Notice – Express Entry questions and answers

Update: some of the questions/answers on this page have been moved. You can find information at the links below.

Express Entry is a system for managing permanent residence applications for these economic immigration programs:

Find out about applying for permanent residence through Express Entry, or see more questions in our Help Centre.

To find general information on Express Entry, see an overview of how it works.

Are you an employer interested in Express Entry? Find out more about hiring through Express Entry. This includes information about Labour Market Impact Assessments, Job Bank, and more.

In addition, these questions and answers can help explain this new system.

About Express Entry

  1. How does Express Entry benefit Canada?
  2. Does Express Entry change immigration program requirements?

Provinces/Territories

  1. How do provinces and territories use Express Entry?
  2. How do I use Express Entry to be considered as a Provincial Nominee?

Job Bank

  1. How is Job Bank being modernized?
  2. How does Job Bank work with Express Entry?

Employer Liaison Network

  1. What is the Employer Liaison Network?
  2. Is there a cost for employers to use the Employer Liaison Network (ELN)?

Processing times

  1. How will Express Entry result in faster processing times?
  2. When does the six-month processing timeline begin and end?

Foreign credential recognition

  1. How will Express Entry improve the pathway for newcomers wanting to work in a regulated occupation?

Fraud

  1. Is there a risk of fraud from applicants or employers?
  2. Can employers and potential candidates use recruiters and immigration consultants or Lawyers?

About Express Entry

1. How does Express Entry benefit Canada?

The Government of Canada reformed our economic immigration system to ensure that Canada’s economic and labour market needs are met.

Express Entry is a key part of this. Its goal is to make the system faster and more flexible. It is improving how we accept and processes applications, which means:

  • faster and more efficient processing, and
  • a better ability to respond to Canada’s labour market.

Under Express Entry, we only accept applications from people we have invited to immigrate under certain economic programs. This prevents the growth of backlogs by ensuring that only the candidates who are most likely to succeed—not simply the first to submit their application—are able to apply to immigrate to Canada.

People who we invite to apply complete an online application. This helps to make processing easier and reduce wait times.

Most applicants who we invite to apply under the Express Entry system will see their permanent residence applications processed within six months or less.

This reduction in wait times makes it possible for Canada to be globally competitive in attracting high skilled immigrants, and get them working and contributing to the Canadian economy faster.

2. Does Express Entry change immigration program requirements?

No. Express Entry does not change immigration program requirements. Express Entry is not a new program. It is a new way for us to manage applications for some economic immigration programs including:

Provinces/Territories

3. How do provinces and territories use Express Entry?

Provinces and territories can nominate a certain number of people through Express Entry to meet their local immigration and labour market needs. If nominated by a province or territory, an applicant, will get enough additional points to be invited to apply for permanent residence at the next eligible round of invitations.

Provinces and territories set the criteria used to nominate Express Entry candidates under their Provincial Nominee Program.

Express Entry candidates may either:

  • enter the pool first, and then be nominated by a province or territory, or
  • be nominated by a province or territory, and then complete an online Express Entry profile.

All prospective candidates (whether PNP applicants or not) must meet the criteria of at least one of the federal immigration programs managed through Express Entry in order to enter the pool. They all must submit their application online.

Provinces and territories are also able to nominate under their regular (“base”) PNPs outside of Express Entry via a paper application process.

Note: The Province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.

4. How do I use Express Entry to be considered as a Provincial Nominee?

You can do one of two things:

  • apply to the PNP first, get a nomination and then fill out an Express Entry profile or
  • fill out the Express Entry profile first. Provinces and territories can then search the Express Entry pool and ask you to apply for their PNP. When you get a nomination certificate, you will update your Express Entry profile.

In either case, once you update your Express Entry profile to show you have a provincial or territorial nomination certificate, you will get enough additional points to be invited to apply at the next eligible round of invitation.

Job Bank

5. How is Job Bank being modernized?

The Government of Canada recently modernized Job Bank, which has resulted in:

  • an improved online user experience,
  • upgrades to the site’s security features to match industry standards, and
  • more up-to-date labour market information so that users can make better and more informed career decisions.

The enhanced Job Bank website also provides employers with information on human resources management services and Job Match. This will help employers to:

  • hire Canadians and permanent residents for available jobs, or
  • view matches of eligible foreign job seekers in the Express Entry pool if no Canadians or permanent residents are available.

Job Match, available through Job Bank, is an example of how the Government of Canada is finding ways to better utilize technology to connect employers with Canadians and eligible Express Entry candidates who have in-demand skills and training.

Job Bank is also a useful tool for family members of a person immigrating through Express Entry. It can help them find jobs in Canada.

Visit Job Bank for more information.

6. How does Job Bank work with Express Entry?

Job Bank and Express Entry let eligible employers in Canada and eligible skilled foreign nationals connect with one another more easily.

