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Canada’s Express Entry Program FAQs for 2024

By Sierra January 20, 2015 (Updated January 30, 2024) 9 min. read
Canada Express Entry Program

The Express Entry system is one of the most popular ways to obtain permanent residency in Canada. New practices have been adopted to deal with incoming applications, which means much faster processing times. 

However, not everyone is as clued-up about Express Entry as they claim to be, and here at VisaPlace, we’ve noticed there are several misconceptions about the Express Entry program. We’re going to tackle some of the biggest myths and misconceptions that currently exist about the Express Entry program in 2024!

Top Questions Asked About Canada’s Express Entry Program 2024

Can anyone enter the Express Entry Pool?

You can only enter the Express Entry pool if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration via a federal economic immigration program.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that anyone who wishes to immigrate to Canada – regardless of age or skill level – may enter the pool for Express Entry. This simply isn’t true, and candidates have to be eligible for one of the existing federal economic immigration programs:

To find out whether you’re eligible for Canadian immigration, fill out our free immigration assessment.

Do you have to have a job offer to qualify for Express Entry?

A job offer isn’t necessary, but it will help improve your chances.

Canadian employers will indeed be allowed to have a more direct impact via Express Entry, but you won’t need a job offer to immigrate to Canada under the new system.

If you’re a candidate in the Express Entry pool, you’ll be given points and ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Under this system, you could be awarded up to 1,200 points – 600 of which will be allocated if you’ve been awarded either a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination certificate.

Can I Change My Job After Applying for Express Entry?

Yes! You can always update or change your application before receiving an ITA.

Find out your CRS Score with our CRS Score Calculator!

Does an Express Entry profile affect a student visa?

In terms of EE, it will not affect your study permit application if you have not yet been invited or submitted your PR application. Making a profile does not necessarily imply that you are applying for PR.

Can I change my NOC code before ITA?

If you have an ITA, you can change your NOC code, but you must decline your ITA before you do. However, there is no guarantee that you will be invited again if you decline your ITA.

Does the eligible occupation list under the Federal Skilled Worker Program still apply?

As of January 1, 2022 there is no eligible occupation list.

There has been much confusion from potential candidates around the subject of the older eligible occupation list for the FSWP, and whether it remains in place or will be updated. There is now no eligible occupation list at all.

Candidates must instead simply be able to demonstrate they’ve had at least a year’s work experience in a skilled occupation at some point within the last 10 years. In terms of eligibility, this is particularly good news for potential candidates who previously might not have been included in the previous list of eligible occupations.

Canadian jobs fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, which are split up by skill type and level, so you will be able to check whether your occupation is classified as skilled.

It’s also wise to note that the list of ineligible occupations for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) will also not apply to Express Entry.

Is Express Entry the only way you can become a Canadian economic immigrant?

Express Entry will cover most economic immigration programs, however, provinces will still be able pick immigrants from outside of the Express Entry system within a certain allocation

Canada’s provinces and territories have an added advantage in that they are able to select a certain number of immigrants based on their provincial labor market needs. This means that although most economic immigrants will have to use the Express Entry route from 2015 onwards – including a certain allocation of provincial nominees – each province and territory will still have a ‘base’ Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which they can use to select immigrants who do not have to be eligible under Express Entry.

One example is Quebec, which is not taking part in the federal Express Entry System – instead, immigrants will have a Skilled Worker channel and a Quebec Experience program (both scheduled to restart on April 1, 2015).

When you’re invited to apply for permanent residence as an Express Entry candidate, how much time do you have to get your application submitted?

If you wait until you are issued an ITA (invitation to apply), you may find it a struggle to gather all the documentation you need to submit your application within the deadline of 60 days 

Truthfully, gathering enough documentation to complete your application to a satisfactory standard (as far as CIC is concerned) isn’t easy. It will require collecting many personal documents, qualifications/education credentials, employment references, letters, and the many forms that must be completed accurately and to the letter.

Stay updated with the most recent express entry draws here: Latest Express Entry Draw 2024 🇨🇦

Do you need to pass any language tests to enter the Express Entry pool?

