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Canada Express Entry – The Complete Application Guide


Immigrating to Canada is a dream come true for some people, however, there are different means of getting there. The quickest way is through the Express Entry system. The Express Entry requires the Canadian government to assess whoever is coming into the country and if the immigrants would be of great value to them. As much as this system is the quickest method to get into Canada, other ways can be suitable for you and your family. As regards that, a comprehensive step-by-step process will be listed for you to follow.

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Therefore, you can decide on the path to take in your immigration journey. Individuals and families around the world can immigrate to Canada within just a few months through the Express Entry immigration selection system.

First introduced in 2015, Express Entry has become the main driver of skilled worker immigration to Canada and one of the most popular immigration systems globally.

Express Entry awards candidates’ eligibility points using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). A job offer is not required to enter or be selected from the Express Entry pool. However, additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score points are awarded to those who already have a job.

What is Express Entry?

This is an application management system used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage and process applications received through three of Canada’s federal economic immigration programs for skilled workers.

The Express Entry system is very highly competitive ranking all eligible candidates against one another and then inviting the best ranking candidates to apply for Canadian permanent resident status. Candidates are ranked against one another based on their age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors.

Under Express Entry, individuals and families wishing to settle in Canada can become new permanent residents within just a few months.

Step-By-Step Guide for Express Entry:

  • National Occupational Classification

This is needed to know if you have enough work experience in your field. This is done through the NOC system. This will also help your scores.

  • Eligibility

Express Entry applicants will need to be eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs.

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC);
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC); or
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).
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A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are aligned with Express Entry, but candidates still must be eligible under one of the three federal programs to enter the Express Entry pool.

Though the eligibility requirements differ for each of the Express Entry-aligned programs, all candidates are required to have at least one year of skilled work experience, as well as a certain level of proficiency on an approved language test in either English or French. Also, Canada screens all Express Entry applicants for criminal history and medical issues that could make a person inadmissible.

  • Create A Profile:

Immigrants are to submit a profile to the Express Entry pool. The Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI). Eligible candidates will automatically receive a score based on their profile and will be ranked against the other candidates in the pool. This score is strictly based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) with a maximum point of 1200.

Candidates can improve their rank by taking steps to improve their CRS scores. The higher a candidate’s CRS score, the higher the likelihood they will receive an Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA). The CRS score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws. It is designed to foresee the candidate’s possibility of surviving economically in Canada. The factors they will put into consideration include;

  • Career and educational history;
  • Language skills;
  • Provincial Nomination in Canada;
  • Job Offer.
  • Receiving An Invitation to Apply:

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts Express Entry draws at regular intervals (usually every two weeks). In these Express Entry draws, candidates above a certain rank are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. If a candidate is not invited, their profile will expire after 12 months, at which point they may submit a new profile.

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  • Improving Your CRS Scores:

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who have not yet been selected can improve their Express Entry profile and score. They can do this by submitting new and updated information. Examples include increased language scores, educational credentials assessments, adding additional work experience, and/or obtaining a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination.

  • Submitting Your Application for Permanent Residency:

If you receive an Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will be given 60 days to submit a complete application for permanent residence.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants have been given 90 days to complete their applications. In this application, you will have to provide extensive personal information along with supporting documentation. The entire application is submitted electronically.

After you’ve submitted your application, you have to wait for a final decision to be issued. 80 per cent of Express Entry applications are processed in six months or less. If your application is approved, then you will receive authorization to activate your permanent resident status in Canada.

Things You Should Know

This application is completed and submitted entirely online. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the final permanent residence application:

You may need to show proof of settlement funds:

All applicants in the FSWC and FSTC programs must demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves and their family members during their settlement in Canada. Applicants with a valid job offer in Canada, as well as CEC applicants are exempt from these requirements.

  • Importance of Profile:

The majority of the important data that you enter into your Express Entry profile carries over automatically into your electronic Permanent Residence (PR) application. Any changes you make at this stage could jeopardize your application.

Consequently, it is important to be conscious about everything that you enter the first time around. You will be asked to provide documentation to support the claims you’ve made. Lying on an immigration application is a serious crime and can result in a five-year ban from Canada.

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