In this comprehensive step by step guide to Canada immigration, we’ll break down all of Canada’s immigration processes into 11 critical steps.
We’ll teach you how to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score and how it affects your chances.
- Introduction: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
- What is Express Entry?
- #1: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Find your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
- #2: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Get your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)
- #3: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Take Your English and/or French Language Tests
- #4: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Check Your Eligibility for Express Entry
- 1. Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)
- 2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
- 3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Additional Requirements that Apply to the 3 Programs
- #5: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Calculate Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score
- #6: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Get into the Express Entry Pool
- #7: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Submit Your Profile
- #8: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
- #9: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Tips and Advice for Your Document Checklist
- #10: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> From Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to Passport Request (PPR)
- #11: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Prepare for Your landing in Canada
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
- Final Words: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
Also, we’ll cover how to find your National Occupational Classification (NOC), how to use the Come to Canada online tool to know if you are eligible for Canadian immigration, and your next line of action no matter the outcome.
Let’s get started!
Introduction: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
With Canada’s job opportunities, awesome lifestyle, safety, friendly and welcoming community, it has become a top choice country among aspiring immigrants. Every year, thousands of people plan to immigrate and start a new life in Canada. Some successful, some not quite. Canadian immigration is not rocket science.
In fact, it’s pretty straightforward only if you follow all the required steps. This step-by-step guide to Canada immigration will let you know all you need to do and understand to immigrate to the maple leaf country successfully. Read on!
What is Express Entry?
The Express Entry system is an application management system IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) uses to process and manage applications gotten through three of Canada’s federal economic immigration for skilled workers.
Express Entry is a very competitive immigration system. It ranks all eligible candidates against each other and then invites the highest-ranking candidates to apply for Canadian permanent resident status. You will be rated against other candidates based on age, language proficiency, education, work experience, and other factors.
Families and individuals seeking Canadian immigration to settle in Canada can become new permanent residents within just a few months under Express Entry programs.
#1: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Find your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
All Canadian governmental bodies use the NOC (National Occupational Classification) related to job/occupational information. It gathers more than 500 NOC codes and serves as a means to provide a standard structure for analysis and assessment.
Each NOC code stands for an average of 60 job titles, and each NOC is grouped by skill level (A, B, C or D) or skill type (0).
The Major NOC Skill Type or Levels
The primary skill type or levels for immigration purposes are:
- Skill Type 0: These are occupations related to management, like office managers, factory managers, or resort managers.
- Skill Level A: They are the professional occupations that usually require a university degree. For example veterinarians, chemists, or pharmacists.
- Skill Level B: They are the technical occupations that usually need apprentice training or a college diploma, for example, photographers, administrative assistants, firefighters etc.
- Skill Level C: This skill level represents intermediate occupations that require a high school diploma. For example receptionists, travel guides, or truck drivers.
- Skill Level D: They are labour occupation that usually need only training,like dry cleaners, receptionists, or kitchen helpers.
Ensure you are using the 2016 version of the NOC. The IRCC currently uses the 2016 version which is different from the 2006 and 2011 versions. NOC requirements for Express Entry
Only people with previous work experience as skilled workers under either skill type 0, level A or B can be eligible under Express Entry’s three federal programs.
How Can You Identify Your Correct NOC?
You can start by going on the NOC website and searching for the NOC job code with the most similar description to your current job. Base your NOC code search on job duties rather than job titles.
When you submit your proof of work experience, it has to include your job duties. IRCC will compare them with those set out in the NOC job code. So, job duties are the most important. You should concentrate on the first paragraph (lead statement) and the NOC job code’s primary responsibilities.
The JobBank website is another option. All you have to do is find a job opening that matches your present job (or any former job) and whose job duties match yours. When you are on the job opening page, you can find the matching NOC code on the “Job Market Information” page.
Other Programs You Could be Eligible for
- If your NOC code skill level is 0, A or B, then you are eligible for Express Entry’s three federal programs. Also, you can qualify for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program’s Atlantic High-Skilled Program.
- If your NOC code skill level is C, you can be eligible for Atlantic Immigration Pilot program’s Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program.
- If your NOC code skill level is C or D, you can be eligible for some Provincial Nominee Programs streams. For example, the Prince Edward Island PNP, the Yukon PNP, the Northwest Territories PNP, and others.
