Canadian Immigration Ranking System

The purpose of the Express Entry System is to form a pool of candidates who have applied for immigration to Canada. The applicants are ranked on a number of criteria and those who rank the highest will be invited to apply for immigration. Requirements are in place to enter the pool and be selected from it.

Criteria for Pool Entry:

To enter the Express Entry pool, Skilled Foreign Applicants will be required to complete one of the below federal Immigration Programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or
  2. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or
  3. the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Comprehensive Ranking System:

A points-based system, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) assesses and scores an applicant’s express entry profile and compares it to other applicants in the entry pool.

The ranking is automatically assigned when you submit your profile information in My CIC and then scored according to information based on the profile. After granting scores, you are informed by a system generated letter from authorities. Invitations to apply for immigration are only sent to the top-ranked applicants.

The purpose of Express Entry is to create a strong link between the Canadian labour market and economic immigration. It is because of this that applicants who qualify and also have a job offer, will receive at least the minimum number of points to get an invitation to apply for immigration.

Those applicants who have been given a nomination by a territory or province will receive additional points to rank high enough to apply for the invitation.

Formula for Comprehensive Ranking System:

The highest number of points a candidate can score is 1,200 and the criteria of points allocation is as follows:

  • Human Capital Factor that includes age of the applicant, level of education, language proficiency and work experience in Canada. A maximum of 460 points are awarded for all of these criteria.
  • For Set of Skills Transferability and Interaction Factors a maximum of 100 points are awarded.
  • Forty points are awarded for spouse or common-law partner factors.
  • A maximum of 600 points are awarded for who have a job offer in Canada.

Those who have applied for Express Entry must ensure that their entry profile is always correct and updated as needed. Should an application be rejected by authorities, the possibilities of rejection include:

  1. The applicant has applied for permanent residence.
  2. The information in the applicant’s Express Entry profile is incorrect.

An applicant's ranking will automatically be updated when they update their employment profile information through their My CIC account.

Rounds of Invitation Based on Comprehensive Ranking:

The profile information assessed in the CRS includes:

  • work experience
  • skills
  • language ability
  • education
  • other factors

Candidates who are invited to apply for permanent residency are controlled by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) through Rounds of Invitation. The rounds take place according to processing capacity and annual level of targets. During the invitation the applicant's ranking is more important than the number of points. So, if the CIC sends a Letter of Invitation to 1,000 candidates, only the top-ranked candidates will be approved for entry in the pool.

The rank of a candidate changes with every change in the round. The rounds are also program specific, meaning they are based on a particular program such as Canadian Experience Class, Skilled Work Program and Skilled Trade Program.

If the candidates are invited for a general round then all of the candidates in the Express Entry Pool will be invited on the basis of top ranking regardless of the specific program.

However, in program specific rounds, only candidates invited are those who are tagged under a specific program. For example, if candidates for the Federal Skilled Trade program are invited then only the top-rated candidates from that category are invited.

Express Entry rounds are managed by Ministerial Instructions (MI’s) and have details regarding:

  • The date when the round is conducted
  • The number of applicants invited
  • The type of round i.e. program specific or general

These instructions are only published when MI’s conduct a round of invitation, they will not be published in advance. When the rounds are conducted Citizenship and Immigration Canada will publish the score of low-ranking candidates for whom they want to be applied for in that round.

This information is also used to decline invitations to rounds and when a candidate wants to submit an Application for permanent residence.

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