Updated: Jul 11
Are you tired of dealing with visa issue? Frustrated about changing government policies that keep affecting you? Follow this easy step-by-step guide to learn how how to get Permanent Residency in Canada.
Frustrated with immigration issues?
Why I moved…
A lot of people want to move to Canada for various reasons: to have a chance at a better life, not having to worry about visa issues or to progress in their career. I moved to Canada in 2018 after living in the US (mostly Boston, MA) for 8 years. When I lived in the US as an international student, I had an F1 visa and went through the process of applying for OPT, visa renewals and being denied a chance at receiving an H1B visa after Trump’s re-election.
Eventually, I decided that I was tired of the uncertainty. So I applied to move to Canada to gain stability and provide myself an opportunity to begin building my life and career. Although relocating to Canada was not an easy transition (see 5 ways to deal with homesickness), gaining my stability was the first step.
At the Nathan Philip’s square, Toronto.
In this article, I will focus on the Express Entry Program (also known as the Federal Skilled Workers Program, FSW). This program aims to attract skilled workers to Canada. Before starting your application, you must consider the following five questions.
Are you between the ages of 18-29?
Do you have at least a Bachelor’s degree or Masters/PhD degree (preferable)?
Have you worked for at least 2 years in a skilled role?
Do you have or can you score at least 7.5 in each section of the IELTS exam?
Would you be able to raise $10,000USD ($12,500CAD) to support yourself (and your family)?
In order to increase your chances at qualifying for this program, you have to answer YES to all of those questions. Otherwise you risk beginning an application when you’re not yet qualified for the program.
However, if you have a limiting factor that significantly cuts your CRS points (age is a common one), your best bet will be to secure a job in Canada first, and use that as leverage to increase your points for the program. Alternatively, you could also apply through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
“As an international student who had been on an F1 visa and gone through the process of applying for OPT, visa renewals and being denied a chance at an H1B visa after Trump’s re-election, I decided I was tired of the uncertainty. So I applied to move to Canada to gain stability and provide myself an opportunity to begin building my life and career.”
How does the Express Entry process work?
The Express Entry program is an online application that seeks to fast track the process of getting skilled workers permanent residence in Canada. In order to apply for the Express Entry Program, you need to meet certain criteria and gain points to qualify.
If you would like to learn more about each step in the process, click on the following links to read more:
Step 1: Determine if you’re eligible
Alternatively, you can watch this video to learn about the whole process and mistakes to avoid here:
After you’ve completed those 5 steps, the waiting period begins. According to the Canadian government, the process takes up to 6 months after document submission. However, depending on several factors, it could be longer or shorter for different applicants. I applied from the US and my process took 1.5 months after I submitted my final application (after ITA). However, I know other people whose process took up to 7 months, due to issues in their application, delays or backlogs beyond their control.
During this period, the CIC will continue to communicate with you via the online portal. As a result, it is important that you respond to requests for additional information or clarifications in a timely manner. You can also track the status of your application in your online portal to see what documentation is being reviewed, or if you’ll need to get your biometrics done, for example.
If this process goes well, you will eventually receive an email requesting that you send your passport to Ottawa or the nearest visa office in your country of residence for the visa stamping. This means that you’re close to the finish line! Your passport will be stamped with a one entry visa for your landing in Canada, while you await your permanent residence card in the mail. This can take up to 3 months, so it is advisable to not travel out of Canada until you’ve received this card. Otherwise, and if applicable, you’ll need to submit a visa application to re-enter the country.
Overall, the Express Entry process is straightforward if you are thorough and organized. Canada provides numerous opportunities and a chance at building the life you want. Check out the following to learn more about transitioning to life in Canada: (Life after Express Entry landing)
Note: If you would like one-on-one support with the Express Entry process and to ensure you dot all your Ts and cross your Is, contact me for more assistance.