Canadian Express Entry Program for Permanent Residency

The Canadian Express Entry (EE) program is a one-stop access point to submit Permanent Residency applications for four separate Permanent Residence categories:


  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Some Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The EE system was implemented by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to make it easier to submit new Permanent Residency applications, and provide reasonable and predictable processing times to applicants. Currently, application processing times range from 8-12 months or less.


Applicants must first submit an online candidate profile, also known as an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI profile conducts a self-check while information is entered to screen for eligibility. If the applicant does not meet the base criteria for one of the Permanent Residency categories, the system prevents you from being able to submit a profile. There is no governmental filing fee associated with submitting an online profile.

The EE program works on a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). After an applicant submits their online EOI, the candidate is given a ranking based on their CRS points score. CRS points are awarded for the following:


    • Age
    • Level of education
    • Language ability in both English and French
    • Work Experience (both Canadian and Foreign)
    • Offer of Employment in Canada
    • PNP Nomination Certificate


Selected applicants are pulled from the EE pool every 2-4 weeks, with are estimated 26 EE pool draws per year of approximately 2,000 to 3,600 applicants each. Candidates pulled from the pool are granted an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Historically, EE draws have tended to select applicants with CRS scores of 450 or above – though cut-offs as low as CRS 430 have occurred recently. Upon receiving the ITA, applicants have 60 days to submit their full Permanent Residence application through the EE system.


This document is a brief summary intended for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before submitting a visa application.


For questions, please contact I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC at


Donoso & Partners provide assistance with review and advice regarding eligibility for visas to the U.S. or Canada.