All candidates have to pass a standardized English or French language test that has been recognized by the Canadian government before they are allowed to enter the pool. 

It’s been confirmed by CIC that all candidates must demonstrate their language proficiency in either French or English (the official languages of Canada) to be included in the Express Entry pool.

Your language proficiency must meet the eligibility requirements set for your chosen federal economic immigration program, and we recommend you take a language test as soon as possible if you wish to enter the Express Entry pool.

Can candidates see their points and ranking under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and know how many points they’ll need to be issued an invitation?

Although candidates will be able to see their Comprehensive Ranking System points total and know the points threshold for the most recent draw, they will not be able to see their specific ranking. Nor will candidates be able to tell how many points will be required for the next draw from the Express Entry pool. 

The Comprehensive Ranking system is predominantly for CIC’s benefit, as an accurate method of ranking the most eligible candidates. CIC has no intention of releasing information such as how many points will be required for upcoming draws, although eligible candidates will be able to see the points required for draws that have already taken place.

Being able to see this information may help you work out several points you should aim for, although surpassing this will not provide you with any guarantees that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence via Express Entry.

Find out your CRS Score with our CRS Score Calculator!

What happens if you give false information in your Express Entry profile to immigrate to Canada?

If you misrepresent yourself on your application, you will be caught and will face stern penalties.

No matter how much you want to immigrate to Canada, we don’t recommend lying on your application. Whether you might be hoping to attain some extra human capital credentials before being invited to apply, or you’re just hoping you won’t be caught out, you could be risking your future chances of ever being able to immigrate.

The Canadian government is being very rigorous with checks when it comes to processing applications, and falsehoods can and will be detected. The penalty for misrepresentation has increased from two years to a total of five years of inadmissibility, alongside a five-year ban when it comes to applying for permanent residency.

Once you create your Express Entry profile, can it be updated even if you improve your points?

As a candidate, you can update your profile at any time whilst in the Express Entry pool.

In truth, you’ll actively be encouraged to keep your profile updated, as any improvements you make to your core factors (such as gaining new language abilities, gaining qualifications, or completing new work experience) can add to your overall points in the Comprehensive Ranking System.

You may also receive a provincial nomination or job offer from a Canadian employer, which would give you a significant points boost. While your profile remains in the pool, it will not be ‘locked’ at any time.

Does Express Entry make the whole immigration process easier?

The Canadian government is very strict when reviewing applications, and you will need to provide many supporting documents that must meet the CIC’s standards 

The Canadian government has been working towards improving its immigration system in a way that will address the country’s labor market shortages and fulfill its long-term economic needs. This means that immigration processing times are now more efficient than ever, but that doesn’t mean that your application will not undergo the same amount of scrutiny as before – in fact, it could be subject to even greater scrutiny, and it will be imperative that you meticulously prepare all your supporting documentation and ensure all of your information is 100% accurate.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about Express Entry

How soon do you have to move to Canada once the Express Entry PR gets approved?

Answer: You have 6 months to move to Canada once you receive an ITA from Express Entry. Waiting too long can put your acceptance letter at risk.

Can I Apply for Express Entry and Student Visa at the Same Time?

Answer: Yes! You can always apply for both express entry and student visas at the same time.

Does NOC code Affect CRS Score?

Your NOC code doesn’t directly affect the score but it can affect whether you are picked for an invite or not.

What Happens if I Withdraw My Express Entry Profile?

You can only have one Express Entry profile. If you accidentally withdrew your express entry profile, you will need to create a new one.

How Many Files Are in the Express Entry Pool?

The amount of files in the Express Entry Pool fluctuates. As of January 22, there were a total of 213,526 candidates in the Express Entry pool.

Can I Quit My Job While Waiting for PR?

Yes. You can always update your express entry profile while waiting for approval.

Are you interested in applying for Express Entry in 2024?

In order to get an invitation to apply for permanent residence, you have to be selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants. Our job is to make you stand out from the crowd. We will assess your case, highlight the best aspects of your application, and make sure that the government notices you! This way, your chances of getting an invitation are maximized.

Call us today for an assessment to see if you are eligible for Express Entry to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.

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