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Since 1 January 2015, Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) is now using a new electronic system called Express Entry, which will be used to manage permanent residence applications under the following skilled worker programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Program

To find out more about these programs, see our Skilled Worker section.

How does it work? 

A potential candidate who is interested must first complete an online Express Entry profile, where they will provide information on their education, skills, work experience, and so on.  Candidates will then be placed in a pool of other candidates, and the candidates who are the most qualified (with the best chances of economic success) and those with qualified offers of employment will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Candidates will be selected using a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System.

If a candidate is selected and does not have a qualifying job offer, they must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, where they can connect with eligible Canadian employers.

Those who are selected to apply for permanent residence must submit an electronic application within 60 days, through one of the four immigration programs mentioned above. Citizenship and Immigration Canada intend to process the majority of applications within six months.

If you do not get selected the first time you apply, you will have the chance to apply again 12 months later, and so on.  There will also be no cap on applications, unlike previous programs.

To find out more about Express Entry, see the CIC website.


The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers, and therefore does not use this system. If you plan to live in Quebec, please see the CIC website for information.