What is “Express Entry”?
Express Entry is Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada‘s file management system. Anyone who is applying as a member of the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Provincial Nominee (Express Entry Programs only) or the Canadian Experience Class submits their application through this system.
This type of application is a two-step process where you submit your profile into the Express Entry System (if you meet the requirements of one of the qualifying immigration programs) and are then assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System score.
You then wait for your score to be selected, at which time you will be issued an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency application.
What is “The Express Entry Pool”
The Express Entry Pool is the database of all eligible Candidates, which have been accepted under the Express Entry file management system. This is where Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada selects people from to apply for Permanent Residency.
How long will an Express Entry application take?
The amount of time it will take for you to receive an invitation to apply cannot be guaranteed as it is based on your score and when your score is selected. Some applicants have been selected after 2 days and some have been waiting for over 12 months. There is no guarantee you will ever be selected if your score is too low.
Find out more about Express Entry here
How often is there a draw?
There are no set time frames on when draws occur. Typically they are every two weeks.
What happens if I am not picked under Express Entry?
There is no guarantee that you will be selected from the Express Entry Pool.
Your profile is valid for one full year.
After the year is up you can create a new profile for another year.
Can I update my Express Entry profile after it has been submitted?
Yes. Once your Express Entry profile has been submitted and accepted you can make changes such as new IELTS scores, WES reports, new passports etc.
Will my application benefit if I have a close relative in Canada? Which relatives count as close relatives?
For those applying as Federal Skilled Worker you can obtain eligibility points for you or your spouse having one of the following relatives in Canada:
- Child of Parent (sibling)
- Child of a Grandparent (aunt or uncle)
- Grandchild of a Parent (niece or nephew)
These relatives needs to be living in Canada. be 18 years or older and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
They do not provide any additional points on the Comprehensive Ranking System. Only a brother or sister will give you additional points towards your Comprehensive Ranking System score.
Must I take an English or French test in order to be eligible for Express Entry?
Depending on the immigration program you are applying under, you may need to do a language examination. Please refer to program requirements to see if you need to complete a languages test.
Must I first enter Canada at the destination I indicated on my application form?
No. Depending on the country you are flying from, there may not be a direct flight to your anticipated destination. You need to keep in mind though that certain immigration programs require you to live in your stated destination.
What is an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA)?
An Invitation to Apply is the document that you receive from the Canadian Government once your Comprehensive Ranking System Score has been selected. Only those who are in the Express Entry Pool and have had their score selected will receive an Invitation to Apply. This then allows you to apply for your Permanent Residency.
What are immigration scores?
When you read about immigration scores this could be referring to the Federal Skilled Worker points system OR the Comprehensive Ranking System.
What is the Federal Skilled Worker points system?
In order to be eligible to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker you need a minimum of 67 points based or higher on the Federal Skilled Worker Points System.
What is the Comprehensive Ranking System?
Once you have been entered into the Express Entry Pool of Applicants you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System Score.
This score is out of 1200.
The first 600 points are based on your age, education, language abilities in French and English, qualifying work experience, Canadian work experience, your spouse’s education, your spouse’s language abilities in French or English and your spouse’s Canadian work experience as applicable.
The remaining 600 points can be obtained by either obtaining a Provincial Nomination or a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer with a Valid Labour Market Impact Assessment.
This score will dictate if and when you are issued with an Invitation to Apply.
What is a passing immigration score?
If you are applying as a Federal Skilled Worker, you require a minimum score of 67 points or higher on the Federal Skilled Worker points system. You will then be entered into the Express Entry Pool and given a Comprehensive Ranking System Score.
There is no passing mark for the Comprehensive Ranking System Score. There are scores which are considered to be low and those that are considered to be high but there is no official passing score.
What is a NOC Code?
NOC stands for National Occupational Classification.
A NOC code is the four-digit number assigned to an occupation by the Canadian Government.
You use these NOC codes when completing an Express Entry profile.
Only certain NOC Codes are eligible for certain programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
Do I still need Settlement Funds if I plan to stay with family who said that they will support me/us?
Yes. If your application requires you to show Settlement Funds you have to show the required amount of Settlement funds unless you are currently working in Canada on a valid work permit and have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada
Does my occupation qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program?
Any occupation which is classified as O, A or B can qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
O level occupations are Managerial Positions
A level occupations usually require university education
B level occupations usually require college education
Do I have to practice the same occupation specified in my Express Entry Application once in Canada?
No, you will not be restricted to that specific occupation.
Can our pets go with us?
Canada does not quarantine all animals. Cats and dogs can accompany you to Canada without being quarantined as long as they are rabies vaccinated.
You will need to complete some additional paperwork for the Canada Border Services Agency. Other animals may not be allowed depending on country of origin. You will need to confirm before traveling.
Do I become a Permanent Resident of Canada as soon as my Canada Immigration Visa is issued?
You become a permanent resident of Canada once you physically land in Canada. If you do not enter Canada before your visa expires, you will not become a Permanent Resident.
Does my work experience have to be related to my education in order to be recognized?
Will I have to take a medical exam? What will this exam be looking for/what type of tests are done? Will my application be rejected if I have a certain disease or disorder?
Those wishing to work, study or immigrate to Canada will be required to undergo a medical examination.
There will be a physical examination, chest x-ray and blood tests.
They are looking for conditions which will pose a danger to Canadians or will cause an excessive demand on the health care system.
Certain conditions can make you inadmissible to Canada.
Is there a benefit to using an ICCRC-registered Immigration Consultant for immigration to Canada?
