How to Create an Express Entry Profile

Express Entry profiles enable the Canadian government to assess whether a skilled immigration applicant is eligible to immigrate to Canada. In order to create an Express Entry profile, you must follow a number of steps.

Step 1: Take a Language Test (preferably IELTS)

All the skilled immigration programs that are part of the Express Entry system require applicants to prove their knowledge in at least one of Canada’s two official languages, English or French.

So, skilled immigration applicants must complete a Canadian government-approved language test and include the test results in their profile. For English, this can be the British Council’s IELTS exam or the CELPIP. For French language evaluation, you need to take the TEF or the TCF exam.

To prove you have the required proficiency, you need to score at least CLB 7 for each of the 4 sections (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). For IELTS, this means scoring a Band 6 in each section.

Step 2: Get Your Foreign Education Credentials Assessment

If you were educated outside of Canada, then you should have your degree(s) assessed in order to ensure that your foreign education is equivalent to a similar Canadian education. Obtaining a credential assessment is mandatory for anyone who wants to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The assessment is NOT mandatory if:

The IRCC has specific designated organisations that assess your educational credentials. If you are applying as a Pharmacist or Physician, then the designated organisations are the Medical Council of Canada and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.

Step 3: Determine Your National Occupation Classification (NOC)

In order to successfully immigrate to Canada using the Express Entry system, all applicants must be able to show that their work experience meets the definition of an occupation that is included in Canada’s National Occupation Classification database.

Note: Only applicants with the following types of work experience may apply for immigration under the Express Entry System.

  • Skill Type 0 (Management Jobs)
  • Skill Level A (Professional Jobs)
  • Skill Level B (Technical Jobs and Skilled Trades)

Step 4: Determine Your Eligibility for Express Entry Immigration

Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website contains an online tool that can help you determine whether or not you are eligible to use the Express Entry system. This tool must be used before an Express Entry profile can be created.

Note: In order to use the tool, you must:

  • Already have taken a language test
  • Identify the National Occupation Classification (NOC) skill type or level under which you will be applying.

Step 5: Build your Express Entry profile

If the online tool determines that you are eligible to apply for Express Entry immigration, you will be able to begin building your Express Entry profile. You must provide the following information in your Express Entry Profiles.

  • Identity
  • Contact Information
  • A detailed account of educational history
  • A detailed account of work experience
  • Language proficiency
  • Age
  • Chances of adaptability to life in Canada
  • Family composition
  • Information on spouse or common-law partner
  • List of dependants that will be included in the application

In order to successfully complete a profile, you must also have:

  • Your passport or travel document (valid for at least a year)
  • The title and code of the occupation that best describes your work experience as stated in the National Occupation Classification Database.
  • Language test results.
  • Foreign Educational Credential assessment result.
  • A copy of a written job offer from a Canadian employer (if you have been lucky enough to have gotten a job offer before application).
  • Proof of provincial nomination for permanent residence (if you have received provincial nomination from any of the PNPs ).
  • Personal reference code from CIC’s online eligibility verification tool (see step 4 above). All applicants will receive a reference code upon successful use of the online tool.

Note: The job offer or the PNP nomination is NOT mandatory to be able to create an Express Entry profile. These may be added later on (if you receive a job offer or nomination) to ensure you have the maximum points for the latest draw in the CIC Express Entry Round of Invitations and so receive an ITA from the CIC.

To begin building an Express Entry system profile, create a MyCIC account using the GCKey.

Step 6: Submit Your Profile

Once your profile has been completed and all necessary information has been provided, submit the profile. After submitting the profile, you will receive:

  • An Express Entry profile number, and
  • A job seeker validation code

You will need these numbers if:

  • You are registering for the Job Bank (see below)
  • You have received nominations for permanent residence from a provincial or territorial government.

If your profile fulfills the Express Entry requirements as well as the criteria for one of the three Express Entry Immigration programs (Skilled Worker, Skilled Trade or Canada Experience Class), you will be placed into the Express Entry candidate pool.
Important Note: Successful entry into the pool DOES NOT mean that you will automatically be invited to apply for permanent residence. Once applicants enter the pool, they will be assessed on a score using the Comprehensive Ranking System. Only if the score meets the lowest score that is set by the Immigration Minister during a periodic draw, will you be invited to apply for permanent residence – currently the cut-off/lowest score is 468 points (as of December 23, 2020).

Step 7: Register with Job Bank, if Necessary

Job Bank registration is no longer mandatory for Express Entry candidates.

However, if you are submitting an EOI for a PNP, you may need the Job Bank validation code.

Step 8: Update Your Information, if Necessary

You must update their Express Entry profile if:

  • The nature of your work experience changes i.e. you have a different NOC code from before
  • You receive new language test results
  • You obtain a new educational diploma.
  • There is a change to your family. Such changes include:
    • Birth
    • Death
    • Marriage
    • Divorce
    • A child in the family is no longer a dependant

An Express Entry profile remains valid for one year from the date of submission.

However, an Express Entry profile could become invalid before one year passes if:

  • You no longer meets relevant Express Entry or skilled immigration program criteria.
  • You have received an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
    • Note. Applicants who decline an invitation to apply for permanent residence, will see their profiles become valid again.

An Express Entry profile remains valid even if you update the information on the profile.

If one year passes without you receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence, your profile will be deleted from the pool, and you will have to create another EE profile.

Please bear in mind that the CRS score is the determining factor for getting an ITA. If you feel that your CRS score is not high enough to meet the current trend of CRS cut-off scores and receive a direct ITA, you can and should consider other pathways to bring up your score. One of the best and easiest way is to apply for a nomination from a PNP.


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