What are the key aspects of Canada’s Express Entry system for skilled immigrants, provided under the Canadian Immigration law?

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Title: Key Aspects of Canada’s Express Entry System for Skilled Immigrants: A Comprehensive Analysis by LexLords Canada Immigration Lawyers


Canada has always been renowned for its welcoming stance towards immigrants. The Canadian Express Entry system, introduced under the Canadian Immigration Law in 2015, is a testament to this. Designed to manage applications for skilled immigrants, the Express Entry system illustrates Canada’s preference for talent and skill. Legal experts from LexLords, a leading Law Firm specializing in immigration law, dissect this complex legal issue to provide insights drawn from years of practice.

Primary Facets of the Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is a points-based immigration system that manages applications for three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is the crux of this system. It assigns points based on factors such as age, education, language proficiency in English and/or French, and Canadian work experience.

Selection Process

Under the Express Entry system, potential candidates create an online profile and are placed in a pool. The highest-ranking candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence based on regular draws from this pool. While the CRS score drives initial selection, provinces can also select candidates from the pool through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to meet their local labor market needs.

Invitation to Apply

Candidates with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) have 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence. If they fail to do so within the stipulated time frame, they would need to create a new Express Entry profile or update their existing one.

In the year 2017, in ‘Tan v. Canada’, the Federal Court upheld the legitimacy of the ITA deadline, underscoring the importance of complying with this critical Express Entry requirement (2017 FC 569).

Changes and Updates

Over the years, changes have been made to the Express Entry system to ensure it remains effective. In 2016, amendments were made to allocate more points to candidates with siblings in Canada and to those with strong French-language skills.

In a landmark decision in ‘Liu v. Canada’, the Federal Court agreed that language proficiency changes during the process should be considered, acknowledging the evolving nature of candidates’ profiles (2016 FC 987).

Potential Challenges and Mitigations

While efficient, the Express Entry system can present hurdles. Processing times can be long, and candidates with lower CRS scores may remain in the pool for a significant time without an invitation.

In ‘Shergill v. Canada’, the court held that candidates in the pool have no vested right to an invitation and must enhance their profiles or seek other immigration avenues if they wish to immigrate to Canada more quickly (2019 FC 85).

Additionally, transparency has been an issue, with candidates often left in the dark about how scores are calculated. However, steps have been taken to make the CRS scoring more transparent and understandable.


The Canadian Express Entry System illustrates a commitment to attracting skilled immigrants. However, navigating it requires expertise. As evidenced by case law, non-compliance with rules or failing to adapt to changes can lead to unsuccessful applications. Law firms like LexLords with in-depth knowledge of immigration laws help potential candidates overcome these complexities and take a step closer towards achieving their Canadian dreams.