Friday, 13 May 2016

Express Entry Application - 7 simplified steps


I get torrents of Immigration / Express Entry/ Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) questions from my friends and family members who know I moved to Canada from Nigeria a few years back and want to know-how. Here, I have simplified the process of the Canadian Express Entry application for PR in 7 easy steps as it worked for me and so many others. It is not legal advice.

Here we go.

1.  Get your Language Test requirements done - IELTS /  TEF

You must prove your language skills by taking the language tests required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The English test and French equivalent are the (IELTS) and (TEF) respectively. Your language test results must meet the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), tests result older than 2 years might not be valid. You can get your test done by contacting the relevant language body in your country and scheduling the next available test date. Be prepared even if you are a native English/ French speaker. And you need good points to rank high.

You can read more about the IELTS in our article on what is the IELTS

2. Get your credentials assessed

The express entry application requires your credentials assessed in Canada (all degrees, grad school, any Diploma you have). Request the certificates be sent directly from the issuing school to the applicable accreditation bodies in Canada for an assessment. You will be contacted once your certificates are assessed. I used World Education Services (WES). There are also other credential accreditation services out there.

3. Determine if you are eligible to apply

You can do the eligibility test by answering questions on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.

It takes a few minutes. The Express Entry program is a skill and experience points-based program, categorized under 3 economic immigration programs, the eligibility test you do will reveal if you are eligible to immigrate under one of the immigration programs.

4. Submit your Express Entry Profile

After carrying out your eligibility test above, If you are eligible under one of the economic immigration programs, you will go ahead to create a profile for yourself, create your profile with caution and be truthful at all points. Your profile gets you placed in a pool of candidates. In this pool, you will be ranked based on diverse factors such as age, Canadian Work experience, education e.t.c.

A profile remains in the system for a period of 12 months. Candidates with the topmost rankings will be picked from this pool and invited to apply for their Permanent Residency. Once picked to apply for your PR, the Canadian Government has set a period of 6 months to respond.

Provinces can enter into the pool at any time to select candidates -  if you are selected by a Province to apply for your PR, you will alert the CIC on your selection. This is called Provincial Nomination.

5. Labour Market Impact Assessment- LMIA based Job offer

A job offer in Canada increases your ranking in the pool, hence increases your chances at being invited to apply for a PR. Some candidates get Canadian job offers following a positive LMIA. If you can obtain an LMIA based job offer, may be based on your level of experience, or expertise or whatever you believe gives you an edge, it is worth following up with.

6. Keep your profile updated

You can view your total points on your created profile. You can also view the lowest points acceptable per time from your profile, this will help you pace yourself and know if you need to increase your points to be ranked higher. You can update your profile with your most recent qualifications (if any) or if a job is offered to you by an employer after an LMIA. These increases your chances of getting an invitation to apply.

7. Apply for your PR

Once you are invited to apply for your PR, do apply. You will have a period of 60 days to do so. Gather your required documents together, no document mix-ups, no falsification, it can only lead to troubles. Be sure to print out the document checklist and mark each document as you submit, document submission can be daunting, stay organized, and cross-check over and over again. Ensure all the requested documents are submitted and properly uploaded.

Jumoke Odepe
Toronto, 2016

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