Express Entry|Step-by-Step Guide in 2021

Express Entry step-by-step guide will let you know all you need to do and understand to apply for permanent residence under Express Entry. Click on each step to find the necessary actions you will need to take.

If you can estimate your language and credential levels, you can check first if you could be eligible to Express Entry, go to the 4th step. 

Extra points in Express Entry to help increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec

Step ​1. Finding your NOC (National Occupational Classification)

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the official resource used by all Canadian governmental bodies in relation with job/occupational information. This is a means to provide a standard structure for analysis and assessment, gathering more than 500 NOC codes. Each NOC code represents in average 60 job titles, and each NOC is organized by skill level (A, B, C or D) or skill type (0).

Main NOC skill type or levels

For immigration purposes, the main job skill type or levels are:

  • Skill Type 0: occupations related to management, such as factory managers, resort managers, or office managers.
  • Skill Level A: professional occupations that usually need a university degree, such as chemists, veterinarians, or pharmacists.
  • Skill Level B: technical occupations that usually require a college diploma or apprentice training, such as administrative assistants, firefighters, photographers.
  • Skill Level C: intermediate occupation that usually need a high school diploma, such as truck drivers, travel guides, or receptionists.
  • Skill Level D: labour occupation that usually only require training, such as dry cleaners, kitchen helpers, or receptionists.

You have to make sure you are using the 2016 version of the NOC. 2006 and 2011 versions also exist and there are differences with the 2016 version that is currently in use by IRCC.  

NOC requirements for Express Entry

To be eligible under the three federal programs of Express Entry, you must have previous work experience under either skill type 0, or level A or B.

How to identify your correct NOC?

You can begin by looking into the NOC website and search for the NOC job code whose description would be the most comparable to your current job. You need to base your NOC code search on job duties and not job titles.

Job duties are the most important because when submitting your proof of work experience, it has to include your job duties. IRCC will compare your job duties with those set out in the NOC job code. You should focus on the lead statement (first paragraph) and the main duties in the NOC job code.

Another option would be to use the JobBank website. Find a job opening that matches your current job (or any previous job) and whose job duties match yours. On the job opening page, you can find the corresponding NOC code in the “Job Market Information” page. 

​You can find the full list of NOC code jobs HERE

Step 2. Getting your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) 

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is used to check the Canadian equivalency of a foreign degree, diploma or certificate. For example, an ECA will determine if an applicant’s foreign Master’s degree is of the same standard when compared to a Canadian Master’s degree. If your credential is awarded in Canada by a Canadian educational body, you do need to provide an ECA.

For the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), you do not need a minimum education level to qualify for Express Entry. However, you can still get CRS points for any secondary education you’ve had outside Canada (if you apply for the ECA for your diploma). 

List of IRCC-designated organizations

There are seven designated organizations for ECAs:

​Keep in mind that ECA report must be issued on or after the date IRCC designated the organization.

​Most applicants will be able to get their ECA done by selecting one of the first 5 designated organizations from the list above.

If you are a specialist physician (NOC 3111) or general practitioner/family physician (NOC 3112), the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) must do the ECA for your primary medical diploma.

If you are a pharmacist (NOC 3131) and need a license to practice (for example, providing patient care in a community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, etc.), the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) must do your ECA.

ECA validity period

An ECA is valid for a period of 5 years from the date it is issued. To be accepted by IRCC, the ECA must not be more than five years old on the date that IRCC gets (i) your Express Entry profile, and (ii) your application for permanent residence.

Comparative table of the 5 designated organizations 

The price includes all the credentials you want to add (except for CES, which is the price per credential). Include all your credentials, so as not to pay an additional fee and waste time if you want to assess another credential later.

CES University of Toronto
Price (excl. taxes)$210$200$220$200$200
Processing time14 weeks20 weeks7 weeks12 weeks8 weeks
Canada Delivery (excl. taxes)Standard: free
Courier: 25$
Standard: N.A.
Courier: 25$
Standard: $7
Courier: 25$
Standard: N.A.
Courier: 15$
Standard: free
Courier: 26$
International Delivery (excl. taxes)Standard: $10
Courier: $90
Standard: N.A
Courier: $85
Standard: N.A.
Courier: $85
Standard: N.A.
Courier: $75
Standard: N.A.
Courier: $75
Express Entry|Step-by-Step Guide in 2021

​The obvious choice here is WES being the quickest of them all, and not that more expensive than the other providers.