#2: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Get your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)
You need to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if your degree or diploma is not from Canada. You have to get your foreign educational credential (not Canadian) checked by an IRCC approved third party.
An ECA is used to assess the Canadian equivalency of a foreign diploma, degree, or certificate. For instance, an ECA will decide if an applicant’s foreign Master’s degree is of the same standard as a Canadian Master’s degree. You do need to submit an ECA if your credential is awarded in Canada by a Canadian educational body.
Regarding the FST (Federal Skilled Trades program) and the CEC (Canadian Experience Class), you don’t need to have a minimum education level to be qualified for Express Entry. However, if you apply for the ECA for your diploma, you can get CRS points for any secondary education you’ve obtained outside Canada.
Seven (7) Designated Organizations for ECAs:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (CES). It was designated on April 17, 2013.
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICASC). It was designated on April 17, 2013.
- World Education Services (WES). It was designated April 17, 2013.
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS). It was designated August 6, 2015.
- International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). It was established August 6, 2015.
- Medical Council of Canada (MCC). This is the professional body for Doctors and it was designated on April 17, 2013.
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC). This is the professional body for Pharmacists and it was designated January 6, 2014.
PRO-TIP: ECA report has to be issued on or after the date IRCC designated the organization.
Most applicants will be able to get their ECA done by choosing one of the first 5 designated organizations listed above.
If you are a pharmacist (NOC 3131), and you need a license before you can practice. For instance, providing patient care in a hospital pharmacy. The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) has to do your ECA.
If you are a specialist physician (NOC 3111) or a general practitioner(NOC 3112), the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has to do the ECA for your primary medical diploma.
Validity Period for ECA
An ECA is only valid for a 5 year period from the date it is issued. The ECA must not be over five years old than the date the IRCC gets your Express Entry profile and application for Canadian permanent residence, otherwise, it won’t be accepted.
Comparative Table of the 5 Designated Organizations
Note: The price includes your credentials except for CES, which is the price per credential. Ensure you add all your credentials, so you don’t have to pay an extra fee and waste time if you have to assess another credential later.
|CES University of Toronto||ICASC||WES||IQAS||ICES|
|Price without taxes||$210||$200||$220||$200||$200|
|Processing period||14 weeks||20 weeks||7 weeks||12 weeks||8 weeks|
|Canada Delivery (excluding taxes)||Standard: Free|
|International Delivery (excluding taxes)||Standard: $10|
Looking at the table above, the apparent choice is WES as it’s the fastest of them all, and not that costlier than the other providers.
The processing time is approximated, and it starts once they receive a complete application. The time can also depend on the volume of applications received.
Steps to Take When Applying for an ECA Through WES
Always be careful and sure that you are on the Canadian WES website because there’s a U.S. website as well. You can find out by checking the top right corner of the WES page.
- Make use of the Free Degree Equivalency Tool.
- Understand the necessary documents that depends on your country of education.
- The third step is to create your account and pay your fees.
- Gather all required documents.
- Wait for them to complete the review.
To interpret your ECA results, input the reference number at the top right of your report inside your Express Entry application.
#3: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Take Your English and/or French Language Tests
You need to take English and/or French language tests and score a certain number of points to be eligible for all three (3) Express Entry Programs.
The three express entry programs are:
- Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) Program,
- Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program.
Each program has different minimum language requirements.
You will have to take an IRCC approved language test to earn CRS points based on your English and French Language ability.
IRCC’s Two (2) Approved English and French Tests
IRCC Approved English Tests
You have to take the “General Training” option, not the “Academic Training.”
There are tests locations in about 140 countries in the world, which means you can pretty much take this where anywhere. The fees are around $320 but it depends on the country, and you should get your test results within 14 days.
Take the “General Test” option, not the “General LS Test.” You can only take this test in Canada, Manila, New York, Chandigarh, and Dubai. The fees range between $265 and $340, depending on the country. You should get your test results within eight business days. If you add a $100 to $150 fee, you can get it within 3-4 business days depending on your test location.
IRCC Approved French Tests
1. TEF Canada:
You can either take the paper test or an online-based (e-TEF) test. There are locations almost everywhere in the world. The test fees are around $300, depending on the location and you should get your test results within 3 to 4 weeks.
