A Step-By-Step Guide to Targeted Express Entry Canada

This step-by-step guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the process, requirements, and important considerations for a successful Canada’s Targeted Express Entry application.

Latest Update on Targeted Express Entry Draws: Canada launches a new process to welcome skilled newcomers with work experience in priority occupations as permanent residents. The category-based selection process will enable Canada to issue invitations to apply for permanent residency to individuals with specific skills, training, or language proficiency.
Learn more about Targeted Express Entry Draws here.

What is Category-Based Targeted Express Entry Canada?

Category-Based Express Entry is a selection process introduced by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) within the Express Entry system. It aims to attract skilled newcomers with work experience in specific occupations to become permanent residents of Canada. This innovative approach is designed to address the urgent need for skilled workers in various sectors of the Canadian economy, while also supporting and strengthening French-speaking communities.

Under the Targeted Express Entry system, IRCC identifies and selects candidates from the Express Entry pool who have work experience in 82 occupations that are in high demand in Canada. Examples of occupations that may be included in the targeted draws can range from truck drivers, healthcare workers, IT professionals, tradespeople, farmers, and many more.

Federal Express Entry Programs

Candidates must also fulfill the requirements of one of the three economic immigration programs to be eligible for Category-Based Express Entry:

If you qualify for one of these three programs, you can also apply for the Provincial Nominee Programs through Express Entry. If you are nominated, you will receive up to 600 extra points and will get an invitation faster.

How to Apply for Targeted Express Entry Canada?

Canada’s Targeted Express Entry program is an excellent pathway for skilled workers, international students, and individuals with specific work experience to immigrate to Canada. By following these steps, you can navigate the Targeted Express Entry program with confidence and increase your chances of a successful immigration journey.

Eligibility Requirements for Targeted Express Entry Canada

To be eligible for the targeted Express Entry draws, candidates must meet the following criteria:

Eligible Categories under the Targeted Express Entry

To be eligible for these targeted Express Entry draws, candidates must have a minimum of six months of continuous work experience (in Canada or abroad) during the last 3 years, in any of the occupations listed below.

  • French-language proficiency
  • Healthcare Occupations
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations
  • Skilled Trade occupations
  • Transport occupations (including Truck Drivers)
  • Agriculture and agri-food occupations

Language Proficiency

Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in English or French, the two official languages of Canada. This can be done by taking approved language tests, such as the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for English or the TEF (Test d’évaluation de français) for French. Minimum language score requirements may apply.


Applicants must have completed a minimum level of education, usually equivalent to a Canadian high school diploma or higher. Educational credentials obtained outside of Canada may need to be assessed for their Canadian equivalency.

Work Experience

Candidates must have a minimum of six months of continuous and relevant work experience (in Canada or abroad) during the last 3 years in a specific occupation or field. The work experience requirements can vary based on the targeted category. It is important to have proof of work experience, such as reference letters, job descriptions, or employment contracts.


There are no specific age restrictions for the Targeted Express Entry program. Although the maximum points are awarded to candidates who fall within the age range of 18 to 35 years.

Health and Character

All applicants must undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet the health requirements set by the Canadian government. They must also provide police certificates or other documents to prove their good character and meet the country’s security standards.

Proof of Funds

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have enough funds to support themselves and their accompanying family members during their initial stay in Canada. The specific amount required depends on the size of the family and the number of family members immigrating.

Canada Express Entry Process: Step-by-Step

The Canada Express Entry steps for applying through economic immigration programs are outlined below.

Step 1: Check Eligibility

The first step in the Targeted Canada Express Entry process is to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria. This includes factors such as age, language proficiency, education, and work experience. You can use the eligibility criteria provided in the previous section to assess your qualifications.

Step 2: Education Assessment (ECA)

Candidates must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) document to show that their education is equivalent to that in Canada. You can get this with the aid of some authorized organizations, such as WES.

Step 3: Language Proficiency Test (IELTS or Equivalent)

To prove their proficiency in either one or both English or French (Canada’s official languages), the candidates must pass a language test. They get Express Entry points on the basis of test results which are valid for 2 years.

Step 4: Express Entry Profile Creation

After completing language testing and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) the candidates must create an Express Entry profile for one of the three federal economic immigration programs.

Step 5: Receive ITA

The candidates are then placed in the Express Entry pool where they are ranked by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the basis of their CRS Score. After that, they wait to receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) in the Targeted Express Entry Draw.

Step 6: Medical Exam and Police Verification (PCC)

Those who get invitations must send IRCC their fully completed Application for Permanent Residence (APR) and application fees by the due date. This stage requires you to attach copies of your police clearance and medical examination. After that, IRCC will give you an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR).

Step 7: Processing Stage

In this stage, IRCC processes your application and if the visa officer finds that they need some additional documents, they inform the candidates. It usually takes 6-8 months for a typical Canada Express Entry application to process.

Step 8: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR)

IRCC makes the final decision on your Express Entry application and you receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).

