Canadian Immigration through Express Entry
What is Express Entry Canada?
Canada Express Entry replaced the first-come, first-served system in 2015 and since has become one of the most talked-about topics amongst people who want to move to Canada. The Express Entry Canada system helps the Government of Canada receive, organize, and process applications of people trying to Immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident. Express Entry Canada uses a competitive process to rank all eligible aspirants and invite the best-ranking aspirants to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.
The ranking is provided based on
– Language Proficiency (English and/or French)
– Work Experience and some other factors.
To become a Permanent Resident through Express Entry Canada two things must happen for every aspirant
- The candidate must qualify under one of the 3 programs that Express Entry supports
- Federal Skilled Worked Class
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trade Program
- He/she must be a top-ranked candidate in the point-based system called Comprehensive Ranking System.
Please Note: While the point-based system takes various factors into consideration, if you are a person who has never studied and/or worked in Canada. The most ideal profile will be an individual who is under 30 years of age, holding at least an advanced degree i.e. Masters, PGDM, CPA, CA, CMA, Ph.D. etc., and has at least 3 years of work experience in a skilled profession.
Example: George is a Citizen of India, 28 years of age, who has no Canadian connection, has a Chartered Accountancy degree and has 5 years of solid work experience as an Auditor, what would be his chances
His chances would be very bright because he fits the bracket perfectly well. This obviously has to backed with a very good IELTS score and his documents need to be evaluated for their Canadian Equivalency. Once we have both these reports, we can determine whether or not he qualifies under the Federal Skilled Worker Class and also determine his CRS Score so that he his chances to move ahead in the process be determined.
How can you qualify for Express Entry Canada?
After understanding the requirements of the three programs and understanding how CRS Score works, you should undertaking the following steps
– Take a Language Exam and score a minimum of CLB 9 either in English or French. If you are bi-lingual it only adds to your points tally. You must also remember that scoring a CLB 10 or above (the highest benchmark) improves your score substantially.
– have at least 1-year full-time skilled work experience or equivalent part-time,
– education (either in Canada or outside Canada). If your education is completed outside Canada, you will require an Education Credential Assessment (ECA)
Once you have both the reports, you must revisit the requirements of the programs and see if you qualify. Once you have confirmed that, you can use the Canadian Government’s CRS Tool to see your CRS Score and compare it with the CRS Cut off to see what your chances are.
STEP 2: Creating your Express Entry Profile
You can enter the Express Entry Canada pool by answering a range of questions about your life (age, education, work experience, and so on). This step is where you are expressing your interest to become a Permanent Resident. On submitting your profile you are assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score out of 1200 points.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts approximately 24-30 Express Entry draws or what is also called Express Entry rounds of Invitation and the candidates whose score is above the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian Permanent Residence.
Ex: If IRCC issues 3400 invitations, it will be received by the top 3400 ranked candidates in the Express Entry System.
Step 3: Invitation to Apply to e-AOR (Acknowledgement of Receipt)
This is the most critical step in the process and is an absolute make or break for the candidate. This is where you collect documents to prove to the officer that whatever points you are claiming is true and fair.
Among other documents, in this stage, you will submit copies of
- Education-related documents
- IELTS Score
- Police Clearances
- Work Records
- Other documents specific to your case
e-AOR is something you receive once you complete the submission and make the Visa fees.
What if the points aren’t enough?
- INCREASING YOUR IELTS SCORE: Most low scores are a result of low IELTS score. Try to get a minimum of L-8, R-7, W-7, S-7; that way, at least you have done everything possible to increase your score.
- GET MORE WORK EXPERIENCE: If you are in the early stages of your career, try and get more work experience (in what Canada classifies as a skilled occupation)
- WORK IN CANADA: If your organization gives you an option to work in Canada, take it and spend at least 1 year working in Canada
- LOOKOUT FOR PNP PROGRAMS: Read through all the PNP programs and see if you meet any conditions.
- STUDY IN CANADA: While this certainly is an option, if education was never on your radar before and your life situations don’t support it, you might find it difficult to convince the admission committee and the visa officer that the real intent is studying in Canada.
