It has been 6 months since my husband and I moved to Canada from the U.S. This topic was my Instagram poll winner. During discussions about my book and life here in Canada through my email updates, I received a few questions and I often found myself spending 45 minutes on the phone with multiple friends explaining the exact same process. Hence, I decided that a blog would be an efficient solution.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional immigration consultant and will never be one. Whatever I list in my blog is based on my personal experiences.
There are few things you need to be prepared for, before you begin your journey towards obtaining the Canadian PR.
- IELTS Results
- WES Evaluation for Degree
- Proof of Funds $$$
To those who are new and haven’t done even 1% of your research, this next paragraph is for you, because I will not go over the point system. Let’s be realistic. You are moving to a different country and applying for Permanent Residency. Effort IS & WILL be needed from your end.
Everything about the Express Entry is online. Express Entry is the name of the application process to obtain permanent residency in Canada based on your skills and background. Before you continue reading my blog, I highly recommend you to check out this link here.
Things to keep in mind before you start applying:
- Life History with exact dates (for the past 10 years or since you turned 18; whichever is latest)
The entire process involves a lot of planning especially if you are single and planning to get married soon. You need to plan your timeline because:
- IELTS scores are valid only for 2 years.
- The medical test is valid for 1 year.
- The express entry profile also expires after 1 year.
- Any changes to your status (Ex: Marriage, Death, Divorce, Child etc.) throws off your timeline significantly and the express entry will no longer be in “express” mode. (telling you from personal experience)
What should I start with?
I don’t want to be a spoilsport, but if you have decided to make the move, be ready to spend the next 6 months researching your own self, preparing for a basic English exam and selling your stuff if your application is approved. But, before you celebrate, here is the reality.
- Creating the Express Entry profile is the 1st step but you CANNOT complete one unless you have an IELTS test score result and your WES Evaluations complete for the degree that you claim.
- I had to get 2 evaluations: 1 for Masters and one for Bachelor’s Degree. (I am still debating on the apostrophe)
- This is where planning comes into picture because you will need:
- At least 1 month to book your IELTS General Exam (based on your location)
- WES evaluations can take up anywhere from 30 to 90 days. ( Please refer to WES site for detailed list of documents)
- Enough money in your bank account for proof of funds.
NOTE: I highly recommend spending a minimum of 4 weeks to prepare for IELTS if you need a good score. I had my test in Kansas and the writing exam was paper based. I needed 4 weeks to teach myself how to pick up a pen and write continuously for an hour. I kid you not..I still have a bruise on my second finger. If your test centre has a computer based writing test, you are lucky. So, find out before you book the test. After typing for 7 years, writing for 1 hr continuously is NOT fun.
P.S: I scored 9 in my IELTS exam. *(blushes)*
- One important thing to do before you start applying is to check where you stand and if you are eligible by this wonderful tool.
This is one of the first things that I did before I booked my IELTS exam. With this tool, you will know what your score might look like and you will have a goal for your IELTS test.
I will cover IELTS tips in another blog post.
- Once you have your IELTS score result and your WES evaluations ready, you will need to create an Express Entry profile via this link here.
- A username and password is needed to begin. You will select GC Key option here.
- Express entry profile requires you to fill in details about:
- IELTS test results
- NOC code
- Work Experience in your area of expertise
- Education Assessment credential report – WES
- Identification documents
- Job offer (if applicable)
- provincial nomination (if you have one)
- Note: Do not spend thousands on any consultancy because all the questions are based on you and your life. The form is designed in a way that anyone can fill it.
All the above pointers are self-explanatory except NOC Code.
I had a problem with this and I hope nobody else goes through what I went through.
**NOC Code stands for National Occupational Classification code and each job role has a NOC code based on the govt’s list.
Please make sure you contact your friends/colleagues and relatives who have been through this process or are in the same field as yours before you submit your NOC code.
I had issues with this and my application wasn’t processed earlier because of the confusion relating to the NOC code.
*** One more thing to keep in mind is that one should record or take screenshots of whatever you add in your express entry profile, because you will have to submit PROOFS for all this when your application is picked in the draw based on your score.
- Do not count/add your internship experience in your work experience because Canadian govt., does not consider any job done during the time that you were enrolled in a university full time towards your work experience.
- Example: I worked as a full time intern for 9 months on CPT/OPT. I could not count/add this towards my overall work experience points. See the screenshot below.
- Check out this link to find out more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/canadian-experience-class.html
- Once you complete your express entry profile, you will be allotted a certain score and your score will now be entered in the biweekly pool.
- If your score is equal to or above the qualifying score for that draw, you will receive an application to apply for the PR. (which is another process in itself)
- Nobody knows what the qualifying score will be for that month or week. It is super dynamic and changes based on a variety of factors.
Also, do some research on PNP nominations. I did not have a clue about it in 2018, so I cannot give you any personal suggestions but all I know is that if you get a PNP nomination from any province, 600 points will be automatically added to your profile.
What happens after your profile is picked in the draw will be covered in another blog.
I genuinely hope this blog will be helpful for everyone out there who is looking to move to Canada because it is from someone who has been there and done that.
Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions. I will try my best to answer them based on my personal experiences.
Stay Real, Stay you.