[2023] Express Entry | Best Pathway to Immigrate to Canada

Express Entry is the main stream to immigrate to Canada. This page will show you how to become eligible for Express Entry and how to obtain enough points in CRS

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the mainstream to obtain Canadian Permanent Resident Status.

With Express Entry, candidates are screened and selected. Selected candidates can place a completed application, and these applications are processed faster than conventional immigration streams.

The government of Canada states that it aims to process 80% of complete Express Entry applications in six months or less.

Before Express Entry

Before Express Entry is introduced, PR application is on a first come first served basis and it took several years.

Express Entry is a fair and fast system compared to the conventional system.

Express Entry has 3 steps

The process of Express Entry is composed of the following 3 steps:

  • Create your Profile
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  • Submit a complete application

I will explain each step.

Create your Profile

As the first step, you need to put your personal profile into the online system.

It includes your age, educational and professional background, English and/or French skills, etc.

At this point, you don’t need to put proof documents.

Receive Invitation to Apply (ITA)

When you submit your profile, your score is automatically calculated in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). CRS is a point-based system with maximum points of 1200.

Your name is put into the candidate pool with your CRS score. You will wait for being selected.

The Express Entry drawings are held approximately every two weeks. If your CRS score is higher than the lowest score of that drawing, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Receiving ITA means that “you are eligible for submitting your PR application”.

Submit Complete Application

If you receive the ITA, you can proceed to the next step, submitting a complete application.

In this step, you submit all the documents to prove what you put in your profile. It includes a graduation certificate, proof of work experience, English and/or French test result, etc.

Your CRS score is already assessed, so in this step, the documents submitted are assessed if your profile is true and genuine.

You need to submit the complete application within 60 days since you receive the ITA.

3 Categories of Express Entry

Express Entry has 3 sub categories:

  1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  2. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  3. Federal Skilled Trade

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must meet the requirements for at least one of these sub categories.

I will explain each category in detail.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

In this category, work experience in Canada is the main requirement.

Work Experience in CanadaMore than 1 year of work experience in Canada in the past 3 years
Foreign Work ExperienceNot required
Skill Level of the JobTEER 3 or higher
English or French skillsTEER 2 or 3: More than CLB 5
TEER 0 or 1: More than CLB 7
EducationNot required
ProvinceOther than Quebec

The main requirement of “More than one year of work experience in Canada” has conditions below:

  1. Skill level TEER 3 or higher
  2. Full time job (more than 30 hours per week)
  3. Work experience while you have a valid Work Permit

This can be any type of Work Permit including PGWP, Spouse Open Work Permit, or Working Holiday Work Permit.

However, work experience while you have a Study Permit or Co-op Work Permit doesn’t count.

Obtaining a Work Permit for skill level TEER 3 or higher is the first step for Canadian Experience Class.

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

Federal Skilled Worker is a category which requires “more than one year of foreign work experience in skill level TEER 3 or higher and more than 67 points in a 100-point grid.

Work Experience in Canada Not required
Foreign Work ExperienceMore than 1 year of foreign work experience in the past 10 years
Skill Level of the JobTEER 3 or higher
English or French skillsMore than CLB 7
EducationSecondary school or higher
ProvinceOther than Quebec

When you prove your foreign work experience you need the following documents:

  • Official employment certificate
  • Reference letter
  • Pay stubs

In the table above are the minimum requirements. After you meet the minimum requirements, you need to obtain more than 67 points in a 100-point grid.

You are assessed by the following criteria:

  • age
  • education
  • work experience
  • whether you have a valid job offer
  • English and/or French language skills
  • adaptability (how well you’re likely to settle here)

If you have foreign work experience and English (French) skills. You can try Federal Skilled Worker.

The advantage of FSW is that you can apply and obtain Canadian Permanent Resident status before coming to Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades

Regardless of whether in Canada or foreign, work experience in certain trade jobs for more than two years in the past five years is required for this category.

Work Experience in Canada or foreignMore than 2 years of work experience in certain trade jobs in the past 5 years
Skill Level of the JobDesignated skilled trade jobs
English or French skillsListening, Speaking: CLB 5
Reading, Writing: CLB 4
EducationSecondary school or higher
ProvinceOther than Quebec

Skilled trade jobs for the Federal Skilled Trades program are organized under these groups of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):

Major Group 72Technical Trades and Transportation Officers and Controllers
Major Group 73General Trades
Major Group 82Supervisors in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production
Major Group 83Occupations in Natural Resources and Related Production
Major Group 92Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors, and Utilities Operators and Controllers
Major Group 93Central Control and Process Operators and Aircraft Assembly Assemblers and Inspectors
Minor Group 6320Cooks, Butchers and Bakers
Unit Group 62200Chefs

Cooks, Bakers, and Chefs are relatively easier to become than other occupations.

If you have work experience in one of the trade jobs above, try the Federal Skilled Trades program.

How Can I Receive the ITA?

To receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA), you need to have a certain score in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

CRS is a points-based system out of 1200 points.

Express Entry Draws are held roughly every two weeks. If your CRS score is greater than the lowest one in the draw, you will receive the ITA.

Please refer to Express Entry Draw (external website).

As of January 2023, the average CRS score to receive ITA is around 500.

How to Increase Your CRS Score

You can increase your CRS score by your study in Canada, work in Canada and English (French).

To increase your English test score, you can take CELPIP or IELTS.

Canada Shaws Consulting will make a plan to achieve the targeted CRS score.

Get Free Immigration Consultation


Submit Complete Application

When you receive the ITA, your next step is to submit the complete application.

In this step, you need to submit all documents that prove your profile.

If your application is complete and genuine, your application will be approved in about 6 months!

You need to submit the following documents:

  • Job Offer
  • Proof of Income
  • Proof of Work Experience
  • Proof of Education
  • Proof of Language Skills
  • Medical Exam
  • Police Certificate
  • and more

Proof of language skills must be less than two years old.

Medical Exam must be less than one year old, so you should take the medical exam as soon as you receive the ITA.

You have to submit police certificates for all countries you lived for more than six consecutive months after you become 18 years old.

In some countries, it takes a long time to obtain a police certificate so you should make a plan in advance when to request the police certificate.

Canada Shaws Consulting will give you advice on how and when to gather all the documents.


Express Entry is a quite simple and transparent pathway to immigrate to Canada.

The right immigration pathway is different for each person. Canada Shaws Consulting listens to your story and preferences.

Please let us help you achieve Canadian Permanent Residency.

Get Free Immigration Consultation
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