Once the candidate receives an Invitation to Apply, they need to collect the documents and apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.
Which Language tests are acceptable for Canadian Immigration through Express Entry?
- IELTS General Test
- Celpip General Test
- Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
- Test de connaissance du français (TCF)
How long are my language test scores valid?
Your language scores are valid for 2 years.
Does my Express Entry profile have an expiry date?
Yes, your Express Entry profile is valid for a period of twelve months beginning the day it is transmitted/submitted. If you do not get invited within the twelve months, your profile will expire and you will have to go through the process of creating it again.
Can my spouse and child Immigrate to Canada when I apply through Express Entry?
Yes! Your spouse and child certainly qualify to Immigrate to Canada. However, you must remember that the accompanying spouse changes the points and thereby might change the candidate’s eligibility and ranking. It is, therefore, important to know how the system works when you are married.
In the case of an accompanying spouse, it is important to get his/her ECA done if the degree is not from Canada, and also, a reasonably good IELTS score by the spouse adds to the overall points.
If I am married, can I apply alone through Express Entry Canada?
Yes! You certainly can apply alone but your spouse will have to go through the medical and police clearances anyway and you and your family will also have to go through the separation for a substantial number of months.
If you do apply alone, you can then sponsor your spouse and other dependents through the Family class. At the time this question was being answered, Family class took an average of 12 months of processing.
If your spouse is qualified and has good English and/or French skills, then it is advisable that you apply as a couple.
Do you need an Immigration Professional?
IRCC has put a lot of thought and has ensured that the process is reasonably straightforward and transparent. This means that you do not need an Immigration Professional to fill out the form, but you may need help to interpret the law and apply it to your case. You might also need someone if you do not have the time and patience to go through the process yourself.
Who should you hire?
IRCC website says, “You can check if a person is licensed to represent immigrants or to give advice.
- Citizenship or immigration consultants must be a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
- Lawyers or notaries must be members of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society or the Chambre des notaries du Québec.
- Paralegals (Ontario only) must be members of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
If they are not members in good standing, you should not use their services. Most law societies let you check online to see if a person is a member in good standing.
How important is Choosing the right NOC code?
Choosing the correct National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is one of your Express Entry Canada application processes’ most important aspects. Statistically, many applications get rejected because of the wrong NOC being chosen by either the candidate or the Immigration Professional. Choosing the right NOC is equally important while filing both the Federal applications and the Provincial Nomination applications.
What constitutes Misrepresentation, and how does that affect someone’s candidature?
Misrepresentation is a serious offense when applying for any visa, and it is no different when you are applying for the Canadian Permanent Residence. Misrepresentation not only gets an applicant a rejection but also a 5-year ban from applying for any visa.
Some examples of Misrepresentation can be
- Your visa has been rejected in the past by other countries, and you have not mentioned it.
- You have fudged your employment dates to add just that one 1-month that you needed to complete a year of employment.
- You have not mentioned a divorce that you went through in the past.
- You have not mentioned a criminal case that has been filed against you in your home country. etc. etc. etc.
What are the funds required for Express Entry Canada?
Applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker Class and Federal Skilled Trade Class must show enough funds to support themselves and their families once they arrive in Canada. Please note: This requirement is waived when you apply under the Canadian Experience Class
As of December 2020, the proof of funds requirements was as follows
(in Canadian dollars)
|For each additional family member||$3,492|
For the most up-to-date proof of funds requirement, always remember to see Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s proof-of-funds section.
Do you need a job offer to apply through Canada Express Entry?
No! You do not need a job offer to get your Permanent Residence through Express Entry. Just like Age, Education, etc., a job offer certainly adds additional points and thereby increases your chances of getting an Invitation. It is also important to note that a qualifying Job Offer must be accompanied by an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) or it must be LMIA exempt.
When this article was being written, a Job Offer in Skill Level A and B gets you an additional 50 points whereas a Job Offer in Skill Level O will get you an additional 200 points.