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Business and Family-Based Canadian Immigration Lawyers


Launched in January 2015, Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for the following economic immigration categories: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program. As described below, Express Entry provides the Government of Canada with the means to manage the intake of applications for permanent residence under these specific economic immigration categories, while also facilitating the selection of individuals who are most likely to succeed in Canada.


The Express Entry system manages applications for permanent residence through a two-step process. First, individuals express their interest in immigrating to Canada by completing an online profile, which is then screened electronically to determine if the individual is eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class.

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of these programs are placed in the Express Entry pool and are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on the information in their profile compared to a transparent scoring criterion, including factors such as education, language ability, and work experience. Candidates in the pool are ranked against one another based on their CRS score. Every few weeks, a Ministerial Instruction is published specifying the number of invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence that will be sent to candidates in the Express Entry pool on a specific date. The Ministerial Instruction may also specify that the ITA round will target one or more of the Express Entry economic immigration categories. For a given round, invitations are issued to candidates, in descending CRS score rank order, until the maximum number of invitations specified in the associated Ministerial Instruction is met. The profiles of candidates who do not receive an ITA, or decline an ITA, remain in the pool for up to 12 months. Candidates who receive an ITA but do not react are withdrawn from the pool.

Candidates that receive an ITA have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence to IRCC. Upon receipt, an immigration officer assesses the application to verify the applicant’s CRS score and program eligibility, and to ensure the principal applicant and any accompanying family members are not inadmissible. If the immigration officer is satisfied that all conditions have been met and that the principal applicant and any accompanying family members are not inadmissible, they are approved for a permanent resident visa. Applicants and their accompanying family members become permanent residents when they are admitted to Canada. The processing standard for applications sourced via Express Entry is six months for 80% of cases. Processing time is measured beginning from the day a complete application is received until a final decision is made by an immigration officer.

The CRS is the backbone of the Express Entry application management system. A CRS score comprises two components—core points and additional points. A candidate without an accompanying spouse can receive a maximum of 600 points under the core component, depending on the person’s human capital characteristics (i.e. age, education, official language proficiency, and work experience). These factors predict greater potential for success in the Canadian labour market. Under the additional points component, a candidate can receive points for having a provincial/territorial nomination (600 points), arranged employment (50 or 200 points), Canadian post-secondary education credentials (15 or 30 points), French language proficiency (15 or 30 points), or a sibling in Canada (15 points). With the exception of points awarded for a provincial/territorial nomination, which is high enough to guarantee a candidate an ITA in the following round, additional points increase the probability that a given candidate will receive an ITA without guaranteeing that outcome. Candidates in the Express Entry pool must update their profile to reflect any change in circumstances and this action can trigger a recalculation of the CRS score. Some updates are automatically triggered when milestones, such as a birthday or expiry of language test results, are reached.

Accordingly, candidates can take steps to increase their CRS score, thereby increasing the probability they will be selected to receive an ITA. For example, a candidate could increase their proficiency in an official language, secure arranged employment, or provide an educational credential assessment for education acquired abroad.

The maximum CRS score a candidate can achieve is capped at 1,200 points—600 points under the core component and 600 points under the additional points component. All information provided at the profile stage for the purpose of generating a CRS score is self-reported and must be supported with appropriate documentation from the candidate at the application stage or the application could be refused.

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National in scope, the business immigration law firm of NPZ Law Group represents clients from throughout the United States and around world. Regionally, our attorneys remain committed to serving the immigration needs of businesses in the Tri-state area and the Hudson Valley, including residents of Ridgewood, Newark, and Jersey City, Burlington County, Bergen County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, Salem County, Union County, northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, central New Jersey, NJ; New York City, Rockland County, Orange County, Westchester County, Kings County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, New York, NY; Chicago, Illinois, IL; and Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Our nationwide practice focused on quality legal representation and personal service.

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