Are you a skilled worker looking for new opportunities in Canada? Express Entry to Canada might just be your ticket to making the move! This program manages applications for skilled workers in three economic categories and is highly competitive. But fear not – with the right information and preparation, you can give your application the best chance of success.
To apply for Express Entry to Canada, you’ll need to create an online profile and provide information about your qualifications, work experience, and language ability. The selection process is based on a points system, so it’s important to highlight your strengths and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria.
But what sets Express Entry apart from other immigration programs? In short, it’s all about efficiency. The program is designed to process applications quickly and select candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada’s economy. And with the right preparation, that candidate could be you!
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Express Entry to Canada, from the eligibility requirements to the selection process and beyond. We’ll also provide tips and tricks for making your application stand out in the crowd. So, whether you’re just starting to consider Canadian immigration or are ready to submit your application, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Express Entry to Canada.
Table of contents
- What is Canada’s Express Entry Program?
- How Express Entry Works
- Express Entry Immigration Categories
- Eligibility Requirements for Express Entry to Canada
- Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
- How to Apply for Express Entry to Canada
- How Much Does Express Entry to Canada Cost?
- What Happens Next?
- Moving to Canada
What is Canada’s Express Entry Program?
The Canadian government designed the Express Entry to Canada program for skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada. This program manages applications for three economic immigration categories:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program
- The Canadian Experience Class.
Express Entry immigrants are selected based on their skills, education, language ability, work experience, and other factors that contribute to their potential success in Canada.
To apply for Express Entry to Canada, you need to create an online profile and provide information about your qualifications and work experience. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
If you’re considering Canadian immigration through Express Entry to Canada, it’s essential to understand how this program works. The selection process is highly competitive, so it’s crucial to ensure that your application stands out from others.
How Express Entry Works
Candidates must meet certain eligibility criteria before they can enter the Express Entry Canada pool. They must have at least one year of skilled work experience in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) occupation of TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 within the last ten years. They must also meet minimum language requirements in English or French and have completed a post-secondary educational program of at least one year.
After determining their eligibility for Express Entry to Canada, candidates can create an online profile by providing information about their skills, education, work experience, and language ability. The Canadian government will ask for details about age, marital status, dependents, education history (including degrees or diplomas earned outside Canada if applicable), work history (including job titles and duties performed), and language proficiency test results such as IELTS scores.
Comprehensive Ranking Score
After creating an online profile and submitting all required information including supporting documents like Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), Language Test Results etc., candidates receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their qualifications and other factors.
The CRS score is a points-based system that ranks candidates based on their age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors. Candidates are ranked in the Express Entry pool based on their CRS score. This score determines their position in the pool, and the highest-ranked candidates receive invitations to apply for permanent residency through regular draws from the pool.
Once a candidate receives an invitation to apply (ITA), they must submit a complete application for permanent residence within 60 days. This includes providing supporting documents such as police certificates, medical exams, and proof of funds.
If the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approves the application, the candidate will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and can then move to Canada with their eligible family members. If the application is rejected, the candidate may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply under different circumstances.
Express Entry Immigration Categories
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for individuals who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to Canada’s economy. To be eligible for the FSWP, you must meet the following requirements:
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The Canadian Experience Class is for individuals who have already worked in Canada and have gained skilled work experience in the country. To be eligible for the CEC, you must meet the following requirements:
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for individuals who have work experience in a skilled trade occupation. To be eligible for the FSTP, you must meet the following requirements:
Eligibility Requirements for Express Entry to Canada
To be eligible for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry, candidates must meet certain minimum requirements in age, language proficiency, education, and work experience. The requirements differ between the three primary immigration categories.
Candidates must prove their language proficiency in English or French by taking an approved language test. The minimum score required varies depending on the program a candidate applies under. For example, using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which grades 4 categories of reading, writing, speaking and listening;
- Candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must get a minimum score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all 4 abilities.
- Candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) must score at least 5 in speaking and listening and at least 4 in reading and writing.
- Candidates applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) must score the minimum requirements for their specific professions TEER level in the NOC list.
Candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must have at least one year of full time, or combined 1,560 hours part-time, of skilled work experience within the last ten years before applying. Work experience can be gained inside or outside Canada and can be paid or unpaid but must be in a field or profession on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list.
Candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) must have at least 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a specific skilled trade within the 5 years before you apply. You will have to search for your trades NOC code and check if it is an eligible work experience trade from the list below;
- Major Group 72, excluding Sub-Major Group 726
- Major Group 73
- Major Group 82
- Major Group 83
- Major Group 92
- Major Group 93
- Minor Group 6320
- Unit Group 62200
For example, if you have 2 years full time work experience as a motor vehicle assembly supervisor (NOC code 92020) you are eligible to apply on the basis of having experience within the Major Group 92.
Candidates applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) must have at least 1 year of skilled work experience within Canada, in the last 3 years.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry to Canada. There is no maximum age limit; however, application of candidates between the ages of 20 and 29 are viewed more favourably.
Candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must have completed a post-secondary educational program that is equivalent to a Canadian degree or diploma. An educational credential assessment (ECA) is mandatory for all candidates to prove that their foreign educational credentials are equivalent to Canadian standards.
For those looking to apply under other programs there are no specific education requirements. However, having proof of higher education does help your application.
Proof of Funds
To ensure that immigrants have enough money to support themselves and their family upon arrival, they are required to show proof of funds. The amount of funds needed depends on the size of the family, and you can find more information about this on the official government website. Additionally, the funds must be in liquid assets that can be easily converted to cash. It is also necessary to provide proof that the funds have been available for at least six months prior to the application.
Those applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program do not need proof of funds.
Take an Eligibility Test
If you are considering immigrating to Canada through the Express Entry program, it may be helpful to take the official eligibility test available on the Canadian government website. This test is designed to help you determine your eligibility to apply for the Express Entry program and will guide you through each eligibility requirement step by step.
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
So, you’ve met the minimum requirements for applying to Express Entry Canada but how does the department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada actually decide which applicants can move forward to apply for residency?
Each part of your Express Entry profile is graded using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and assigned a score, the total of which is a crucial factor in determining which applicants are accepted, and which applicants are denied. In this section, we will discuss how the CRS score is calculated and what factors affect it.
Factors Affecting CRS Score
The CRS score is calculated based largely on factors associated with the minimum requirements we’ve already discussed with some additional factors included. These factors are divided into four categories;
- Core human capital factors: These include age, education, language proficiency in English and/or French, and work experience. You can score up to 500 points in this category.
- Spouse or common-law partner factors: These include their language proficiency in English and/or French, education, and work experience. You can score up to 40 points in this category.
- Skill transferability factors: These include combinations of the factors listed above, such as language proficiency combined with foreign work experience. You can score up to 100 points in this category.
- Additional factors: These include a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a nomination from a Canadian province or territory. You can score up to 600 points in this category.
Core Human Capital Factors
- Age: The maximum points available for age are 110, with the highest points awarded to candidates between the ages of 20 and 29.
- Education: The highest points are awarded for a completed Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma, but points can also be awarded for foreign education. The maximum points available for education are 150.
- Language: Points are awarded based on the candidate’s ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English and/or French. The maximum points available for language proficiency are 160.
- Experience: Points are awarded based on the number of years of work experience in a skilled occupation. The maximum points available for work experience are 80.
Spouse or Common-law Partner Factors
- Education: The highest points are awarded for a completed Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma with a maximum of 10.
- Language: Up to 20 points are available depending on your spouses English/French language ability.
- Experience: A maximum of 10 points are awarded if your spouse has sufficient skilled work experience.
- Job Offer: An applicant with a valid job offer receives an additional 50-200 points depending on the skill level of the occupation offered.
- Provincial Nomination: An applicant who has received a provincial nomination receives an additional 600 points towards their CRS score. This certificate is issued to candidates who meet eligibility criteria set by an individual province of Canada for their specific worker needs.
- Additional Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates: An applicant who has earned additional degrees, diplomas, or certificates from Canadian institutions or foreign institutions recognized by IRCC can earn additional points.
Skill Transferability Factors
- Education and language proficiency: Maximum 50 points.
- Foreign work experience and language proficiency: Maximum 50 points.
- Language proficiency and having a certificate of qualification: Maximum 50 points.
How to Apply for Express Entry to Canada
Creating and Completing Your Online Express Entry Profile
Before starting your application you should have the following documents ready;
- Language test results
- Educational credentials
- Work experience documents
- Proof of funds
Now that you thoroughly understand Canada’s express entry system, it’s minimum requirements, and how CRS scores are calculated and used to determine your eligibility we can talk about actually getting online and starting your application. The first step? Creating an online Express Entry to Canada Profile.