Choosing to use a representative is not a mandatory requirement of any Canadian immigration application. However, there are many benefits to hiring an authorized representative. Authorized representatives are trained in Canadian Immigration, attend mandatory yearly courses to keep up to date with changes to the law and requirements, can act on your behalf with the Canadian government and can complete your application on your behalf, saving you time. Authorized representatives are trained in completing all types of immigration applications and know all of the mandatory requirements as well as what goes into a successful application. There are many things that can come up during an application such as custody issues, medical inadmissibility issues and criminal inadmissibility issues which an authorized representative can assist you in overcoming. Authorized representatives also stay on top of all current immigration trends and changes, ensuring that your application is complete and current at the time of submission.
How long does the Canadian Immigration application process take?
This varies by application, if you are applying on paper or online and which embassy you are applying through. You can check for current processing times for the specific country you are applying from and the type of application you are applying for, here.
Do I need a job offer in order to immigrate to Canada?
No. Certain applicants can qualify to immigrate to Canada without a job offer. For instance, those who qualify as Federal Skilled Workers, and have a high Comprehensive Ranking System Score can be eligible to immigrate without needing a job offer.
Can my boyfriend/girlfriend come with me?
Boyfriends/girlfriends do not qualify. You would need to be in a spousal relationship in order to be included on each other’s application. This can include Common-Law partners.
How long are language test valid for?
How long are Educational Credential Assessments valid for?
Can I live in the United States once I am a Canadian Permanent Resident?
No. You would need to apply to the United States separately.
How long are medical examination results valid for?
Do my spouse and I need to submit separate applications?
No. There will be a Main Applicant for an application. Their spouse and dependent children can also be included in their application without the need for additional applications.
Who does Canada consider to be a Spouse?
Married, Common-Law or Conjugal
Who is a Dependent Child?
Children under the age of 19.
How long are police clearances valid for?
Six months from the date of issue for the country you currently reside in.
No expiry date for police clearances issued for countries you previously resided in, as long as they were issued after you departed the country.
Will I have to go for an interview? Where will I need to go?
Not all applications require you to go for an interview. If the officer is satisfied with your application, you will not be requested to go for an interview.
Interviews take place at Canadian Embassies and High Commissions.
Can my family sponsor me to Canada?
My friends want to sponsor me to Canada. What can they do?
Unfortunately, friends cannot sponsor you to Canada. Certain Provincial Programs look at ties that you have to that Province when applying. Having friends in those Provinces can assist with your application in some cases.
When will I become a Citizen?
You can apply for your Canadian Citizenship once you have lived in Canada as a Permanent Resident for four years within a five-year period. You will may need to meet additional criteria such as proving you are proficient in English / French or passing a Citizenship test.
Can I have more than one Passport?
Canada allows you to possess multiple Citizenships. You will want to check with your other country of Citizenship to see if they allow it.
Can anyone apply to Canada or are some countries not allowed?
Canada does not restrict any nationalities from applying.
Is there a quota on some countries?
Canada does not place country specific quotas on applications. If you are eligible for a program, you may apply.
If I am eligible, can my application be refused?
There is no guarantee that your application will be approved. The decision is at the discretion of the Canadian Government. Even if you are eligible for the program you applied to, your application could still be rejected due to a criminal record, medical condition, insufficient funds, incorrect documentation or missing information.
Once our visas are issued, does our whole family have to go together?
No, the entire family does not need to enter at one time. However, the main applicant has to enter first before anyone else if you are travelling separately. Also, you need to ensure that every family member enters Canada before their visa expires.
I have children who will not be coming with me. What did I do?
If you have children who are under the age of 19 and not accompanying you to Canada, they will need to be assessed with your application whether they are accompanying you are not. This will require them to undergo a medical examination, and possibly submit police clearances depending on their age. You will also need to provide certain documentation for the child(ren).
Can I include my parents / nanny / siblings in my application?
Only spouses and dependent children can be included with your application
Work in Canada
What is an LMIA?
LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. An LMIA is a written approval of a Canadian job offer issued by the Canadian Government, issued to a Canadian employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker.
How easy is it to obtain employment / how do you get notified about job opportunities?
Obtaining employment in Canada can be quite difficult. Many employers are not looking to hire foreign nationals. The reason for this is that if they do want to offer you the position, in most cases they need to complete something called a Labour Market Impact Assessment before you can apply for your work permit. Without this, the job offer may not be enough to allow you to apply for a Work Permit.
You can search for opportunities on Canadian job sites or employers job sites. Beware of Canadian employment scams… read more here
If my visa is issued how long do I have until I need to go to Canada?
Your visa will have an expiry date. You will need to enter Canada before this expiry date to avoid losing your status. The expiry date should be set for one year from the date you underwent your medical examination.
What is a Canadian Permanent Resident card or “PR Card”?
Once you have immigrated to Canada and have physically arrived in Canada you will be issued with a Permanent Residency card. These can take several weeks to be issued and will not be given to you on arrival. You will use this card as your proof of status in Canada and you will use it with your passport when traveling into Canada.
Will both the Main Applicant and the Spouse/Partner be allowed to work in Canada?
If you are applying for Permanent Residency, all family members included in the application receive permanent residency which means the Spouse/Partner can work.
Living in Canada
When I arrive in Canada, are there any services to help me?
Canada offers a variety of different immigrant services. There are immigrant services centres throughout Canada to assist you. Private organizations also offer other paid services such as airport collection, home finding assistance, etc.
Is Health Care free? When do I get it?
Yes, you will be covered for basic medical needs.
In most cases you will have a 90-day wait period before you will be covered. You will want to ensure you have private insurance to cover this waiting period.
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