The processing time is approximative and begin once a complete application is received. Processing times can also depend on the volume of applications received. We recommend using WES, below is a guide for getting your ECA from them, and some few tips.

Step 3. Taking your English and/or French language tests

Language tests are one of the eligibility requirements for all 3 programs under Express Entry:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
  • Canadian Experience Class.

The minimum requirements for language are different for the 3 programs. You can check the language requirements by program here.

Candidates are awarded CRS points based on their English and French Language ability, but you will have to take IRCC-approved tests to earn those points.

IRCC-approved tests

There two approved English tests and two for French:

  • IRCC-approved English tests:
    • IELTS: you must take the “General Training” option and not the “Academic Training”. There are tests location pretty much everywhere in the world (140 countries) and fees are around $320, depending on the country. You can find a location for your test here. You should get your results within 14 days.
    • CELPIP: you must take the “General Test” option and not the “General LS Test”. You can only take the test in Canada, Dubai, Chandigarh, Manila and New York, and fees vary between $265 and $340 depending on the country. You can book your test here. You should get your results within 8 business days (or 3-4 business days if you add a $100 to $150 fee, depending on your test location).
  • IRCC-approved French tests:
    • TEF Canada: you must take either the paper or online based (e-TEF) test. They have locations pretty much everywhere in the world and fees are around $300, depending on the country. You can find a location for your test here. You should get your results within 3 to 4 weeks.
    • TCF Canada: you can also take this test in various locations around the world, for a fees of around $300. You can find a location for your test here. Results will be available 15 working days after the CEIP receives your session material.

Don’t ask for your language test results to be sent directly to IRCC. You will have to upload a scanned copy of your results with your complete application.

Canada changing travel restrictions to allow more families to reunite

Language test results validity

Your test results must be less than two years old when you (i) complete your Express Entry profile and (ii) apply for permanent residence.

How to convert your test results

For each test, there is a conversion table from the test mark per ability (speaking, reading, listening, writing) to the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB). CLBs are the norm for assessing language ability by IRCC. Click on each test below to see the conversion table:IELTS General TrainingCELPIP General TestTEF CanadaTCF CanadaYour results, when converted to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), can be used to calculate your CRS score. Find out in Step 5 of this guide how many CRS points your results get you. 

Why are CRS language points so important?

Language tests are high points earners. You will see a significant rise in your CRS points with higher language scores. So it is wise to practice and give your best for the language tests.

Beside the fact that you will get more CRS language points with a better CLB (for example, for your first language and if you are single, when you improve your score from CLB 7 to 8 in each ability, you will get 6 x 4 = 24 more points), there are other additional points you could get from skill transferability factors and from French abilities:

  • You could get 30 additional points if you have CLB 7 in French and CLB 5 in English (in all abilities).
  • You could get 15 additional points if have CLB 7 in French and less than CLB 5 in English or no English test results at all.
  • You could get up to an additional 100 points from skill transferability factors. For more details on that, you will need to go to the CRS page.

How to practice your tests

There are lots of books and study sessions available in your country to prepare for the tests. However, they are not free.

For free material, you could check the following resources:

  • For IELTS:
    • Sample test questions from the IELTS website,
    • When you register for an IELTS test, you will be provided with two free mock tests,
    • IELTS Advantage
  • For TEF Canada:
    • With the Français 3.0 app, you have a few free mock exam questions,
    • Some tutorials here.
  • For TCF Canada: here.

Step 4. Checking your eligibility to Express Entry

Minimum Eligibility Criteria For FSW, FST and CEC

To qualify for applying to permanent residence under Express Entry for one of the three programs, there are minimum eligibility requirements that need to be met. Below is the list of requirements of each program:

Federal Skilled Workers (FSW)To be eligible under the Federal Skilled Workers program, you will need to have at least 67 points out of a 100 in the following grid used to assess candidates. Do not try to calculate your CRS score before getting at least the minimum 67 points needed to be able to apply.

