Only candidates eligible to immigrate to Canada by meeting the minimum entry criteria of a federal economic immigration program may enter the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS ranks candidates under the following components:
•core human capital factors;
•accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors, if applicable;
•skill transferability factors; and
•factors relating to a provincial nomination, a qualifying offer of arranged employment, or previous study in Canada.

There are a total of 1,200 points available under the Comprehensive Ranking System.

The government of Canada issues Invitations to Apply to certain candidates in the Express Entry pool according to their ranking. They publish a minimum CRS cut-off score at the time of the draw and notifying those candidates who have been invited to apply for permanent residence.