How to Apply for Express Entry to Canada
These are the steps required to make a successful Express Entry application to Canada:
Determine Your Eligibility
Before you apply for Express Entry you need to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be eligible for one of the three economic immigration programs that are managed through Express Entry:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The eligibility requirements for each of these Canadian immigration programs are as follows:
Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- At least one year of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid work experience in a skilled occupation listed in the National
- Occupational Classification (NOC) system at skill level 0, A, or B
- Language proficiency in either English or French at a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7
- A minimum of a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma or equivalent
- Proof of funds to support oneself and any dependents
- FSWP applicants must also score 67 points on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- At least two years of continuous full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid work experience in a skilled trade listed in the NOC system at skill level B.
- Language proficiency in either English or French at a minimum CLB level 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing.
- An offer of employment from a Canadian employer OR a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial authority
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- At least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the last three years before applying.
- Language proficiency in either English or French at a minimum CLB level 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs, and CLB level 5 for NOC B jobs.
- Meet the required language levels for each ability (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
- A minimum of a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma or equivalent.
- Proof of funds to support oneself and any dependents.
Get Your Language Proficiency Tests
You must demonstrate your language proficiency in English or French by taking one of the recognized language tests. The exact score required for language proficiency in Express Entry depends on the language test being used to evaluate the candidate’s language skills.
For the English language candidates must take an approved language test in either the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and score the following minimum levels in the four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) in either test:
Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB)
- CLB 7 for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- CLB 5 for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
For the French language candidates must take an approved language test in either the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) or the Test de connaissance du français (TCF) and score at least:
- NCLC (Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens) 7 for the FSWP and CEC
- NCLC 5 for the FSTP
Create an Online Profile
You need to create an online profile on the Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Calculate Your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score
Your CRS score is based on age, education, language proficiency, adaptability and work experience.
Submit Your Profile to the Express Entry Pool
Once your profile is complete you submit it to the Express Entry pool. If you meet the eligibility criteria for one of the immigration programs you will be placed in the pool and ranked according to your CRS score.
Here is a step by step guide to submit your Express Entry profile:
- Create an online account: Go to the IRCC website (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/account.html) and click on “Sign up” under “Need an account?”. You will be asked to provide your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, email address, and create a password. You will then receive an email with a verification link to activate your account.
- Log in to your account: Once you have verified your email, log in to your account using your email and password. You will also be given a GC Key which is a unique identification code that will be used to access your application.
- Start a new Express Entry profile: Once you have logged in, click on “Start my Express Entry profile”. You will then be taken to a page with several questions to determine your eligibility for Express Entry.
- Provide your personal information: The first section of the profile will ask for your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, contact details, and passport information.
- Provide your language test results: The next section will ask for your language test results. You will need to provide the test date and the score you received for each of the four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening). You can choose to provide results for either English or French, or both.
- Provide your education history: In the next section, you will need to provide your education history, including your highest level of education completed, the name of the institution, the country where it was completed, and the dates attended. If you completed your education outside of Canada you will also need to provide your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
- Provide your work experience: The next section will ask for your work experience.
- Calculate your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score: Once you have provided all the necessary information, the system will calculate your CRS score based on the information you have provided. You will then be ranked against other applicants in the Express Entry pool.
- Submit your profile: Once you have reviewed your profile and made sure all the information is correct, you can submit your profile to the Express Entry pool. Your profile will be valid for one year, after which you will need to update it if you want to remain in the pool.
GC Key Problems
The GC Key is a secure online login that allows you to access Government of Canada’s online services, including the Express Entry system for immigration. You will need to create a GC Key account to submit your Express Entry profile, apply for permanent residence, and manage your application.
Many people experience problems with the GC Key for Express Entry. This is how to fix them:
If you’re having trouble accessing your GC Key account or experiencing a loop, you can try using a different browser or clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. This can sometimes help to resolve technical issues that are causing the problem. You can also try disabling any browser extensions or add-ons that might be interfering with your GC Key login.
To reset your GC Key password, you can visit the GC Key login page and select the “Forgot your password?” option. You will then be prompted to answer a security question or provide your email address to reset your password.
If you are still experiencing issues with your GC Key, you can contact the IRCC technical support team by phone at 1-888-242-2100 or through their web form at https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=416&top=15. They will be able to assist you with any technical issues related to your GC Key account.
Receive an Invitation to Apply
If you are among the highest scoring candidates in the pool you may receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada. You will have 60 days to submit a complete application.
Submit Your Application for Permanent Residence
You will need to submit a complete application for permanent residence, including supporting documents such as police certificates.
Wait for a Decision
The processing time for Express Entry applications varies depending on a range of factors including the number of applications received.