that looks at:
    • Language proficiency
    • Education
    • Canadian work experience
    • Other factors that lead to success in Canada
  • At this stage, skills will be self-declared based on appropriate test results.
  • Candidates who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry will be placed in the Express Entry pool.
  • Candidates will need to promote themselves:
    • Registration with Job Bank will be required
    • They will be encouraged to signal their presence in the Express Entry pool to recruiters, on private sector job boards  etc.

Step 2: Invitation to Apply (ITA)

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When an employer offers a job to a candidate:

  • They will quickly be offered an ITA for permanent residence (PR);
  • Express Entry candidates will benefit from processing times of six months or lessFootnote2.
  • Candidates with an ITA will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence through one of four existing economic immigration programs:
    • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
    • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
    • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
    • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)Footnote3
  • Applicants will need to meet the criteria set out in the immigration program which applies to them

Provinces and Territories = Key Partners

  1. Provincial and territorial (P/T) nominations will continue and grow under the new system.
  2. P/Ts will be able to nominate candidates who meet their unique regional labour market needs.
  3. When an Express Entry candidate is identified through a PNP, they can be handpicked and quickly invited to apply for permanent residence.
  4. CIC will process applications in six months or less.Footnote2


  • The changes to economic immigration will benefit employers by:
    • Making it easier to find the candidates they need to fill available positions
    • Linking LMIA and Job Bank will simplify employer's LMIA advertising requirements
    • Allowing for greater flexibility
    • Eliminating backlogs and introducing 6-month processing timesFootnote2

Next Steps:

  • The modernized Job Bank will be launched in late 2014 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • The Express Entry system will be launched in January 2015.
    • At that time, the modernized Job Bank will be accessible to Express Entry candidates.
  • CIC will continue to engage employers after launch to get feedback on the system and work on continuous improvements.

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