If you haven’t done your Education Credential Assessment (ECA), and/or passed your language tests, you can try and guess your points. You can try the free Degree Equivalency Tool from WES to have an idea on your Canadian equivalency. The free Equivalency tool is not a replacement for ECA and is only there to give you an indication of what your Canadian Equivalency “may be” in your official ECA results.

Keep in mind that you cannot enter the pool without having your ECA and language results in hand.Education (Max 25 points)Experience (Max 15 points)Age (Max 12 points)Language ability (Max 28 points)Adaptability (Max 10 points)Arranged employment in Canada (Max 10 points)

To be eligible, you must also plan to live outside the province of Quebec. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.Federal Skilled Trades (FST)To be eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades program, you must:

  1. plan to live outside the province of Quebec. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information,
  2. have the required levels in English or French, meaning CLB5 for listening and speaking, and CLB4 for writing and reading,
  3. have experience in a skilled trade of minimum two years, full-time (30 h/week, or an equivalent amount part-time), in the last 5 years,
  4. prove that your skilled trade experience meets the essential duties set out in the NOC,
  5. have a valid full-time job offer of at least one year in duration, or have a certificate of qualification (see below for more information).

Your skilled trade work experience must be from these major and minor groups of the NOC:​

Group 632 – Chefs and cooksGroup 633 – Butchers and bakersGroup 72 – Industrial, electrical and construction tradesGroup 73 – Maintenance and equipment operations tradeGroup 82 – Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related productionGroup 92 – Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
​If you want a certificate of qualification, you will most likely need to be assessed by the regulatory body of the province or territory you are planning to work at. You may also have to gain training and work experience in Canada in order to obtain a certificate of qualification. Each province/territory has its own regulatory bodies, and we advise you to use the CICIC website for more information. Type in your NOC code, and it will tell you if the occupation is regulated in each province/territory, and if so, which body regulated it.

You do not need to have a minimum education level for the FST Program. However, if you have a degree, diploma or certificate, you can earn extra CRS points. You will have to request an ECA if your diploma is not from CanadaCanadian Experience Class (CEC)To qualify for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) through Express Entry, you must:

  • have, within the past three years, minimum one year of NOC skill type/level 0, A or B work experience in Canada (either full-time, 30 h/week, or an equivalent amount part-time, at least 15 h/week), 
  • not plan to live in the Quebec province,
  • have legally gained your job experience in Canada (with a work permit), and
  • have the minimum language levels needed for your job in each of the four language abilities (writing, speaking, listening, reading):
    • CLB7 for NOC skill level/type 0 or A jobs, or
    • CLB5 for NOC skill type B jobs.

Self-employment and internships do not count under this program.

You do not need to have a minimum education level for the CEC. However, if you have a degree, diploma or certificate, you can earn extra CRS points. You will have to request an ECA if your diploma is not from Canada.

Proof of Work Experience

An important thing to know is that, in order to prove your work experience, you will need to provide a signed letter from your current or previous supervisor/HR officer, containing, amongst other basic information, the duties and responsibilities as set out in your 2016 NOC. There are some options you can take if you cannot obtain that document, you can find more information on the supporting documents to provide here.

Proof of Funds Requirements

For candidates invited under the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) and the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) programs, you need to prove that you have enough liquid assets to support your family and yourself during the first few months after arrival in Canada, unless:

Candidates invited under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) do not need to provide proof of funds.

To see what are the minimum funds required and how to provide proof of settlement funds, click here.

Admissibility to Canada Requirements

Some people are not allowed to enter Canada. They are known as “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law. To find out why you might not be allowed entry and if there are any options available to you in that case, click here.

Step 5. Calculating your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score

All applicants who create their Express Entry profile are given a score, out of 1,200, based on factors that play an important role in the economic success of the newcomers once they migrate to Canada. These factors include your job experience, language skills (English and/or French), education, approved Job offer, provincial nomination etc.

