Express Entry- How Canada welcomes immigrants  

Express Entry - How Canada Welcomes immigrants!

Express Entry is just one of the many options for permanent residency in Canada. Its popularity has exploded in recent years. The name is now synonymous with Permanent Residency for most skilled workers looking to immigrate to Canada in the future. 

Introduced in 2015, Express Entry is an online application system that processes the permanent residency applications of skilled immigrants. It manages several economic immigration programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades program, the Canadian Experience Class and parts of the Provincial Nominee Program. 

As stated in the Express Entry Report 2015, the program’s main objectives are: 

  • Flexibility in selection and application management 
  • Responsiveness o labour market and regional needs 
  • Speed in application processing 

The program has enabled many provinces and employers to engage with a new stream of qualified immigrants who can plug the gaps in their labour market. 

According to the Express Entry: Year End Reports, the number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) issued over the years were: 

  • In 2015, the Express Entry program issued 31,063 Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residency. 
  • In 2016, 33,782 ITA were issued,  
  • In 2017, 86,022 ITA were issued, and 65,425 were admitted as permanent residents 
  • In 2018, 89,800 ITA were issued, and 92,229 were admitted as permanent residents 
  • In 2019, 85,300 ITA were issued, and 109,595 were admitted as permanent residents 
  • In 2020, more than 107,000 ITAs were issued. Of these, only 63,923 applicants received permanent residency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

17 Express Entry draws have been held so far in 2022. The latest draw on 31 August 2022 saw 2,750 applicants issued their Invitations to apply (ITA). 

What is the IRCC’s Immigration Levels Plan? 

The Immigration Levels Plan sets out immigration targets for the IRCC. The targets are based on the demographic issues currently facing the country, such as: 

  • Canada faces surging job vacancy rates. According to Statistics Canada, the figure for the first quarter of 2022 was 957,500-. The job vacancy rate (number of vacancies to the proportion of total labour demand) was at 5.6% 
  • The unemployment rates are historically low, indicating a dwindling labour force. The unemployment rate was 5.4% in August 2022, up from the record low of 4.9% in June and July. 
  • According to data released by Statistics Canada, more than 1 in 5 (21.8%) of the working-age population were between the ages of 55-64. Canada faces a record number of retirements in the near future, and an inability to replace this workforce will be debilitating to the economy. 

Given the situation, the IRCC has set higher immigration targets to mitigate the anticipated loss of a large chunk of the labour force. 

The most recent 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan of Feb 2022 calls for increased immigration targets. The targets for permanent residents were as follows: 

  • 431,645 total Permanent Resident admissions through multiple channels in 2022, 
  • 447,055 in 2023 and 
  • 451,000 in 2024 

Of these admissions, 241,850 in 2022, 253,000 in 2023 and 267,750 in 2024 will be from the Economic immigrant category, including Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs. 

The plan also accounts for refugees and Canada’s humanitarian commitments, especially after the Allied withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

How does Express Entry work? 

Express Entry allows skilled immigrants to apply for permanent residency in Canada through three programs, namely: 

  • The Canadian Experience Class: This program caters to skilled workers with at least one year of Canadian work experience in the last three years. The candidates must ensure they were authorized to work and had temporary resident status. 
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: The program caters to skilled workers with foreign work experience. A candidate must possess skilled work experience, language ability (CLB 7 in all four language abilities), and a completed educational credential to be eligible for this program. Candidates will also require proof of funds. 
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program: The program is for skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade. The skilled trades include industrial, electrical, construction, maintenance, supervisors, manufacturing, chefs/ cooks, butchers and bakers. 

Interested candidates can create their Express Entry profile at the IRCC portal. Some information that must be disclosed in your profile are: 

  • language test results 
  • proof of Canadian education or an Educational credential assessment report if you studied outside Canada 
  • A provincial nomination, if you’re eligible 
  • A valid job offer from a Canadian employer, proof of work experience, qualification, etc. 
  • Proof of funds 

Once your application is submitted, you will join other candidates in an Express Entry pool. A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will grade you and other candidates according to your qualifications. Candidates who pass a cut-off at the Express Entry draw will be given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residency. 

Once you are invited to apply, you’ll need to upload the copies of the documents mentioned in your profile along with: 

  • Police certificates 
  • Medical exams 
  • Proof of funds 
  • A birth certificate 
  • Marriage certificate, divorce/ legal separation agreement, death certificate, adoption certificate. (as applicable) 

What are the fees for a Permanent Residency application? 

Currently, a Permanent resident application costs $1365. 

An additional $1,365 fee is included for your spouse and $230 for a dependent child. 

What are the processing times for Express Entry? 

The processing times for each program under Express Entry as listed on the IRCC portal are: 

  • Canadian Experience class – 15 months 
  • Federal Skilled worker program – 26 months 
  • Federal Skilled trades program – 45 months 

What is the CRS? 

A Comprehensive Ranking System is a points-based system that scores applicants for Express Entry. The scores are based on several criteria, including: 

  • Core human capital factors: 
  • Age 
  • Level of education 
  • Language proficiency 
  • Canadian work experience 
  • Spouse or partner factors: 
  • Level of education 
  • Language proficiency 
  • Canadian work experience 
  • Skill Transferability factors: 
  • Language proficiency and a post-secondary degree 
  • Canadian work experience and post-secondary degree 
  • Foreign work experience 
  • Certificate of qualification 
  • Brother or sister in Canada 
  • French language skills 
  • Canadian education 
  • Valid employment letter from a Canadian employer 
  • Nomination from a Provincial Nominee program 

How many Express Entry draws happen in a year? 

The number of draws in a year is inconsistent and will depend on many factors, including the Immigration Levels plan. 

According to the data published on, there were a total of: 

  • 42 Express Entry draws in 2021. 
  • 37 draws in 2020 
  • 26 draws in 2019 
  • 27 draws in 2018 
  • 30 draws in 2017 
  • 27 draws in 2016 and  
  • 23 draws in 2015 

How many applicants received an Invite in the last Express Entry draw? 

The latest Express Entry invitations were conducted on 31 August 2022. The IRCC issued invitations to 2,750 candidates from a total of 239,196 applicants. 

The cut-off score for this round was 516. 

What are Canada’s plans for new Immigrants? 

Canada shows no signs of slowing down with its immigration policy. With the latest Immigration levels plan, the country is set to absorb 431,645 more immigrants in the coming year. 

As an applicant, you have every reason to be optimistic about the future of Express Entry. Work on your CRS scores. You can improve them with higher language scores and educational qualifications. Your line of work can also impact your likelihood of getting picked for permanent residency. The Express Entry Year-End Report 2019 shows Computer programmers, interactive media developers (NOC 2174), Information systems analysts/consultants (NOC 2171) and Software engineers/designers (NOC 2173) consistently being selected in higher numbers for permanent residency. 

Are you a permanent resident, an Express Entry candidate or an eager contributor? Please feel free to share your opinions and experience with us. We appreciate any insightful knowledge or tips for future immigrants. 


Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.