2. TCF Canada:
You can also take this test in several locations around the world. The test fee is around $300, and you should get your result 15 working days after the CEIP gets your session material.
You have to scan a copy of your results and upload it with your complete application, so don’t ask for your result to be sent to IRCC directly.
Your test results have to be less than two (2) years old when you finish your Express Entry profile and apply for permanent residence.
English and French Tests Conversion Table
Each test has a conversion table from the test mark per speaking, listening, reading, and writing ability to the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB). IRCC uses CLBs to assess language ability.
IELTS General Training Test Results
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)||Speaking Ability||Listening Ability||Reading Ability||Writing Ability|
|CLB 10 upwards||7.5 – 9.0||8.5 – 9.0||8.0 – 9.0||7.5 – 9.0|
CELPIP General Test
|CELPIP Test Results|
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)||Speaking Ability||Listening Ability||Reading Ability||Writing Ability|
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)||TEF Canada Test Results|
|CLB9||371 to 392||298 to 315||248 to 262||371 to 392|
|CLB8||349 to 370||280 to 297||233 to 247||349 to 370|
|CLB7||310 to 348||249 to 279||207 to 232||310 to 348|
|CLB6||271 to 309||217 to 248||181 to 206||271 to 309|
|CLB5||226 to 270||181 to 216||151 to 180||226 to 270|
|CLB4||181 to 225||145 to 180||121 to 150||181 to 225|
|Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)||Speaking (expression orale)||Listening (compréhension orale)||Reading (comprehension écrite)||Writing (expression écrite)|
|CLB10 upwards||16 to 20||549 to 699||549 to 699||16 to 20|
|CLB9||14 to 15||523 to 548||524 to 548||14 to 15|
|CLB8||12 to 13||503 to 522||499 to 523||12 to 13|
|CLB7||10 to 11||458 to 502||453 to 498||10 to 11|
|CLB6||7 to 9||398 to 457||406 to 452||7 to 9|
|CLB5||6||369 to 397||375 to 405||6|
|CLB4||4 to 5||331 to 368||342 to 374||4 to 5|
You can use your results to calculate your CRS score after you convert it to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
Wondering why CRS points are so important? Well, language tests are high points earners. You will notice a significant rise in your CRS points when you have higher language scores. So, it is a wise move to practice and give your language test your best. We’ll discuss CRS further when we get to Step 5.
How to Get Free Language Tests Practice Material
You can get sample test questions from the IELTS website. When you register for an IELTS test, you will be given two (2) free mock tests, IELTS Advantage.
SEE -> Best IELTS Preparation Books
For TEF Canada:
You can get free mock exam questions with the Français 3.0 app.
#4: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Check Your Eligibility for Express Entry
This step is important before you proceed to calculate your CRS score. To qualify to apply for permanent residence under one of the three (3) Express Entry programs, you need to meet these minimum eligibility requirements:
1. Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)
You need to obtain a minimum of 67 points out of 100 in the grid used to assess candidates for you to be eligible under the Federal Skilled Workers program. Try not to calculate your CRS score before you get the minimum of 67 points.
If you are yet to do your ECA (Education Credential Assessment) or pass your language tests, you can try to guess your points. The free Degree Equivalency Tool from WES can give you an idea of your Canadian equivalency but, it is not a replacement for ECA.
It only indicates what your Canadian Equivalency might be in your official ECA results.
Don’t forget that you cannot enter the express entry pool if you don’t have your ECA and your language results in hand. The following tables will show how the 100 points are distributed.
Education (Maximum 25 Points)
|Doctoral degree (Ph.D.)||25|
|Two or more post-secondary credentials with one for a program of at least three years||22|
|Post-secondary credential of a minimum of 1 year||15|
|Post-secondary credential of a minimum of 2 years||19|
|Post-secondary credential of 3 years or more||21|
Experience (Maximum 15 Points)
Your work experience should be over the last ten years. Internship and volunteer work are not applicable. It has to be paid work at NOC skill level 0, A or B, continuous, and a minimum of 1 year (30 hrs/week). It could also be an equal amount of part-time work experience (at least 15 hours per week, so at least two years).