Overview of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

Express Entry candidates are given a score out of 1,200 based on the four major sections:

  • A. Core / human capital factors: these include points for Age, Education, Canadian Work Experience and Language proficiency. These are considered as key to economic success for immigrants.
  • B. Spouse or common-law partner factors: these include the accompanying spouse or common-law partner’s Language proficiency, Education, and Canadian Work Experience.
  • C. Skills transferability: this section provides additional points to your profile that are based on a combination of factors, e.g a combination of your Education, Language proficiency, and/or Non-Canadian Work Experience.
  • D. Additional points: This section awards 600 additional points for a Provincial nomination, and other additional points for a valid job offer, etc..

The table below summarizes the maximum points that can be awarded for each factor. Be careful to look into each factor’s detailed tab to calculate your CRS score.

Section/FactorMaximum CRS points with spouse/partnerMaximum CRS points without spouse/partner
A & B. Core / human capital factors
  Education level150150
  Language proficiency170160
  Canadian work experience8080
Total A & B.500500
C. Skill transferability factors
  Combination of (i) Education and (ii) Language proficiency OR Canadian work experience5050
  Combination of (i) Non-Canadian work experience and (ii) Language proficiency OR Canadian work experience5050
  Combination of (i) a Certificate of qualification and (ii) Language proficiency5050
Total C.100100
D. Additional points
  Provincial nomination600600
  Valid job offer200200
  French abilities5050
  Sibling in Canada (citizen or permanent resident)1515
Total D.600600
TOTAL A + B + C + D12001200
Express Entry|Step-by-Step Guide in 2021

Sections A & B. Human capital factors (Max 500 points)

Age (Max points: 100 with spouse, 110 without)Education Level (Max points: 150 points)Language proficiency (Max points: 170 with spouse, 160 without)Canadian work experience (Max points: 80 points)

Section C. Skill transferability factors (Max 100 points)

Education Level (Maximum 50 points)Foreign work experience (Maximum 50 points)Certificate of qualification (Maximum 50 points)

Section D. Additional factors (Max 600 points)

Additional factors 
With all of this information about the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), you should be able to calculate your own CRS score if you followed steps 1 to 4. You can use this tool here that will calculate your CRS score.

Claiming points for Work Experience

To be able to claim any points for work experience, it must be:

  • acquired by the foreign national in Canada or outside Canada in an occupation under NOC skill type/level 0, A or B,
  • full-time (or the equivalent in part-time, at least 15h/week), 
  • remunerated, and
  • acquired in the last 10 years.​

Step 6. Getting into the Express Entry Pool

There are two main steps to enter into the pool: (i) using the Come to Canada tool to confirm eligibility and get your Personal Reference Code, and (ii) create a GCKey account and your profile to get in the pool. This article will help you navigate through this process.

Come to Canada Tool

You can use the Come to Canada tool here. There is no need to provide any supporting document at this stage, not even your name. Before you start, you need the below information:

  • Age,
  • Country of nationality,
  • Education qualifications: enter your highest credential as per your Educational Credential Assessment,
  • If single, married or in a common-law relationship,
  • Number of members in your family,
  • Language ability: English and/or French language test results and exam dates for you, and your spouse/partner if applicable,
  • Number of years of Work experience,
  • If you have a valid job offer in Canada,
  • Your destination province(s) (do not choose Quebec or you will be deemed inadmissible), and
  • The amount of money you have in your possession.

You can fill in the required information in the Come to Canada tool in under 10 minutes. Based on your answers, the tool will show whether you are eligible for Express Entry programs, and if so will give you a Personal Reference Code (below the confirmation of eligibility page from the Come to Canada tool will look like), valid for 60 days. Come to Canada eligibility results

Create a GCKey account and Express Entry profile

You should absolutely not create an Express Entry profile if you did not take the language test(s) and gotten your ECA. You will be asked for your report numbers.

​The second step is to create a GCKey account. Go to this page, and choose GCKey (the other option is for Canadian citizens or residents), and choose to sign up. You will have to choose a username, a password, and 4 questions and their answers as security questions (make sure you memorize the 4 questions and answers you choose, as each time you connect to your account, you will be asked one of these questions after entering your login and password). 