Step 9: Fly to Canada

After that, candidates can move to Canada as a permanent resident.

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Which Occupations are Eligible Under the Targeted Express Entry in 2023?

Under the Targeted Express Entry program, specific occupations are eligible for consideration. While the eligible occupations may vary based on the needs of the Canadian labor market, some common examples of eligible occupations include:

Healthcare Occupations

Occupation2021 NOC code
Audiologists and speech language pathologists31112
Dieticians and nutritionists31121
Education counsellors41320
General practitioners and family physicians31102
Instructors of persons with disabilities42203
Kinesiologists and other professional occupation in therapy and assessment31204
Licensed practical nurses32101
Massage therapists32201
Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations33101
Medical laboratory technologists32120
Medical radiation technologists32121
Medical sonographers32122
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates33102
Nurse practitioners31302
Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors31300
Occupational therapists31203
Other assisting occupations in support of health services33109
Other practitioners of natural healing32209
Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating31209
Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment32109
Paramedical occupations32102
Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants33103
Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals31303
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses31301
Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists32103
Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine31100
Specialists in surgery31101
Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies41301
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists32200

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Occupations

Occupation2021 NOC Code
Architecture and science managers20011
Business systems specialists21221
Civil Engineers21300
Computer and information systems managers20012
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)21311
Computer systems developers and programmers21230
Cybersecurity specialists21220
Data scientists21211
Database analysts and data administrators21223
Electrical and electronics engineers21310
Engineering managers20010
Industrial and manufacturing engineers21321
Information systems specialists21222
Land surveyors21203
Landscape Architects21201
Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries21210
Metallurgical and materials engineers21322
Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers41400
Software developers and programmers21232
Software engineers and designers21231
Urban and land use planners21202
Web designers21233
Web developers and programmers21234

Skilled Trade Occupations

Occupation2021 NOC code
Residential and commercial installers and servicers73200
Elevator constructors and mechanics72406
Machine fitters72405
Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics72402
Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics72400
Electricians (except industrial and power system)72200
Welders and related machine operators72106
Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers72014

Transport occupations

Occupation2021 NOC code
Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors93200
Transport truck drivers73300
Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators72604
Engineer officers, water transport72603
Deck officers, water transport72602
Air traffic controllers and related occupations72601
Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors72600
Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors72404
Railway carmen/women72403
Managers in transportation70020

Agriculture and Agri-Food Occupations

Occupations2021 NOC Code
Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services82031
Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors82030
Butchers- retail and wholesale63201

Express Entry Application Fees

The application process for Express Entry involves several fees that candidates need to pay. These fees include:

  • Application Processing Fee: CAD $850
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee: $515
  • With a spouse or partner: CAD $850
  • With dependent child/children: CAD $230 per child

In addition to these fees, there are other costs associated with specific procedures:

  • IELTS Exam: CAD $315
  • ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) Fees: Approximately CAD $255
  • Medical Exam: Costs vary depending on the country of examination
  • Police Clearance Certificate (PCC): Costs vary depending on the country of issuance

Proof of Funds for Express Entry (Updated)

The candidate must also present evidence of financial support in the form of bank statements, fixed deposits, etc., in addition to these costs. These settlement funds show the candidate’s ability to support themselves and any accompanying family members throughout their immigration to Canada.

  • IRCC has updated the proof of funds required for Express Entry candidates, effective from April 25, 2023.
  • Proof of funds is required to demonstrate that a candidate has enough money to settle in Canada, and anyone who receives an invitation to apply (ITA) through an Express Entry draw must show written proof of this.
  • The amount of funds required changes based on the size of the candidate’s family, and the required amounts are updated yearly.
  • It is important to note that candidates applying under the Canadian Experience Class or those with a valid job offer in Canada are exempt from the proof of funds requirement.
  • Official letters from banks or financial institutions are necessary to validate the availability of funds both at the time of application and upon issuance of a permanent resident visa.
  • The funds must be legally accessible and cannot be borrowed or based on equity in real property.
  • Candidates should be aware that the cost of living in Canada can vary, and it is advisable to bring as much money as possible to facilitate the relocation and housing process.
  • Additionally, candidates must declare any amount exceeding CAN $10,000 when entering Canada to avoid penalties and potential seizure of funds.
Number of family members (in Canadian dollars)Funds required
If more than 7 people, for each additional family member$3,706
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Express Entry Processing Time

All the Canada Express Entry federal economic immigration programs take 6–8 months to process. The moment a complete application for permanent residency is received, the government starts tracking the processing time. When a decision is made about the application, the processing period is complete. Candidates must visit the IRCC’s official website to check the most recent processing time for Canada Express Entry.

How ELAAR can help you?

If you require support with your Express Entry profile, ELAAR is here to assist you. Led by Keshav Sharma, a Licensed and Regulated Immigration Consultant with extensive experience in immigration matters, our team of experts is dedicated to helping you enhance your Express Entry profile and increase your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply. To benefit from our expertise, book a consultation with us today. Book a consultation here.

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