Basic Facts for Skilled Workers Using the Canadian Express Entry System
If you’ve been dreaming of snow, an exhilarating game of hockey, or sweet dollops of maple syrup, then Canada would be the best place to be.
Not only that, if you’ve made up your mind to live in Canada, you’d also be living in a country ranked first for quality of life quality according to the 2019 Best Countries Report by the U.S. News and World Report.
So, how exactly do you immigrate to Canada?
There are various programs on how to immigrate to Canada. If you are a skilled worker, then you can immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry program. They also have a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that recruits candidates from the Express Entry pool to supply their local labor market needs.
This is actually the best year to start your immigration plans as the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated their immigration plan to welcome at least 1 million new immigrants between the years 2019 to 2021.
Before you scramble and buy your ticket to Canada, you have to read up first on the basics of immigration especially when using the Express Entry system. Here is key information before you move on with your Canada visa application:
1. How does Express Entry work?
Express Entry is Canada’s online system used to manage applications for permanent residence from skilled workers. Skilled workers are chosen based on the ability and skills they can use to contribute to Canada’s economy.
There are three economic immigration programs that Express Entry manages:
- Canadian Experience Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
The first step is to find out if you are eligible for any of the above programs or any of the PNP programs. You will be asked basic questions to discern which program you are eligible for. You have to answer the following questions as accurately as possible:
- Details of any job offer
- Family members
- Language Ability
- Work Experience
If you are eligible for Express Entry, then you will be given specific instructions on what to do next, including filling out an online profile.
2. What are the documents needed?
Another important factor is to make sure you have the necessary documents ready. There are different documents that you need for the various stages in the application process.
Here are the documents that you need for your profile:
- Educational credential assessment report, if:
- You want to get points for the education you received outside of Canada, or
- You are applying through the Federal Skilled Workers program
- Language test results
- Passport or travel document
- Provincial nomination (should you have one)
- Written job offer from a Canadian employer (if you have one)
If you have been invited to apply for permanent residency, then you will also need the following documents:
- Medical exam certificates
- Police certificates
- Proof of funds
3. What’s an Express Entry Profile?
If you’re eligible, you will need to submit your profile to the Express Entry pool. From this pool of eligible candidates, you will be given a score and ranked based on several factors such as skills and experience, education and work experience, Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates, and a valid job offer, among others.
After successfully answering the eligibility tool, it will then give you a personal reference code that you can use to move your information from the tool to your online Express Entry profile.
Follow the instructions for creating an account and enter the necessary details that are asked for. You have 60 days to complete your online profile. Once completed, you can submit your profile and they will determine which immigration program you’re eligible for.
While you’re in the pool and waiting to receive an invitation, you can do the following:
- Get your documents ready
- Search for a job using Job Bank
- Try to increase your chances of being invited
by improving your score by:
- Getting in touch with provinces and territories that can consider you for the PNP
- Getting a valid job offer
- Improving your education
- Improving your language score
- Acquiring more relevant work experience
- Make sure your profile is up-to-date
4. What should you do if you’ve been invited to apply?
If you’ve been invited to apply for permanent residence, you will get a message indicating the following:
- Which program you’re invited to apply for
- What the next steps are
You must respond to your invitation to apply within 60 days. Fill out the application in time. Make sure that all mandatory fields are filled out with accurate and honest information. Be sure to save the information you entered so you can go back to it when you need to.
You will also be given a personalized checklist of all the documents that you need. Make sure the documents that you scan or digitally copy are in the approved format. Once you’re done making copies, then you can upload them to the document checklist.
After you’ve filled out your online application form and uploaded the necessary documents, then you will be asked to pay the following fees:
- Biometrics fee
- Processing fee
- Right of permanent residence fee
Submit your complete application and wait for them to contact you through your online account. They will get in touch with you to:
- Confirm that they have reviewed your application
- Ask you to give your biometrics (get it done as soon as you get the letter or within 30 days)
- Ask you for more documents (if necessary)
- Send you status updates of your application
- Conduct an interview, if needed
- Give information on the next steps or things to do
Express Entry applications take six months or less to process. You can also check the status of your application through your online account. You will be notified online, as well, if your application has been approved or declined.
5. What’s next if your Express Entry is approved?
If your express entry application is approved successfully, you will receive the following things:
- A permanent resident visa (if you are from a country that requires a visa)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
Make sure that your COPR contains the same information as what is in your passport. If there are irregularities, you can contact them through your account.
If you’re already in Canada, you’ll need to go through a short interview with an officer either by making an appointment or going to a Canadian port of entry and presenting proof that you have funds to support yourself and/or your family, your visa, and your COPR.
If you are still outside Canada, then you’ll also have to meet with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. The officer will :
- Make sure the your COPR is not yet expired
- Make sure that you are the same person who applied (they will have to use your biometrics to check this)
- Ask to see your passport or other travel documents (do not pack them inside your luggage)
- Ask a few questions to ensure that you still meet the requirements for immigration to Canada
Starting a new life in Canada
Starting a new life brings about excitement and perhaps, a bit of anxiety. Aside from the places that you’ll see, you’ll also meet new faces, new challenges, and new adventures.
When you really desire to begin a new life in a new country, then you should do your best to find out all the crucial information, meet all the requirements, and adhere to all the rules and regulations to ensure that you have the most enjoyable and rewarding time of your life.