When inside your GCKey account, you will be able to click on an Express Entry button to begin filling your profile. Express Entry button in your account

When creating your profile you will be asked for the Personal Reference Code that we got earlier from the Come to Canada tool. Fill up the code in the relevant field, and it will automatically fill in some of the information already given in the Come to Canada tool.

​In order to create your Express Entry profile, you will need to enter detailed information on the following :

  1. Personal Reference Code,
  2. First name, middle name, last name, 
  3. Gender,
  4. Date, country, and city of birth,
  5. Marital status,
  6. ID documents data,
  7. Number of dependent family members,  
  8. Settlement funds amount,
  9. Education history,
  10. Education Credential Assessment date, results, and reference number,
  11. Language test date, results, and reference number,
  12. Work history and National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes for each work experience,
  13. Passport or travel document number, expiry date,
  14. Choice(s) of province,
  15. Details of Provincial nomination, if applicable,
  16. Details of valid job offer, if applicable, and
  17. Details about representative, if applicable.

Examples for forms to fill in your Express Entry profile you will have 60 days to fill up and submit your profile. You will then get in the pool of candidates.

Step 7. Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

What is an Invitation to Apply (ITA)?

An Invitation to Apply (ITA) is a letter issued to the lucky candidates in the Express Entry pool who have a CRS score above the cut-off threshold score as determined in each draw. The letter is sent by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and received in the correspondance section of the Express Entry profile. Only after receiving the ITA that a candidate is allowed to apply for permanent residence.

When IRCC conducts a draw from the pool, candidates who meet the cut-off threshold are invited to apply for permanent residence. The receipt of an invitation to apply means the candidate is now in a position to settle in Canada with permanent resident status within a matter of months.

​However, receiving an ITA does not mean receiving permanent residence automatically, there are crucial steps to ensure you submit the perfect application.  

The number of ITA issued by IRCC to Express Entry candidates has been increasing each year since the system was put in place (2015). The upward trend will continue between 2019 and 2021, as suggested by Canada’s immigration plan for the period. To have an idea:

  • ITAs issued in 2015: 31,063.
  • ITAs issued in 2016: 33,782.
  • ITAs issued in 2017: 86,023. 
  • ITAs issued in 2018: 89,800.

What happens if I am eligible to multiple Express Entry programs

In that case, you will be invited to apply for one program based on this order:

  1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC),
  2. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, then
  3. Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program.

​Due to COVID-19, no application in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation. IRCC will automatically give you 90 days to complete the steps needed to complete your application (such as providing biometrics, submitting passport or supporting documents, completing medical exam, etc.). Once you’re able to, complete the steps as soon as possible to avoid delays. Use the web form to upload any missing document.

Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

IRCC issues Invitations to Apply (ITA) to candidates who are ranked highest in the pool by a process commonly called a “Draw” or “Round of Invitations”. So it is important to score high in your CRS to be issued an ITA. You can find here what are the latest cut-off threshold CRS score.

If your Express Entry profile is active and your CRS score is equal or more than the cut-off score for a particular draw then you will be issued an ITA (for some draws, not all candidates at the cut-off score received an ITA, only those who have been the longest on the pool with that score receive an ITA, depending on the total number of ITA issued).

​You will receive a letter through your account. Your ITA will specify the program that you should be submitting your application for, your CRS score with a breakdown and the date by which you should submit the electronic application for permanent residence. It also provides guidance on the next steps that you can take post receiving the ITA.
An ITA is only valid for 60 days and extending the deadline is not possible. It is therefore in the best interest of candidates to prepare the supporting documents beforehand, including gathering, and reviewing and scanning them (documents have to be in PDF format under 4MB). For example, some documents, such as police certificates, may need more than 60 days to be delivered by the proper authorities.Example of ITA letter

What happens if I decline the ITA or let the ITA expire?

