How-To Guide for Navigating the Express Entry Program Under Canadian Immigration Law

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Step 1: Understand What Express Entry Is

Express Entry is a system used by Canadian Immigration to manage applications for permanent residence from people who qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, Canadian Experience Class, or part of the Provincial Nominee Programs. The system is designed to fast-track the immigration process for skilled workers.

Step 2: Check If You’re Eligible

To be eligible for Express Entry, you must have work experience in a skilled occupation listed by the Canadian National Occupation Classification (NOC). Your experience must be within the past 10 years and for at least one year continuous. Language proficiency in English or French is also required.

Step 3: Prepare Your Documents

Before starting your application, gather all the necessary documents such as passport, language test results, educational credential assessments (ECA), proof of work experience letter, and police clearance certificates.

Step 4: Create an Online Express Entry Profile

Go to the website and create an Express Entry profile. You’ll be asked to provide information about your skills, work experience, language ability, education, and more. This profile will be used to determine if you’re eligible for an immigration program.

Step 5: Enter the Express Entry Pool

Once your profile is complete, it will be entered into a pool of candidates. You will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on the information provided in your profile. The government regularly conducts Express Entry Draws where they issue Invitations to Apply (ITA) to the highest ranking profiles in the pool.

Step 6: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

If your profile gets selected from the pool during a draw, you’ll receive an ITA. This invitation means you can apply for permanent residence.

Step 7: Apply for Permanent Residence

After receiving an ITA, you have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence. This application will need to include all the necessary documents listed earlier.

Step 8: Wait for the Decision

On completing your application, all you can do is wait. The average processing time for the Express Entry system is six months.

Step 9: Prepare to Move to Canada

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a visa (if applicable). You should then start planning your move to Canada. Also, ensure you make an entry into Canada before your COPR and visa expires.

Step 10: Become a Permanent Resident

Once you arrive in Canada, you’ll become a Permanent Resident (PR). This status gives you the right to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada, and it’s a step closer to applying for citizenship if you so desire.

Note: This guide simplifies the process of applying via the Express Entry system. Due to the complexity of immigration law, considering hiring an immigration lawyer or consultant to help navigate the process might be beneficial.