You can combine work experience from two employers as long as your work with them was in the same NOC.
|At least 1-year experience||9|
|2 to 3 years of experience||11|
|4 to 5 years of experience||13|
|6 years upwards||15|
Age (Maximum 12 points)
|Under 18 years old||0|
|18 to 35 years old||12|
|36 years old||11|
|37 years old||10|
|38 years old||9|
|39 years old||8|
|40 years old||7|
|41 years old||6|
|42 years old||5|
|43 years old||4|
|44 years old||3|
|45 years old||2|
|46 years old||1|
|47 and above||0|
Language Ability (Maximum 28 points)
|First Official Language||Speaking Ability||Listening Ability||Reading Ability||Writing Ability|
|CLB 9 upwards||6||6||6||6|
|Under CLB 7||Not qualified|
If you take a test for the second official language, you can get 4 extra points if you score at least CLB5 in the four language abilities each.
Adaptability (Maximum 10 Points)
|Principal applicant studied in Canada for at least two full-time years of study at the secondary or post-secondary level||5|
|Spouse or partner possess CLB4 or higher in English or French language (in speaking, writing, reading, and listening||5|
|Spouse or partner studied in Canada for at least two full-time years of study at the secondary or post-secondary level)||5|
|Principal applicant worked in Canada for a minimum of one year of full-time work in NOC skill level 0, A or B||10|
|Spouse or partner worked in Canada for at least one year of full-time work in NOC skill level 0, A or B)||5|
|The principal applicant has a legitimate job offer||5|
Arranged Employment in Canada (Maximum 10 Points)
You can get ten points if you have a valid full-time job offer of a minimum of one year from a Canadian employer. The job offer has to be paid, continuous, and full-time. It can’t be seasonal or in an occupation listed as Skill Type 0, A, or B of the NOC.
2. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
For you to be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you have to:
- Plan to live outside Quebec. If you plan to live in the province of Quebec, you’ll have to see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.
- Have CLB5 for speaking and listening and CLB4 for reading and writing.
- Possess experience in a skilled trade for at least two years, full-time (30 hours per week, or an equivalent period part-time), in the last 5 years.
- Show that your skilled trade experience meets the essential duties stated in the NOC.
- Possess a certificate of qualification or a valid full-time job offer of a minimum of one-year duration. To get a qualification certificate, the regulatory body of the province you are planning to work in will probably need to assess you. You may also have to gain work experience and training in Canada to get the certificate.
Your skilled trade work experience must be from these NOC groups:
- Group 632 – Cooks and chefs
- Group 633 – Bakers and butchers
- Group 72 – Electrical, industrial, and construction trades
- Group 73 – Equipment operations trade and maintenance
- Group 82 – Technical jobs and supervisors in agriculture, natural resources, and related production.
- Group 92 – Manufacturing, processing, utility supervisors, and central control operators.
You do not need a minimum education level to be eligible for the FST Program. However, if you have a certificate, diploma, or degree, you can earn additional CRS points.
3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
To be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) through Express Entry, you should:
- have at least a year of NOC skill level 0, A, or B work experience in Canada. It could be full-time, 30 hours per week, or an equivalent period part-time, at least 15 hours per week in the past three years.
- not plan of living in Quebec.
- have gained your job experience in Canada legally with a work permit.
- have the lowest language levels required for your job in each of the four language abilities (speaking, writing, reading, listening)
- Possess CLB7 for NOC skill level 0 or A jobs
- Possess CLB5 for NOC skill type B jobs.
PRO TIP: For CEC, internships and self-employment do not count.
You do not need a minimum education level for the CEC. But, if you have a diploma, degree, or certificate, you can get extra CRS points. If you didn’t get your diploma from Canada, you would have to request an ECA.
Additional Requirements that Apply to the 3 Programs
These are some requirements that apply to the three (3) programs:
Evidence of Work Experience
To prove your work experience, you need to provide a letter signed by your present or past supervisor/HR officer. The letter should contain the duties and responsibilities in your 2016 NOC and other necessary duties.
Proof of Funds Requirements
Suppose you are invited under the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) or the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) programs. In that case, you need to prove that you have enough financial assets to cater for yourself and your family, if applicable.
The exception is if you have a temporary Work Permit and can work legally and possess a legitimate job offer from a Canadian employer.