There are three scenarios that every Express Entry applicant must note of :

  • If you accept the ITA: you should submit your complete Application for Permanent Residence within 60 calendar days of ITA issue date. It is always advisable to not wait till the last day as you may get negatively impacted due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g technical issues).
  • If you decline the ITA: If you decline the ITA, your profile will be moved back to the Express Entry pool and will remain Active to receive future invites.
  • If you do not respond: If you do not respond by “Accepting” or “Declining” the ITA then your ITA will expire and your Express Entry profile will no longer be active. You will need to create a new profile if you wish to be included in future draws.

Post Invitation to Apply

When accepting your ITA, you will be invited to fill other forms. Most of them are quite similar to the ones you already submitted for your Express Entry profile, however you will be asked to provide more details. 

You will be asked, for example, to provide your address history AND your travel history for the past 10 years (or from your 18th birthday). This could be quite difficult for those travelling a lot. There is a maximum of 30 entries for your address or you travel history, and if you think you’ve travelled or changed addresses more than 30 times in the last 10 years (or from your 18th birthday), you should write Letter of Explanation (LoE) with a table retracing all that information, that you can upload with your supporting documents. 

After completing your forms, a personalized document checklist page will be created and will let you upload all the necessary documents IRCC is asking for.

Step 8. Your document checklist: Tips and Advice

There is no need to upload any documents during the Express Entry profile creation process. The scanned copy of your documents needs to be uploaded during your post Invitation to Apply (ITA) stage.

When should I start gathering documents?

As soon as possible! As you only have 60 days to gather all documents after receiving your ITA, you should look for the documents that might take you more than 2 months to provide.

For example, some police certificates need months to be issued. You should check which police certificate you might need to apply for and check the processing times for receiving yours, and plan accordingly.

You also have to check, double-check, and then triple-check all the documents you already have, such as passports, degrees, marriage/divorce certificates etc. If you find out that there’s an error or a discrepancy at the last minute, you will not be able to correct it. Take your time before getting your ITA to go through your documents multiple times, so you will enough time and no stress to re-issue any document that includes a mistake.

When do I have to upload documents and in which format?

Your personalized document checklist is created after filling the post-ITA application forms. ​This checklist is dynamic and changes based on the information you have supplied in your post-ITA application form. You should provide all documents that appear in your Personalized Document Checklist. 

For each of the following sections (e.g passport, police certificates, …), you will have only one spot to upload your documents. If you have multiple documents to upload, you will need to merge them into ONE PDF document, that has LESS THAN 4 MB. You can use Smallpdf (free but after a few tries, you will have to wait an hour before trying again) to merge, compress or convert your documents, so you can have the right document to upload.

Applications that do not contain the following documents will likely be rejected as incomplete. To read about some common errors that previous applicants have made in their application, check this link.

Documents of identity and marital status

Passport MarriedIn a common-law unionDivorcedWidowedHave dependent childrenHave adopted childrenDigital photograph

Mandatory Documents 

Medical ExamPolice certificateSettlement funds

Documents for claiming CRS points

Work experienceStudiesValid job offerCertificate of qualificationRelative in Canada

Other documents

Other nameUse of representative

When do I write a Letter of Explanation (LoE)?

If you feel like a document you are submitting might raise the slightest question from an immigration officer, you should add a Letter of Explanation (LoE) (sample in the link) to your documents. For example, if it concerns your passport section, then add your LoE to the PDF file that you will upload to the passport section. 

When and how to translate documents?

Translations in Canada
If one of your documents is not written in French or in English, you must also upload:

  • a French or English translation, and
  • an affidavit or attestation from the person who completed the translation.
    • If the translation has been done in by a certified translator (member of a territorial or provincial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada), they have to provide an attestation which states that the translation is accurate and true.
    • If the translation has been done by an uncertified translator, they must submit an affidavit (signed in the presence of a commissioner of oaths, stating that the translation is accurate and true).

Translations outside Canada
If one of your documents is not written in French or in English, you must also upload a French or English translation by a certified translator. The translator needs to be a member of a professional translation association, evidenced by a membership number or stamp in the certified translation.

In both cases, you cannot ask one of your family members (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, partner, grandfather, grandmother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or first cousin) to translate your documents, it will not be accepted.

As a precaution, you should get your documents translated by a certified translator.

