What is Express Entry and What Does Invitation to Apply Mean?

Each year, Canada attracts thousands of people who want to apply for permanent residence. To help streamline the process, the Government of Canada has implemented a system called Express Entry and issues an Invitation to Apply to the top candidates who are then able to go through the remaining application process. This is an automated system that scores candidates and compares them against each other to identify the people who will be able to bring the most to the Canadian economy.

Understanding the system of Express Entry and what it means to receive an Invitation to Apply is critical for anyone looking to move to Canada on a long-term basis. This article will introduce these concepts and recommend ways candidates can improve their chances of success.  

What is Canada’s Express Entry System?

Express Entry is the automated system the Canadian Government uses to streamline the application process for people applying for permanent residence. Candidates complete an Express Entry Profile online and are given a score. This score is based on information about the candidate, including age, proficiency in English or French, Canadian work experience, skills, and other factors.

Under the system there are three different classes of economic or skilled workers which people can apply to. The first is the Canadian Experience Class, which is for individuals who have worked in Canada for at least one year in certain types of jobs. The second class is the Federal Skilled Workers Class, which is intended for people who are living overseas but have a specific skill set and experience that benefit the Canadian economy. The third class is the Federal Skilled Trades Class, which is specifically for people who are skilled at certain trades.

During the most recent period ending October 3rd, more than 90,000 people were in the Express Entry pool.  

How Does Canada Issue an Invitation to Apply?

Once the Express Entry Profile is complete candidates are given a score between 0 and 1200. This score is compared against the pool of applicants on a regular basis, and the government issues an Invitation to Apply to candidates with the highest scores. This means that these top ranked candidates are able to move on to the next step in the process to apply for permanent residence under whichever category they are applying to. Applicants have 60 days, down from 90 prior to June 2018, to complete the remainder of their application.

This system allows the government to streamline the process and quickly identify the top candidates. For the period ending October 3rd, 3,900 candidates were issued an invitation to apply, with the minimum score being 445.   

What Happens If I Do Not Receive and Invitation to Apply?

Immediately upon completing your Express Entry Profile you will be given a score. Based on this, you will quickly be able to determine the likelihood of whether you will receive an invitation since you can see the minimum scores from previous rounds. If you do not receive an invitation, your profile will remain active for 12 months and there is a chance that you may be selected in the future. After this period has passed, you will need to complete a new profile to be considered.

If your score falls below the minimum threshold, the best thing you can do is look for ways to increase your score. Language proficiency in either English or French is one of the main areas that can be improved. Similarly, if you have an opportunity to work in Canada as a foreign worker and gain Canadian work experience for at least one year, you will see a significant increase in your score.

Other factors, such as education and skills, can be improved to further increase your score. Receiving a low score does not disqualifying you from future applications, and completing your profile allows you to identify where you can improve your score to increase your likelihood of receiving an invitation.

Applying for Permanent Residence in Canada Means Going Through the Express Entry System

For those looking to apply for permanent residence in Canada, the Express Entry Profile is a necessary step. Completing this profile gives you the opportunity to receive an Invitation to Apply, at which point you will continue down the process toward becoming a permanent resident. By understanding how the process works, you will be able to give yourself the best opportunity to be invited.

Remember, immigration law can change, and navigating the process can be difficult. It is always best to consult with a licensed immigration lawyer if you have any questions or you need help completing any part of your application.

Connect with Hart Kaminker, Principal, Kaminker & Associates Immigration Law.

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