To those of you who have been fantasizing for a long time about picking up sticks and moving to Canada – we know exactly what you need to do. Whether you stumbled on this page by mistake, or you have been searching for a guide to Canadian immigration, you will find your answers right here, right now.
We have decided to take liberty and create this comprehensive guide to understanding how Canada’s immigration system works, and how you can easily apply.
While there are several immigration programs available, today we will focus on Express Entry Canada. Being the main source of skilled immigrants in Canada, we see fit to introduce this system first. Let us the six selection factors for Express Entry Canada.
What is Express Entry Canada?
Express Entry Canada is the main and most popular immigration program for skilled immigrants. It is a program designed to help Canada manage work visa and permanent residency applications.
It is a known fact that Canada heavily relies on immigration to support its economy due to the aging population and declining birth rates. Therefore, this system was carefully developed over the years to incorporate as many suitable skilled workers, while maintaining demographic and economic goals.
In fact, according to a recent study that projected global population and economic trends between now and 2100: ‘Canada’s current openness to immigration must continue if the country wants to maintain one of the world’s largest economies for the rest of the century’.
If that doesn’t emphasize Canada’s needs for skilled immigrants, we don’t know what does!
Express Entry Canada provides several immigration pathways with the option of obtaining Canadian permanent residency. Details about qualifying for Express Entry Canada will be provided below.
How to Apply for Express Entry Canada?
You first step is to create your Express Entry profile by providing detailed information about yourself, according to the six selection factors. You will be required to provide details about your professional and educational background, as well as personal information (such as marital status, health conditions, etc.). You will also be required to provide the same information about your spouse/common-law partner.
Once you have completed your immigration profile, you will be able to submit it for ranking in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Your score will be calculated according to the information provided in your Express Entry profile.
Your goal is to meet the minimum score (or higher) set by Canada’s immigration authorities.
Once you are in the Express Entry pool and your points have been ranked, your profile will be ranked against other applicants using the Comprehensive Ranking System.
ITA’s (Invitation To Apply) will then be sent out to the candidates with the highest scores in the pool. If you are invited to apply, you will have 90 days to submit your application for permanent residence. Candidate draws from the Express Entry pool are typically held every 2 weeks – so stay tuned!
Lastly, permanent residency applications submitted through the Express Entry Canada route are processed in 6-12 months or less. This means that in no time at all, you could be starting your new Canadian adventure.
Express Entry Canada Six Selection Factors
We mentioned earlier that Express Entry Canada provides several immigration pathways for skilled immigrants. These are Canada’s 3 skilled immigration programs:
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
To become eligible to apply for any of these visas, you must score a certain number of points (yes, you need points here too). To give you a good idea of how your points are calculated and your likelihood to be found eligible, below are the available points that make up the total eligibility score.
The minimum eligibility score for Express Entry Canada is 67 out of a possible 100. The Express Entry eligibility points calculator is based on the following criteria:
Language Skills (up to 28 points)
The two official languages in Canada are French and English. Canada requires you to know at least one of those languages so you could easily become a part of the Canadian job market.
To score up to 28 points, you must prove your ability to write, read, listen, and speak in the chosen language by taking these tests:
English – CELPIP, and IELTS
French – TEF Canada
You must achieve at least CLB 7 (Canadian Language Benchmark) on your English proficiency exam. This is a requirement set by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Education (up to 25 points)
These points are calculated according to your academic qualifications. Whether you have a foreign education or studied in Canada, you must provide an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) report, showing that your education is equal to a diploma, degree, or certificate from a Canadian institution:
Secondary institution (or other)
Work Experience (up to 15 points)
These points are calculated based on the number of years you spent doing full-time paid work (for at least 30 hours per week), or an equivalent amount of part-time work (15 hours per week for two years). Your work experience will count if you were working:
In Canada or abroad
While you were studying
To score the minimum points you should have at least 1 year of work experience. If you have more years of work experience you will gain more points.
Your Age (up to 12 points)
To obtain points under this category, you must be between the ages of 18 – 46. The catch is that over time (age 35 and up), you will receive lesser points.
For example, if you are between the ages of 18 to 35, you automatically receive 12 points (the maximum), but if you are 46 years old– you will only receive 1 point.
Job Offer from a Canadian Employer (up to 10 points)
You can receive points based on whether you were offered a job for at least 1 year from a Canadian employer. What would be considered a valid job offer is if the following applies:
The job is full time, paid, and continuous for at least 1 year;
The job is listed under the National Occupational Classification job list as Skill Type 0 or Skill A or B of the NOC.
Sponsorship (up to 10 points)
You can score more points if your spouse or common-law partner will immigrate with you to Canada.
The Benefits of Express Entry Canada
There are several significant benefits of applying through Express Entry Canada:
Express Entry Canada is an efficient and modern system (only introduced in 2015) that prioritizes applicants according to skill and experience, rather than selecting applicants in the traditional method of who is first in line.
Transparency is a key factor in the success of this system. Applicants are aware of the amount of CRS points necessary to be eligible for the available work visas and permanent residency status.
There are many ways in which you can improve your CRS score. You can improve your language test results, gain additional work-experience, possibly look into studying options in Canada, or even try for a provincial nomination.
Fast track immigration pathways. Applying through Express Entry Canada means quick application processing (6-12 months) and the freedom to live anywhere in Canada.
Permanent residency benefits: as a Canadian permanent resident, you will be able to sponsor your relatives to come live with you, work and travel anywhere in Canada, register for ‘Medicare’ and other social benefits.
In our experience, knowing how the system works doesn’t guarantee a successful application submission. It’s important to consider the process itself: assessing your eligibility, collecting important (and sometimes time-sensitive) documents, providing evidence of work experience and skills, obtaining a job offer (if required), support letters, and more.
Therefore, it is commonly advisable that you opt to use the services of reputable immigration consultants. This can maximize the success rate of your application and simplify your immigration process.
At Great North Visa, we will evaluate your immigration options and strength of your visa application to properly advise and provide tailored solutions.
We offer many services: in-depth eligibility evaluation, document collection, profile and C.V optimization, guidance and support in obtaining IELTS, guidance and support in obtaining WES, access to job searching tools, etc. Read more here.
Contact our team of immigration consultants today to discover your options for Canadian immigration through Express Entry Canada, or other available programs.