Step 9. From Acknowledgement of Receipt (AoR) to Passeport Request (PPR)

Once you have uploaded all requested documents, the system will take you to pages related to Declaration, Disclosure and Electronic signature. “Agree” to the Declaration, Disclosure and Electronic signature pages and you will see a table with a summary of fees that you need to pay for your e-APR. You can pay your fees using Visa, American Express or Mastercard credit card.

How much will I have to pay?

There are three fees that you will have to pay:

1. The Processing Fee for you and your family members

When you apply, you need to pay a processing fee for everyone who will come to Canada with you on your application. The processing fee is $825 per person, and $225 for each dependent child.

IRCC won’t refund the processing fee once they have begun processing your application. If your application isn’t complete, IRCC will refund your processing fee.

2. The Right of Permanent Residence Fee

The right of permanent residence fee is $500 per person. There is no fee for dependent children. You can either pay this fee early on at the same time as your Processing Fee, or when IRCC approves your application. Paying this fee early may speed up the application process.

IRCC will refund this fee if you withdraw your application or if your application is refused.

3. The Biometrics fee

If you are from a country that requires your biometric data, you and your family members (except children under the age of 14) must provide biometric data. For an individual applicant, the cost is $85, and for a family applying jointly, the fee is up to $170.

For more information on how much would Express Entry cost you, check out this page.

Receiving your Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR)

After submitting your electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR), you will receive an “Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR)” which serves as a confirmation that your application for permanent residence in Canada was received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and they have created a file with your application number. This is more popularly called as AOR date and is the date from when your 6 months intended processing time begins.

After your AOR you must report any significant change to your circumstances to IRCC, such as a change:

  • in circumstances such as the loss of a job offer or a Provincial or Territorial nomination,
  • in family composition including newborn children, adopted children, divorce, marriage etc,
  • of address, including change of e-mail address, or
  • of immigration representative.

Status updates from AOR to PPR

Generally, your application will follow the following path after receiving the AOR. This is the trend which is happening with most of the applicants. It may or may not match with your application process:

  • Background check: Not Applicable (NA1) – As soon as you submit your EE application, and receive your AOR, the “Background check” section of your application status will say “Not applicable.”. This status will generally not change until your medical results are reviewed and validated.
  • Review of medical results: Medicals passed (MEP) – Approximately one month after your AOR, you should receive this message: “You passed the medical exam“. It will typically take more time for applicants with a provincial nomination.
  • Background check: In Progress (IP1) – Either the same day, one or two days after the MEP update, your “Background check” section will change to “Your application is in progress. We will send you a message when we start your background check.”. 
  • Background check: Not Applicable (NA2) – After your IP1 is finished, your “Background check” section will revert to “Not Applicable.”. Most of the time, IP1 only takes a few hours, and if you do not check your account during that short window, you will miss the update.
  • Background check: In Progress (IP2) –  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 completion of the IP2 stage, the Passport Request (PPR) e-mail is sent if the applicant already paid the Right of Permanent Residence Fees upfront. PPR e-mails are taking 7-20 days after the IP2 stage.  
  • Background Check: Not Applicable (NA3) – This means that IP2 is finished. This “Background check” status will not be displayed in some cases, and PPR is triggered while the IP2 status is still visible.
  • PPR: Passport Request – You will receive the golden e-mail directly to your e-mail account and you may not get an update in your Express Entry account. You should check your junk e-mail folder, as the e-mail does not come from IRCC but from your country’s embassy (usually).
  • CoPR: Confirmation of Permanent Residence

Generally, messages will be like below right after your AOR:

Example of application status in Express Entry Canada

Step 10. Preparing your landing in Canada

You have applied and received the proper immigration documents and entry visas to live in Canada, but you do not know how to prepare for what to expect when you arrive?

​Our Before Landing section’s goal is to provide you with the tools, resources, and information needed to get acquainted with the Canadian way of life.

The articles in this section will help you address some of the following questioning:

  • Where should I settle?
  • What is the healthcare system like?
  • How do can I bring/send money?
  • What do I need to prepare before leaving my home country?
  • What type of weather should I expect when landing?
  • What’s the education system like for my children?
  • How and can I bring my pet with me?

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