Skilled immigrants are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. We assess them on their:
- English and/or French language skills,
- work experience, and
- other factors that have been shown to help newcomers prosper in Canada.
As of January 2015, there is a new system to manage how people with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada. It is called Express Entry.
Under Express Entry, people will first fill out an online profile that includes their language test scores, their Educational Credential Assessment (if they need one) and outlines their work experience. There is no cost to complete and submit an Express Entry profile.
Based on their profiles, candidates will be ranked against others in a pool. On a regular basis, CIC will draw top candidates from the pool and send them an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Only those who get an Invitation to Apply from CIC will be able to apply.
Under this new system, most complete applications will be processed in six months or less.
You must use Express Entry if you want to apply:
- under the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- under the Federal Skilled Trades Program,
- under the Canadian Experience Class, or
- as a provincial nominee, in some cases.
Become a candidate
Your first step is to become a candidate in the Express Entry pool.
Some people from the pool will get Invitations to Apply for permanent residence.
If you have already created an Express Entry profile and wish to view it, go to your MyCIC account.
After you receive your Invitation to Apply, follow the steps to apply as a skilled immigrant.
Check processing times
If you applied before January 1, 2015:
Your application will be processed under the rules in place at the time you applied.
Find out how long it will take for CIC to process your application.
If you applied on or after January 1, 2015:
Our goal is to process most complete applications received under Express Entry in six months or less.
We currently only have processing times for people who applied under the old system.
Processing times tell you how long it took Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to process applications in the past. Since Express Entry is a new system and not enough applications have been received yet, processing times are not available but we have committed to process applications in six months or less.
After you apply: get next steps
Find out what you should do after you apply to come to Canada.
Prepare for arrival
Be prepared and know what to expect when you arrive in Canada.
Find out more about Express Entry
Learn more about Express Entry and how it works.
Note: The province of Quebec chooses its own skilled workers. If you plan to live in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.
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