You don’t need to provide proof of funds if you were invited under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Canada Admissibility Requirements
People who are “inadmissible” cannot enter Canada under Canada’s immigration law. To show that you’re not Inadmissible to Canada, provide:
1. Get electronic copies of medical examination confirmation:
You and all your family members will need this even if they are not coming with you in the future. The reason is to make sure that you will be able to sponsor your dependents in the future.
2. Police clearance certificates:
You will also need to provide this with your family members. You will get police clearance certificates from each country you or your family members lived in for six months or more since they became 18. As soon as you are in the express entry pool, avoid any delays by commencing your police check immediately.
#5: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Calculate Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score
The next step is to grasp how to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System CRS score. This is the score used to rank you within the Express Entry pool. You have to calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System CRS score out of 1,200.
All applicants are given a score out of 1200 after creating their Express Entry profile. The score depends on factors that play a vital role in newcomers’ economic success after migrating to Canada. They include your language skills (English and/or French language), job experience, approved Job offers, education, provincial nomination, etc.
These factors are grouped into four (4) major sections:
A. Core or human capital factors: This section gives you points based on your Education, Canadian Work Experience, Age, and Language proficiency. They are essential to economic success for Canadian immigrants.
B. Spouse or common-law partner factors: This section award points based on the accompanying spouse or common-law partner’s Education, Language proficiency, and Canadian Work Experience.
C. Skills transferability: This section adds points based on a combination of factors to your profile. For example, a combination of your Education, Language proficiency, and Non-Canadian Work Experience.
D. Additional points: This section gives 600 additional points for a provincial nomination and other points for a valid job offer, etc.
An Overview of How Points are Awarded
Sections A & B: Human capital factors – Maximum of 500 points
- Age- Maximum points with spouse: 100; without spouse: 110
- Education Level- Maximum points with spouse: 150
- Language proficiency- Maximum points with spouse: 170; without spouse: 160
- Canadian work experience- Maximum points with spouse: 80
Section C: Skill transferability factors – Maximum of 100 points
- Education Level- Maximum points: 50
- Foreign work experience- Maximum points: 50
- Certificate of qualification- Maximum points: 50
Section D: Additional factors – Maximum of 600 points
You can use all the information about Comprehensive Ranking System CRS above to calculate your CRS score provided you follow all four (4) steps.
You could claim any points for work experience if you acquired the experience in Canada or outside Canada. The occupation has to be under NOC skill type 0, A or B, and full-time or a part-time equivalent at least 15 hours per week remunerated and gotten in the past ten (10) years.
TRY -> CRS Score Calculator Tool
#6: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Get into the Express Entry Pool
After you have taken your language tests, and get your ECA (if your credential is not Canadian). The next step is to confirm your eligibility with the Come to Canada Tool and create your Express Entry profile so you can get into the applicant pool.
To get into the pool:
- Use the Come to Canada online tool to verify your eligibility and receive your Personal Reference Code.
- Create a GCKey account and your express entry profile to get in the pool.
Let’s discuss them.
Come to Canada Tool
At this stage, you do not need to provide any supporting documents. You will need the following information:
- Your age
- Your country of nationality
- Your educational qualifications. Give your highest credential as per your ECA (Educational Credential Assessment).
- Indicate if you are single, married, or in a common-law relationship,
- The number of members in your family
- Your language ability. Provide your English or French language test results and exam dates for you and your spouse if applicable
- Your work experience and number of years
- Mention if you have a valid job offer in Canada
- Your destination province(s). Do not select Quebec else you will be deemed inadmissible
- The amount of money you have in your possession.
After filling this information, the Come to Canada tool will show whether you are eligible for Express Entry programs.
It will give you a Personal Reference Code that will be valid for 60 days if you qualify.
Create a GCKey Account and Your Express Entry Profile
Do not create an Express Entry profile if you did not take the language tests and get your ECA because you will have to provide report numbers.
After you create your GCKey account and log in, you will be able to click on an Express Entry button to commence filling your profile. You will also have to provide the Personal Reference Code you got earlier from the Come to Canada tool.
Information Needed to Create Your Express Entry Profile
- Your Personal Reference Code,
- Provide your first, middle, and last name,
- Indicate your gender,
- State your date, city, and country of birth,
- Indicate your marital status,
- Your ID documents data,
- The number of family members dependent on you,
- Mention your settlement funds amount,
- Provide your education history,
- Indicate your ECA date, results, and reference number,
- Your work history and NOC codes for each of your work experience,
- Indicate your language test date, results, and reference number,
- Provide your passport or travel document number, and expiry date,
- Province choice(s)
- Provincial nomination details, if applicable,
- Valid job offer details, if applicable, and
- Representative details, if applicable.
