Strategy: Planning for Permanent Residence: Assess, Adjust, Apply

Canada’s Express Entry system is an intake management system designed to process qualified candidates quickly. Unlike Canada’s previous immigration processing system, which often took 3 to 5 years or more to process, the majority of qualified Express Entry candidates can have their permanent residence applications processed in 8 months or less.

Many candidates don’t give too much thought to their qualifications, however. They just submit their applications according to the form on the Canada Immigration website, and hope for the best. If they get selected, they feel elated, but if they don’t, they just feel it was their bad luck!

It doesn’t have to be that way.

At Lowe & Company, we provide prospective immigrants with an overall strategy to maximize their chances of qualifying for permanent residence.


The first thing we do is to assess our client’s background, and the likely points they would be able to accrue under the Express Entry ranking system. Candidates must understand where they stand before they can plan where they need to go and how to get there!

We will review the likely Express Entry points for them, as well as for their spouse or common-law partner, and show them what their likely score will be with their current credentials. We will show them how they would be ranking against their competition in the Express Entry pool, so they can get a realistic idea of what they need to do to raise their chances.


After we have assessed our client’s situation, we will advise them on how to best improve their Express Entry scores, and also make them aware of any other options they may be able to utilize. For example, they may need to improve their English Language scores, so they might hire a tutor or coach; or they may consider taking a course in Canada to improve their Education credentials and qualify for a work permit.

The goal of all of this is to better position our client to be selected under Canada’s Express Entry system.


Once our client is ready, we help them create their Online Profile under the Express Entry system.

Now, there are strategies to consider regarding when to apply. An Online Profile is good for one year, and if a candidate is not selected during that time, they can always submit a new one the next year.

During the year, however, if the candidate’s circumstances change, we can always amend their profile. For example, if they get a job offer which qualifies for Arranged Employment points, or they improve their English Language scores, or they earn additional Education credentials.

One thing to note about getting an application into the system is that the unexpected can happen. On February 13th, 2021, Canada Immigration was desperately trying to increase their intake of permanent residence applicants, which was down dramatically because of the COVID restrictions in 2020. As a result, they had a surprise draw of over 27,000 CEC applicants with a minimum eligible score of only 75! The previous CEC draw on January 21st had 4,626 invitations with a minimum score of 454, and the next CEC draw on March 18th had 5,000 invitations with a minimum score of 449. So, if you were a candidate eligible to submit an Online Profile but you did not, you would have missed out!

Each person’s situation and opportunities are different. At Lowe & Company, we will work with you to improve your chances, capitalize on opportunities, and help you execute your plan!