Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrating to Canada permanently as a skilled worker. An Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence (PR) will be issued based on your score and rank in the Express Entry pool using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
The CRS is the points-based system used to assess applicants in the Express Entry pool. Each applicant’s CRS score is based on a variety of factors including education, skills, work experience and language ability.
According to the Government of Canada, you may only have one Express Entry profile at a time. This rule is set out in Canada’s immigration law.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) emphasizes that creating more than one profile will not give you a better chance at being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency, nor will it enable you to be invited under a different program.
Duplicate profiles in the Express Entry pool
According to a Strategic Policy and Planning report from the beginning of 2023, although candidates may only have one active profile in the pool at any time, candidates may create a new GCKey and then submit a new profile. A GCKey is a unique electronic credential (username and password) that allows an applicant to access online government services.
Over the past several years, the number of duplicate profiles in the pool has only been in the hundreds. With such low numbers, no action on the part of IRCC to remove these profiles was deemed necessary. However, the number of duplicates profiles in the Express Entry pool grew substantially in 2022.
On January 9th, 2023, there were 29,945 duplicate Express Entry profiles associated with 10, 229 unique candidates. The report managed to identify unique candidates by matching data elements such as name, date of birth, etc. to find the duplicate profiles.
The report does not identify why any applicants created multiple profiles, but it states that:
- In 70% of cases, there was no change in CRS scores between any two given profiles of a candidate. Such a high figure does not indicate an attempt to game the system.
- 53% of all duplicates have been inactive for 100 days, suggesting that many duplicates have been abandoned.
- The number of candidates that had more than one profile increased by 57% from October to November, which strongly indicates a response to the November 16th deadline to update profiles with NOC 2021 information.
The report concluded by stating that there is no clear indication of integrity concerns within the Express Entry system, but that the sheer number of duplicate profiles may warrant an effort by IRCC to “clean up” the pool.
Am I eligible for Express Entry?
To be eligible for Express Entry, candidates must meet the criteria of at least one of the following three federal economic immigration programs: The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
The FSWP is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway. The minimum requirements include:
- At least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3;
- Validated intermediate or better language ability in English or French
- For candidates educated outside of Canada, an educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report
In addition to meeting the FSWP’s minimum work, language ability, and education requirements, candidates must also obtain at least 67 points under its points grid.
The CEC provides permanent residence to international students and foreign workers who have Canadian work experience. Candidates must have obtained at least one year of skilled, professional, or technical work experience in Canada within 3 years of the application date and meet the relevant language proficiency criteria.
The FSTP is available to candidates who want to become permanent residents on the basis of qualifying for a skilled trade. Eligibility criteria include:
- A minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience in a skilled trade within the 5-year period prior to submitting an application
- Meeting the job requirements of the skilled trade
- Having a full-time job offer in Canada for a period of at least 1 year or possessing a certificate of qualification in the skilled trade that has been provided by an official Canadian authority
- Meeting language proficiency criteria