#7: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Submit Your Profile
After you have filled your profile with all the necessary information, you should submit it. After submission, you will get an express entry profile number and a job seeker validation code.
You will need these numbers when registering for the job bank, and if you get nominated for permanent residence from a territorial or provincial government.
You will be placed in the express entry pool if your profile fulfills the express entry requirements and one of the three Express Entry Immigration programs’ criteria (Skilled Trade, Skilled Worker or Canada Experience Class). However, entering the express entry pool is not an automatic guarantee that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
When you enter the express entry pool, you will be scored based on the Comprehensive Ranking System CRS. If your score meets the lowest score set by the Immigration Minister during the periodic express entry draws, you will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Job Bank registration is no longer compulsory for Express Entry candidates.
#8: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
An Invitation to Apply (ITA) is a letter issued to the Express Entry pool’s successful candidates. These are candidates whose CRS score is above the cut-off threshold score determined in each express entry draw. The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) sends this letter, and the candidate will get it in the correspondence section of the Express Entry profile.
You can only apply for permanent residence after receiving the ITA. Receiving the ITA means within a matter of months, you can now settle in Canada with a Permanent Resident (PR) status. The ITA is only valid for sixty days so it would be best to prepare your supporting documents beforehand.
NOTE: Receiving an Invitation to Apply does not mean you have automatically received permanent residence, you have to follow some crucial steps to make sure you submit your application perfectly.
If you are eligible to apply under multiple Express Entry programs then apply in this order:
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC),
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, then
- Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program.
What Happens if You Decline or Do Not Reply to the ITA
Your profile will be moved back to the Express Entry pool and will stay active to receive future invitations if you decline the ITA. However, if you do not respond by declining or accepting, your ITA will expire and your Express Entry profile will stop being active. If you wish to be included in future draws, you will have to create a new profile.
What Happens Post Invitation to Apply (ITA)
While you are accepting your ITA, you will be invited to fill other forms similar to the ones you submitted for your Express Entry profile. However, you will be requested to provide more information.
For instance, you will be asked to provide your address and travel history for the last 10 years or from your eighteenth birthday. For people who travel a lot, this could be a challenge. The maximum number of address or travel entries is 30.
If you have travelled or changed addresses more than 30 times in the past 10 years or from your 18th birthday, you will have to write a Letter of Explanation (LoE) with a table that retraces all that information and then upload it with your supporting documents.
After you complete filling your forms, you will then upload all the needed documents on your personalized document checklist page.
#9: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Tips and Advice for Your Document Checklist
After receiving an Invitation to Apply and upload the necessary supporting documents. Proceed and ensure you know how to provide all the right documents. These tips will help:
- Start gathering your documents as soon as possible because you will only have 60 days to gather all your documents after receiving your ITA.
- Some documents will take you more than two months to provide, so look into them get on with them early. For example, some police certificates require months to be issued so check the processing time for receiving the police certificate you might need and plan accordingly.
- Check, double-check, and triple-check all your documents to avoid errors. You may not be able to change mistakes at the last minute.
- Take your time to go through your documents before receiving your ITA so you don’t have to re-issue any document that contains a mistake.
- You will have only one spot to upload your documents for a section. If you have several documents to upload, you will have to merge them into ONE PDF document, that is less than 4MB.
- If you feel like one of your documents might raise even the slightest question from an immigration officer, then you should add a Letter of Explanation (LoE).
- If one of your documents is not written in English or French, you must upload a French or English translation by a certified translator with his or her attestation. The translator has to be a certified member of a professional translation association.
NOTE: You cannot ask your family member to translate your documents, it will not be accepted by IRCC.
#10: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> From Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to Passport Request (PPR)
After uploading the requested documents, the system will take you to Declaration, Disclosure and Electronic signature pages. Click on “Agree” on the Declaration, Disclosure and Electronic signature pages, and you will receive a table with a summary of your fees for your e-APR.
You can use a Visa, American Express or Mastercard credit or debit card to pay your fees.