Employers must make every effort to first try and find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill their job vacancy before they can consider a skilled immigrant.

In most cases, employers who want to hire a foreign national must register with Job Bank and post their employment ad for a minimum of 30 days (as well as meet other advertising requirements). If they can’t find a Canadian or permanent resident, employers can extend their job ad and broaden their candidate search to include foreign workers.

If they find a qualified foreign national, the employer must, in most cases, apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to hire them. There are certain exceptions.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses all LMIA applications. In many cases, employers will need a positive LMIA to make a qualifying job offer to a foreign national under Express Entry.

Should the candidate choose to apply to a job, the employer must then go through their usual interview or assessment process. If the employer finds that the Express Entry candidate meets their needs, and they have a positive LMIA (if needed), they can offer them a job.

The employer then provides this information, along with a job offer letter, to the candidate to include in their Express Entry profile. Candidates can get points for their job offer in Express Entry. This can help them be offered an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the next eligible round of invitations.

Eligible employers can be matched with qualified candidates in the Express Entry pool.

Through Job Bank, Express Entry candidates can explore jobs and sign up with Job Match to view jobs that match their skill set and qualifications.

Employers will continue to be matched to Canadian and permanent resident Job Seeker profiles while their job is advertised on Job Bank. Matches will be made based on an employer’s job listing and a candidate’s skills, knowledge and experience. To be matched, candidates must be eligible through Express Entry.

Employer Liaison Network

7. What is the Employer Liaison Network?

The Employer Liaison Network (ELN) gives employers useful and up-to-date information on permanent economic immigration programs and policies related to Express Entry.

Their goal is to increase employer awareness and use of the Express Entry system, and to help match employers in Canada (outside of Quebec) with skilled labour overseas. The ELN does not address case-specific enquiries or work permit issues. Its focus is on the permanent resident streams.

Note: Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.

8. Is there a cost for employers to use the Employer Liaison Network (ELN)?

There is no cost for an employer to use the ELN.

Processing times

9. How will Express Entry result in faster processing times?

Processing Express Entry applications is faster for a number of reasons including:

  • an electronic application system that makes it easier for clients to apply
  • pre-screening of potential applications for eligibility criteria and
  • the ability for us to only invite as many people we can process within the standard of six months or less.  

10. When does the six-month processing timeline begin and end?

The six months begins once we confirm that a person has submitted a complete application, including all documents such as police certificates, for permanent residence through the online system. It ends when we make a final decision.

Some issues can delay processing, such as when an applicant needs extra time to complete their medical assessments.

The six-month processing time does not include issues outside our control, for example, the time it takes for an employer to obtain an LMIA, or a potential candidate to receive a provincial/territorial nomination or to arrive in Canada and land as a permanent resident.

Note: The six-month processing time is for permanent residence applications under Express Entry. We will process applications received before Express Entry based on the rules in place at the time we received the application.

Foreign credential recognition

11. How will Express Entry make it easier for newcomers who want to work in a regulated occupation?

As part of the reforms to our economic immigration system, we will improve the way credentials are recognized.

We will collaborate more with provinces and territories, regulatory authorities, and professional bodies to will make their license and assessment tools accessible to potential immigrants before they come to Canada. This will give immigrants a head start on getting their qualifications recognized.

We use Education Credential Assessments (ECA) to assess a potential Express Entry candidate’s foreign educational credentials against Canadian standards. This gives applicants a better sense of how their education fits into the Canadian labour market and helps them make more informed choices about immigration and Canadian career paths.

There are currently five organizations designated to deliver ECA services for immigration purposes. This includes two professional bodies (Medical Council of Canada and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada). We are working to add more organizations and professional bodies to the list.

All ECAs included in an Express Entry profile will be validated with the issuing organization when an application for permanent residence is submitted for processing.

Fraud

12. Is there a risk of fraud from applicants or employers?

The Government of Canada takes program integrity very seriously.

We expect applicants to be truthful in their self-declared Express Entry profile and application for permanent residence. During processing, an immigration officer will review and validate all information.

Anyone who provides false information could be found inadmissible for misrepresentation and could be barred for five years from applying to come to Canada for any reason. This includes applications completed by immigration consultants and lawyers.

For information on fraud related to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), refer to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

13. Can employers and potential candidates use recruiters and immigration consultants or lawyers?

An employer or potential candidate may choose to use a recruiter, immigration consultant or lawyer when using Express Entry, but it is not required.

Only some people can charge a fee or receive any other type of payment to represent an immigrant or advise on a Canadian immigration proceeding or application. These are:

  • lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society,
  • notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, and
  • immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.

These people are called “authorized” representatives.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will not deal with representatives who are not members of one of the above groups and who charge for their services.

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