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Express Entry Application System: Updated After November 2016 Changes

Not a program but a system, Express Entry has made applying as an immigrant under an economic immigration program more systematic and faster - and now after November 19, 2016, more competitive and open to overseas applicants.

Crispin Aranda, Jennifer ArandaOriginally posted on August 20, 2016; updated August 20, 2016

Express Entry Application System: Updated After November 2016 Changes

Express Entry, Canada's immigrant selection system has made Canada the migration country of choice for skilled workers and professionals who meet the initial criteria for inclusion in the pool of candidates available for selection by the Federal and Provincial governments as well as Canadian employers.

Until November 19, 2016, Express Entry applicants in Canada with candidate profiles in the pool had the advantage of getting the first shot at job offers and provincial nominations. Temporary workers already employed have direct access to potential sponsoring employers.  International students on the other hand, are allowed to work 20 hours a week while studying thus gaining access to potential sponsoring employers as well.

Before the changes, candidates with job offers get 600 points.  The points awarded to arranged employment had been reduced to only 200 (for senior managerial occupations in the 00 occupational structure of Canada's National Occupational Classification) and 50 for non-00 occupations.

For international students with at least one year of work experience overseas (in an occupation that is listed in Canada's O, A, or B Skill structure) could create a candidate profile and stand a good chance of being invited especially with proficient scores in the English/language criteria.  Then workers who have had one year lawful employment in Canada - including internatioinal students who have worked full time for at least a year during a post-graduate work permit period - are eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Canadian Experience Class.

To make it even easier for applicants, there is no fee to get into the Express Entry system which is a simple two-step process.

  • Step 1. Create your online profile
  • Step 2. You receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence

Your online profile

The first step is important as it provides details to the government of Canada about your:

  • Skills
  • Education credentials
  • Work experience
  • English or French language abilities

Other relevant information may be added on that can enhance your profile for selection.  As the profile you create is valid only for 12 months, be careful on how you complete it!

Once you meet the minimum requirements for the economic program you are applying for, you will be accepted into the Express Entry pool. 

Want to know if you qualify? >>>  Click on this link to share your concern with us.

You will also have to register with the Government of Canada's Job Bank unless you already have an employer or have received a provincial/territorial nomination.  The Job Bank, private job boards and recruiters can help match you with eligible employers in Canada who have job openings that fit with your job knowledge, skills and work experience.

Comprehensive Ranking System

You will be awarded points using the information you provided on your Express Entry profile through the Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS.  And similar to Australia and New Zealand with the CRS, you will be ranked against others in the pool of candidates.

It is important to note that the distribution of the pool changes every time a new candidate enters or leaves the Express Entry pool.

According to a report by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (or IRCC), 779 invitations were issued during the first round on January 31, 2015  to applicants whose CRS were 886 and above.  By December 18, 2015, 1,503 invitations were issued and the cut-off CRS was 460.   On January 3, 2016,  about 900 candidates had a CRS score above 460 mostly from candidates who entered the pool after the December 18 selection round.

Immediately after the November 19, 2016 changes in the CRS criteria, the cut-off point to qualify and be invited to apply had gone down to 459 while increasing the number of applications invited to apply to 3,334.

Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence

Candidates with the highest rank in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply (or ITA) for permanent residence. You'll have to keep track of your application because once you have received an ITA, you only have 60 days to submit an application. And so far, the Canadian government has kept its promise and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been processing applications in 6 months or less.

For a clear picture of how the changes level the playing field for overseas applicants, see the Express Entry criteria ranking below:

Express Entry Selection, Sept. 2, 2016 to January 11, 2017



Date of Selection






































Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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