These are the three (3) fees you have to pay:
1. You and your family members’ processing fee
A processing fee for everyone who will accompany you to Canada on your application. The processing fee is $825 for one person and $225 for each dependent child.
The processing fee is non-refundable once IRCC starts processing your application. However, if your application is not complete, IRCC will refund your processing fee.
2. The Right of Permanent Residence Fee
The right of permanent residence fee is $500 for each person, and there is no fee for dependent children. You can decide to pay this fee at the same time you pay your processing fee or after IRCC approves your application. However, paying early might speed up your application process.
If you withdraw your application or if it is refused, IRCC will refund this fee.
3. Biometrics fee
If you are from a country that needs your biometric data, you and your family members (except children below age 14) have to provide biometric data. Individual applicants pay $85, while for families applying jointly, the fee is up to $170.
READ ALSO -> Cost of Express Entry
Receiving your AOR (Acknowledgment of Receipt)
After you submit your electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR), you will get an “Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR)”. The AOR confirms that IRCC received your application for permanent residence in Canada and has created a file with your application number.
After you receive your AOR, you have to report any significant change in your situation to IRCC.
The Trend from AOR to PPR
Based on what happens with most applicants, your application will likely follow the following path:
- Background check: Not Applicable (NA1) – Once you submit your EE application and receive your AOR, the “Background check” section of your application status will indicate “Not applicable.”. This status will remain the same until your medical results are reviewed and validated.
- Medical results Review: Medicals passed (MEP) – Approximately one month after you receive your AOR, you should get this message: “You passed the medical exam“. Usually, it takes more time for applicants who have a provincial nomination.
- Background check: In Progress (IP1) – Either the same day, or one or two days after the MEP update, your “Background check” section will change and indicate “Your application is in progress.
- Background check: Not Applicable (NA2) – After you complete your IP1, your “Background check” section will go back to “Not Applicable.” Usually, the IP1 only takes a few hours, and you will miss the update if you do not check your account during that brief window.
- Background check: In Progress (IP2) – At this stage, the “Background check” status message will change to “We are processing your background check. we will send you a message if we need more information“. After you complete the IP2 stage, the Passport Request (PPR) email will be sent to you if you paid the Right of Permanent Residence Fees upfront. PPR emails take around 7 to 20 days after the IP2 stage.
- Background Check: Not Applicable (NA3) – This message means that your IP2 is completed. Sometimes, this “Background check” status may not be displayed and PPR is triggered while your IP2 status is still visible.
- PPR: Passport Request – You will get the long awaited e-mail directly in your e-mail account and you may not get any update in your Express Entry account. Ensure you check your junk e-mail folder, because usually, the e-mail does not come from IRCC but from your country’s embassy.
- CoPR: Confirmation of Permanent Residence.
#11: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration -> Prepare for Your landing in Canada
Now the sweet part! Learn all you need about living in Canada, its largest cities, its education and healthcare systems, what things you need to do first when you arrive in Canada, etc. Also, know how much express entry to Canada will cost you and prepare in line.
MORE -> Packing List for Canada
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
Final Words: Step-by-Step Guide to Canada Immigration
Now that we’ve covered the step-by-step guide to Canadian immigration, you’re one step closer to your goal. The next step is to start applying these points.
Remember, to get an invitation to apply for permanent residence, you have to stand out from the crowd. So, assess your application following this guide thoroughly.
Applying for Canadian immigration or a Canadian visa can be a hassle to wrap your head around especially with the strict deadlines, processes, and requirements. To avoid making a mistake that could cost you your chance to immigrate to Canada, follow this our DIY (Do-it-Yourself) guide to make your entire Canadian immigration journey stress-free.
Did you find this guide beneficial? Do you have other suggestions that could be helpful to other readers? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s chat!
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Charee Oisamoje is the founder of CanadaWiz. She leads the editorial team, which is comprised of subject matter experts that aim to create well-researched, highly detailed content related to studying, working, immigrating, and settling/living in Canada as a newcomer.
Charee's personal experiences as a Canadian immigrant and her professional competencies make her uniquely qualified on the subject matter.
With extensive educational credentials, she is an expert at collecting details, verifying facts, and making complex subjects easy to understand. MBA in Finance MScIB CCEA (#CCG 271) CPA Candidate ✔️CIP ✔️BSc Accounting
Learn More >> About Page
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