Introduced in January 2015, Express Entry (EE) is an online immigration system that manages applications for Canadian Permanent Residence Visa for all economic immigrants who move to Canada for better jobs and quality of life. The EE system uses a comprehensive point-based system that allows the Canadian government to shortlist skilled professionals based on CRS Scores. Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency. Scores depend on a number of factors including skills, education, experience, etc.

The PR process consists of 11 steps as shown below which are covered at a high level. In order to see a detailed step-by-step process, you can sign up to download our Treknation app(coming soon..) on Appstore and Playstore at treknation.ca


1.Find your NOC (National Occupation Classification)

NOC stands for National Occupation Classification. It helps to determine the job code that you will need when you apply for your PR. There are 5 types of NOC groups: NOC 0, A, B, C, and D for immigration purposes. If you are applying for Express Entry, your job and the work you have done in the past must be Skill Type 0 or level A or B. You can use this site for finding your correct NOC code.

Another option would be to use the Job Bank website. Find a job opening that matches your current job (or any previous job) and whose job duties match yours. On the job opening page, you can find the corresponding NOC code on the “Job Market Information” page.

2.Get your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a Canadian one. For example, an ECA will determine if an applicant’s Foreign Master’s degree is of the same standard when compared to a Canadian Master’s degree. You would need an ECA only if you have a non-Canadian degree.

In most cases, you will only need an assessment of your highest educational qualification, but you can get an assessment for 2 or more credentials if it increases your CRS score. If your post-secondary credentials do not have a Canadian equivalent, then you can get your secondary credentials assessed.

You must get your assessment either from an Organization or from a Body designated by the IRCC. They will give you a report that tells you what your education is equal to in Canada. Make sure that the assessment is issued for Immigration Purpose since there are multiple types of ECA

3.Language Tests

In this step, you will be required to take a language test in English and/or French and score a number of points to be eligible for Express Entry programs. For all the three Express Entry programs, you need to take English and/or French test(s) and score a minimum score to be eligible

  • First Official Language: English CLB 7; French NCLC7
  • Second Official Language: CLB or NCLC 5
  • NOC 0 or A: English CLB 7; French NCLC 7
  • NOC B: CLB or NCLC 5
  • English: Speaking and Listening CLB 5; Reading and Writing CLB 4
  • French: Speaking and Listening NCLC 5; Reading and Writing NCLC 4

4.Check your Eligibility

In order to qualify for Express Entry for one of the three programs, you must meet the minimum requirements for each of those programs. A detailed breakdown of the requirements for each of the streams can be found in the app. But at a high level if you are in Canada and have Canadian experience you more likely to apply via the CEC class. Whereas if you are outside Canada you would apply via the FSW class or the FST class. For the FST class, you might need to show that you have a valid job offer in Canada.

5.Calculate CRS Score

CRS Score is the score used by IRCC to rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. You should try to achieve the highest points possible to increase your chances of getting an ITA. Use our calculator in the app to find out your CRS score. Some of the ways on increasing your CRS score include getting a better language test score, applying with your spouse, having substantial work experience, having a job offer in hand, or either through PNP(Provincial nominee program)

6.Enter Express Entry Pool

In this step, you will now create your IRCC secure account and get into the pool of applicants for your EE program. In order to create an express entry profile, you would need to create a GC Key account. Create a GC key account by going to this page (Please do not choose sign in with partner account). Please remember the 4 security questions and answers thoroughly since you will be asked each time you log in. Once you create a GC key account click on an Express Entry button to begin filling your profile. Enter personal preference code. This should pre-fill some of the details. Fill in the rest of the personal details.

Note: You have 60 days to fill up and submit your profile.

7.Receive your ITA

CIC conducts EE draws twice a month. Regardless of the program, you are applying for, you will get a CRS score. The score ranks you in the applicant pool using the CRS score with other candidates. The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration decides the cut-off of each draw. If your CRS score is greater than or equal to the cut-off, you will get an Invitation to Apply (ITA). You can see the ITA in the corresponding section of the Express Entry profile. Once you receive the ITA you will be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence. Previous draws can give you an indication of your chances in the next draw, but it does not guarantee it.

If you accept the ITA you will need to –

Fill out a form similar to the ones in the Express Entry profile. Instructions to fill out the form are mentioned in the ITA pdf file received in the messages section of your profile. You will be asked for additional details. For e.g. Provide Address and Travel history for the past 10 years or from your 18th birthday. You would need to provide a Letter of Explanation if necessary.

Once you submit the form a personalized document checklist will be created which you can cover in the next steps.

8.Document Checklist

Once you fill out the post ITA application forms a personalized document checklist is created for you. Since you only have 60 days to gather all documents and to submit them we recommend starting the process ASAP so that you can avoid delays.

The document checklist is mostly made up of the following section. You would need to upload documents in each of the Identification documents such as passport, Work experience documents, and certain mandatory documents such as the Police Certificate, etc. You would need to make sure that the size of the file is no larger than 4 MB. The file formats you can upload are .tiff, .jpg, .png, .doc, .docx and .pdf.

9.E-APR fees

Once you fill out the online form and upload the documents in the last step, you will be shown the fees you need to pay for your e-APR (Electronic Application for Permanent Residence). The fees are broken down into Processing fees for you and your family members, Right of PR fees, and Biometric fees. Usually, the processing fee is around 850 CAD per adult and 225$ per child. The right to PR fees is 500 CAD per person and biometric fees would be around 85$.

10.AOR to PPR

After submitting your e-APR, you will receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR). This is the AOR date and is the date from when your 6 months intended processing time begins. Once IRCC has reviewed your biometrics, background checks, and medical examination evaluations you will get a golden email for Passport Request (PPR) where you will be requested to send your passport. IRCC will then mail you a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) and a permanent resident visa. Your CoPR will be valid for a limited time so you would need to use it before it expires. The IRCC will communicate with you through your online account to keep you updated on the progress of your application.

11.Prepare for Landing

Depending on whether you are inside or outside Canada your landing process will differ. If you are inside Canada, you will be called for a short interview by IRCC. During the interview, the officer will make sure that your documents are valid, ask you a few questions, and confirm your mailing address where your PR card will be sent. If you are outside Canada, you will meet an office from the Canadian Border Service Agency at the Airport where he will check if your documents are valid, if you have a proper CoPR, ask you a few questions to see if you are still fit to immigrate to Canada and lastly will confirm if you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Canada. You can find more details about this step in our app — Treknation.


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