- Create a GCKey: A GCKey is a secure online account that you need to create to access the Government of Canada’s online services, including Express Entry. To create your GCKey visit the Governments account creation page and selecting to register under the GCKey option.
- Create an Immigration Application Account: Once you have a GCKey you can log in to the online portal and navigate to the immigration section where you can select “My Application” and then “Sign in or create an account” to create an application. You’ll need to enter your real name here matching your passport.
- Complete your profile: Now that you’re in your immigration account area you can start a new application.You’ll be prompted to select which program to apply under (that’s Express Entry, or EE). You will also have to complete an official online eligibility test that goes through all of the criteria we’ve already covered in this article.
- Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA): If you have a foreign education, you may need to get an ECA to demonstrate that your education is equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary education. To find out more about how to get one visit the Educational Credential Assessment page.
- Upload Proof of your Work Experience: You must show that your work experience aligns with the government requirements.
- Upload your Language Test Results:You will need to provide the results of an approved language test to demonstrate your proficiency in English and/or French.
- Upload your proof of funds.
- Calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score: After you have completed your profile, you can calculate your CRS score to see how likely you are to be invited to apply for permanent residency. You can do this using the CRS calculator.
- Wait for an invitation to apply (ITA): If you have a high enough CRS score, you may be invited to apply for permanent residency. Invitations are issued during regular Express Entry draws, which take place approximately every two weeks.
Invitation to Apply (ITA)
It can sometimes take months for your application to be reviewed but if you are successful the Canadian government will issue an Invitation to Apply. Once you receive an ITA for permanent residency through the Express Entry Canada system, you have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence, including supporting documents and the application fee.
Once you receive an ITA, you have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residency. You will need to provide supporting documents which we will detail below. In addition, this is when you must pay your application fee.
- Medical exam: You and your family members (if applicable) will need to undergo a medical exam by a panel physician approved by the Canadian government.
- Police certificate: You and your family members (if applicable) will need to obtain a police certificate, a document proving you do not have a criminal record, from each country you have lived in for six months or more since the age of 18.
- Additional documents: You may be asked to provide additional documents or information to support your application, depending on your circumstances.
How Much Does Express Entry to Canada Cost?
The fees for applying for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry system can include a processing fee, biometrics fee, right of permanent residence fee, language test fee, education credential assessment fee, police clearance certificate fee, medical examination fee, and provincial immigration fee (if applicable). The cost of these fees can vary depending on several factors such as the number of family members included in the application, the program you apply for but on average, the total fees can range from CAD 2,000 to CAD 4,000. Phew, that’s a lot of fees!
But don’t worry, you can pay these fees online using a debit or credit card. It’s best to pay them all at once to avoid delays. However, if you’re only able to pay the processing fee at first, that’s okay too. You can pay the biometrics fee later. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to make an appointment to provide your fingerprints and digital photos at a designated collection point.
The cost of the fees can vary and are updated frequently, so it’s important to check the Government of Canada’s website for the most up-to-date information.
What Happens Next?
Once you’ve submitted your application for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry to Canada system, the Canadian government will process it. The processing times can vary depending on the program and how complicated your application is. But don’t worry, you can check the processing times for your program by logging in to your online portal. This way, you’ll have an idea of how long the process may take.
Once the Canadian government has processed your application, you’ll receive a decision. If your application is approved, congratulations! You’ll receive a confirmation of permanent residency and a permanent resident visa. These documents will allow you to travel to Canada and become a permanent resident.
Moving to Canada
Now that you have your permanent resident visa you’ll need to make arrangement to actually move your home family and life to Canada? Look no further than 1st Move International. We are an international removals to Canada company that can help you ship your belongings from the UK to Canada. With over 20 years of experience, we offer reliable, efficient, and cost-effective shipping services to make your move stress-free. Our team of experts will guide you through every step of the process, from packing your items to navigating customs regulations. Plus, we offer a door-to-door service, so you can rest assured that your belongings will arrive at your new Canadian home safely and on time.
Once you arrive you’ll need to complete your landing process with a border services officer. It’s important to have your confirmation of permanent residency and permanent resident visa ready to show the officer. The border services officer will ask you a few questions to confirm your identity, and then you’ll officially become a permanent resident of Canada.
Overall, while the application process for permanent residency in Canada may seem overwhelming, with a bit of patience and preparation, you can make your dream of becoming a permanent resident in Canada a reality.