How To Qualify For Canada PR Under Express Entry System?

Since 2015, Express Entry has been the major economic immigration program in Canada for foreign skilled workers. Express Entry rationalized three permanent residence (PR) programs into one – the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canada Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skills Trades Program. 


The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) manage the Express Entry system as an application database for registered candidates who are willing to obtain Canada PR. These candidates are evaluated based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score which factors in age, education, work experience, language proficiency, spouse adaptability. 


Usually, only high-ranking candidates are invited irrespective of the category of their immigration program. The average qualifying CRS score for all-program draw stayed above 465 in 2020. 


Thus, in order to incentivize the low human capital scoring programs like FSTP, CEC, IRCC rarely conducts program-specific draws – CEC-specific draw or FSTP-specific draw, or PNP-draw. 


Step-1: Use Canada PR Calculator 

Step-2: Assess Your Skills

  • Gather all necessary documents such as language proficiency certificate, work experience certificate. 
  • A prior provincial nomination will give an additional 600 CRS points, effectively guaranteeing an ITA for Canada PR. 
Step-3: Apply Online 

  • Interested candidates must register their profile online. 
  • All profiles registered online are ranked against each other based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
Step-4: Wait For Fortnightly Draw

  • IRCC conducts regular Express Entry draws. 
  • Based on the qualifying CRS score set in each draw, a fixed number of candidates are invited to apply for Canada PR. 


It is recommended to contact a licensed consultant like CanApprove to help you throughout the process. 


Your best-case scenario to qualify under the Express Entry draw would be: 

  • Age: preferably between 25-33 years old
  • Work Experience: Minimum 3 years of work experience, not necessarily in Canada.
  • Education Qualification: Graduate level and above have a good chance of receiving Canada PR. 
  • Language Proficiency: Proven ability in English or French through tests like IELTS can help you qualify for Canada PR. 
  • A prior provincial nomination from any Canada PNP streams may guarantee an invitation to apply (ITA) for Canada PR.


Here are some benefits of choosing the Canada Express Entry system for obtaining permanent residence in Canada: 


  • No job offer required to register an online profile in the federal pool. 
  • No work experience required in Canada. (applicable only under the Federal Skilled Worker Program)
  • Express Entry does not have an eligible occupation list or caps, however, candidates must have occupations listed as NOC 0, A. or B.
  • Easy human capital score requirements and less stringent than Canada PNP streams. 
  • 2020 issued nearly 107,350 ITAs for Canada PR, which means plenty of candidates are welcomed to apply for Canada PR under Express Entry. 


Performance in 2020

IRCC held 36 invitation rounds in 2020, 10 more rounds than the previous year. It was to  target CEC and PNP candidates during the lockdown. 

After initial lockdowns in March, IRCC innovated with the regular fortnightly Express Entry to prioritize foreign skilled workers already present in the country. Thereby, program-specific draws were conducted to invite candidates under the Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Program, or Federal Skilled Trades Program to apply for permanent residence in Canada. 

However, since June 2020, when the Federal Skilled Worker Program assumed its significance, any foreign skilled worker who did not work in Canada before was eligible for Canada PR. There was only one Federal Skilled Trades draw in 2020. A total of 250 skilled trades workers were invited on August 6.

Express Entry Draws

Figure: Performance of Canada Express Entry Draws in 2020


CEC- Canadian Experience Class; PNP- Provincial Nominee Program; FSTP- Federal Skills Trades Program


Roadmap For 2021

Express Entry draws will once again get the center of attention as Canada aims to invite more than 60% of its annual allocations through all its economic-class programs. 


Nearly 108,500 places are to be filled with the Express Entry-managed program in 2021. These targets only go up in subsequent years, maxing out at 113,750 in 2023.


In addition to it, Canada’s PNP immigration streams are expected to perform exceedingly well in 2021. The ‘enhanced’ PNP streams make use of the federal Express Entry pool to nominate eligible candidates to apply for provincial nomination. Further, the provincial nomination can be used to obtain permanent residence in Canada. 


The temporary reduction in refugee intakes will be compensated by various economic-class immigration programs – Express Entry, Canada PNP, Business Immigration. 


Candidates may focus on their language proficiency skills, especially in French. According to the recent notification in October 2020, bilingual candidates will be given additional CRS points and thus, have better chances to qualify in subsequent Express Entry draws. 


Finally, if Canada were to match its exuberate performance in 2020, IRCC will have to approve about 8,946 Express Entry candidates per month. Effectively, we could see a draw size of nearly 4500 ITAs in each draw in 2021. 

CRS Calculator

Based on our 21+ years of experience in immigration, legal and overseas education consultancy, we can see a big pull for professionals working in the IT sector, Engineering field, good experience in Finance/Accounting, Medical practitioner or in any senior managerial position to get invited under Express Entry for Canada PR. 


As Canada is also giving equal importance to family immigration programs, you can migrate to Canada with your family in 2021. Ask our consultants to check all the prospects based on your work profile. 


CanApprove is a licensed immigration advisor and registered consultant with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). By virtue of it, you are protected under the national regulatory body against fraud prevention, if you choose to avail of any immigration services to Canada. 


Reserve your free appointment with our senior immigration advisor and check your prospects of Canadian immigration in 2021.    


Get in touch with us through…

WhatsApp: bit.ly/Canada-exp

Contact: 91-422-4980255 (India)/971-42865134 (Dubai)

Email: helpdesk@canapprove.ae

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