Your Simplified Guide to Express Entry

After twelve months of the Express Entry system, many are still unable to figure out the full process, documents required, eligibility criteria and how a Provincial Nomination works.

We have therefore put together this simplified guide to Express Entry to assist those still struggling to understand how the program works and if they qualify. We have also added in some answers to our most frequently asked questions. Please keep in mind this a simplified guide so not every detail is going to be listed. If you would like to take a full “Do It Yourself” comprehensive step-by-step course on Express Entry – sign up here! Or contact us for a full consultation.


 Step 2: Language Tests and Educational Credential Assessments

Once you know that you qualify under Step 1 you will want to write your language test and obtain your credential assessment, as these are the two required documents to enter yourself into the Express Entry Pool. Be sure to do the General Version of the IELTS only. The CELPIP is only available to those living in Canada. If you do not achieve your required scores you will need to re-write the test.

Be sure to have your credentials assessed by one of the recognized agencies. We personally recommend World Education Services as we find them to be the quickest, but you can use any of the approved agencies below.

  • Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • World Education Services
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service
  • International Credential Evaluation Service

If you are a doctor or a pharmacist you need to use the specified agencies below:

  • Medical Council of Canada à For Doctors
  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada à For Pharmacists


Step 3: Enter Express Entry

Follow the instructions on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to create your Express Entry Profile online.


Step 4: Receive your Profile Number and Job Seeker Code

As long as you qualify as described above you will receive a message letting you know you have met the criteria and they will give you a Job Seeker Code and Profile Code number. If you did not meet the criteria you will receive an ineligible message. They will not explain why you were found ineligible.

If you have been found ineligible and you think there was an error, contact us today to find out what could have caused the error – [email protected] 

At this stage you will also be issued your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on the information you have entered. This is the score that will be used when Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) selects people from the Express Entry Pool. If you feel that your score is too low and are looking for ways to increase it, read our blog article below:

Click Here to Improve Your Express Entry Score

To calculate your estimated Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score keep an eye on our site as our CRS Calculator is launching this week!


Step 5: Register for the Job Bank

Once you have received your eligibility message and your codes, you will then use these codes to register with the Job Bank, which will also be outlined in your introduction letter from MyCIC.

You will then receive another message on your account confirming your entry into Express Entry.

Please keep in mind that even if you receive a job offer, you will only earn 50 – 200 additional points for your CRS score if the employer obtains a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for you, the offer itself is not enough.

If you have received a job offer and your prospective employer needs assistance with the LMIA process please contact us at [email protected]


Step 6: Apply to Provinces for a Nomination

After you have been entered into the Express Entry Pool you can begin to apply to the Provinces, which have specific Provincial programs in place for Express Entry applicants.

If you are selected by a Canadian Province or Territory 600 points will be added to your CRS score. Just remember, you will be required to work and live in the province that has nominated you so ensure you are willing to comply with these requirements before applying to a province.


Step 7: Invitation to Apply

When a draw is done, if your score has been selected you will receive a message on your MyCIC account letting you know that you can proceed with your full application for Permanent Residency. You will have 90 days to complete this application, pay the required government fees and submit the application.

Your application will then go in for processing for Permanent Residency.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is “The Pool”
    • The Express Entry Pool is the database of all eligible Candidates, which have been accepted under Express Entry. This is where Citizenship and Immigration Canada selects people from to apply for Permanent Residency.
  • How long will it take?
    • The amount of time it will take for you to receive an invitation to apply cannot be guaranteed as it is based on your score and when it is selected. Some applicants have been selected after 2 days and some have been waiting for over 6 months.
  • What happens if I am not picked?
    • There is no guarantee that you will be selected from the Express Entry Pool.
    • Your application is valid for one full year.
    • After the year is up you can renew your profile for another year.
  • Can I update my Express Entry profile?
    • Yes once your Express Entry profile has been submitted and accepted you can make changes such as new IELTS scores, WES reports, new passports etc.
  • What is an LMIA?
    • An LMIA is written approval of a Canadian job offer issued by the Canadian Government, issued to a Canadian employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker.
  • If my visa is issued how long do I have until I need to go to Canada?
    • Your visa will have an expiry date. You will need to enter Canada before this expiry date to avoid losing your status. The expiry date should be set for one year from the date you underwent your medical examination.
  • How often is there a draw?
    • There are no set time frames on when draws occur.
  • Can I reject an Invitation to Apply?
    • If you want to reject an Invitation to Apply you need to login to your MyCIC account and select to rejection the invitation. You will then be entered back into the pool.
  • How low will the scores selected go?
    • As this is the first year of Express Entry there is no guideline of how low the selected scores could go. The lowest score selected to date has been 450.
  • Why do the selected score vary so much?
    • The scores selected will vary throughout the year as Provinces and Territories hand out their nominations and employers obtain positive LMIAs. This will cause spikes in the scores such as the draw, which took place last weekend.
  • I don’t have a job offer or a Provincial Nomination, can I still be selected under Express Entry?
    • To date four of the nine draws done have selected those without a job offer or a Provincial Nomination. This has included 4,897 applicants to date.
  • Is the Express Entry System the only way to immigrate to Canada?
    • To read about all of the different options read our blog below:

How to Immigrate to Canada

Federal Investor Program

Entrepreneur and Farming Programs


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Still have questions? Contact us today to see how we can assist!

E-mail: [email protected]


Office: +27(0)11 011 9022