Submitting Your Express Entry Application
Step-by-Step Guide to Submitting Your Express Entry Application
It is now time to complete your Express Entry profile and submit your application.
This process occurs in 3 stages.
- Stage 1 is completing an online quiz to check you are eligible and have the information / documents required to submit your application
- Stage 2 is completing your GC Key account
- Stage 3 is completing and submitting your Express Entry application
Stage 1 – Express Entry Online Quiz for Eligibility
- Go to this page and click on: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp
- Click on “Check Your Eligibility”
- You will now be asked a series of questions that you will answer. These answers will be saved and you will be given a code to use at the Express Entry application stage, at which point this information will reappear in your application. So do answer correctly, however you can change the details at the next stage if you have made any mistakes.
Please remember that your application quiz may have a couple of extra questions depending on which answers you give, as everyone’s situation is different. For example, if you have a job offer you will be asked for a LMIA number for the role (this will be provided by your employer), if you don’t have a job offer you won’t be asked this question.
Let’s get started With Submitting Your Express Entry Application
- First, you’ll be asked which province you would like to live in. Your answer to this question can be changed. It does not mean you are only applying to this province. It is indicative only. For now, just choose a province you prefer.
- Next, you will be asked if you have done an official language test for English or French and you need to select the test that you have. As discussed already in the language test section, you need to have completed your language test to submit an Express Entry application.
- If you have not done your language test you won’t be able to proceed. If you have done tests in both English and French, put your strongest language first.
- You will then be asked to enter the details of the test such as a) the date you took the test b) your test ID number, and c) the scores that you would have received. This information will be on your language test results certificate.
Make sure the results you enter are accurate. As you are answering the questions, the system is assessing your eligibility. The calculations the system makes to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria are based on the information you provide.
- You will then be asked if you did a second language test. If you took tests in both French and English, put your weaker language results here. If you did not take a second language test you would select not.
- You will then be asked how many years of skilled work experience in Canada you have. To claim Canadian Work Experience, your work experience in Canada must have been full-time or part-time equivalent, and it must have been for paid work.
If you have never worked in Canada, you select None. If you have, then you select either less than one year or one year or more, whichever is appropriate.
If you have worked in Canada, you would then select which occupation NOC code you worked under. If you have never worked in Canada, you will select none of the above.
- You are then asked about your skilled work experience outside of Canada. For your work experience to be included in this calculation it must have been work that you completed after qualifying for the occupation. Ie. after you finished your training or education to perform this occupation.
You will be asked how many years of skilled work experience you have in that occupation. Again, your work experience must be paid, and it must be calculated as full-time equivalent experience.
Which work experience counts and which does not, has some complexities in terms of which occupation the experience falls under, so please read our chapter on work experience to get clear on this if you are someone who has worked in a number of different occupations over the past 10 years.
- If your occupation has remained the same, simply calculate the full-time period of total work in your occupation.
- The next question will be about the money you will bring to Canada to support yourself during the first few months. Canada has a specific minimum amount of funds one must have available to access and bring to Canada and this minimum is calculated on the number of members of the family making the application.
Make sure you select the required amount for your application or more, otherwise the system will state you are not eligible for Express Entry at this time. Also note that CEC class applicants and applicants with job offers are exempt from needing to prove funds, yet still the system asks the question.
- Now to Job Offers. You will be asked if you have a valid job offer in Canada. If you have a valid job offer, your employer will have given you a letter of offer, a Labor Market Impact Assessment LMIA letter, a LMIA code number or a Letter of Offer, and a LMIA exemption code. This is the information you will need to input here.
- You will then be asked personal details such as your date of birth followed by questions about your education. This is where you will need the information from your Education Credential Assessment (ECA).
- You will only need to input your highest level of education attained in this section as your points are based on the highest level awarded.
- You will now be asked a series of questions about your links to Canada. These include if you have studied in Canada, worked in Canada, or have a relative in Canada.
If you have a spouse you will now be asked a series of questions about:
- your relationship status
- your spouse’s language tests
- their Canadian residence status
- if they have worked in Canada
- if they have studied in Canada
- if they have an educational ECA
- if they have relatives in Canada and
- if they plan to come to Canada with you
You have now completed your eligibility quiz. Click Next to see your results
Eligibility Quiz Results for Submitting Your Express Entry Application
This page will state that you are either eligible or not eligible at this time for Express Entry.
If you are eligible, the system will state which program you are eligible for.
You will be asked if you want to continue – click Continue.
If you don’t reach the eligibility criteria it will say that it does not appear that you are eligible at this time, however, it will still allow you to continue to create an Express Entry Profile.
This is useful if you know you will shortly be eligible, as you can update the profile once the extra qualifying criteria are met. So, you can also go ahead and click “Continue” and create your profile.
This profile will not be able to enter the Express Entry pool of candidates and therefore will not be able to receive an Invitation to Apply until you update your information showing you now meet the eligibility criteria.
If you made an error in your answers to the quiz, simply click continue and you can correct the information once you have your profile created.
Step 2 – Your Initial Express Entry Profile Account
Once you have clicked continue, you will be taken to a page where you will be asked specific personal information about yourself, as well as some repeated questions from the quiz. Go ahead and fill in this information.
- You must fill in your personal details as they appear on your passport. If your name is different on other personal documents, you must use your name exactly how it appears on your passport, regardless.
- You will be asked to submit a password and security questions. Make sure you write these down somewhere safe as you will need to log in regularly through the application process.
- Now you can go ahead and start filling in all the required fields of information within the express entry profile. You will see that the information is based on expanding the answers given in the quiz.
- You will be asked the details of your partner and children if you have them. You will be asked about your work experience and you will need to submit dates of employment. You will be asked about your education and you will be asked about your dates of education. You will be asked about your proof of funds again, and other forms of ID.
- You do not have to complete this profile straight away. You have 60 days to complete it. You can come back by just logging in again.
Once you have completed all the required information, each section on the page will state that it is “complete”.
At that point you will provide your digital signature by approving the terms and conditions of the application.
Step 3 – Submitting Your Express Entry Application
Congratulations, you are now in the Express Entry Pool of Candidates who can receive an Invitation to Apply to Canada as a permanent resident.
What happens after my Express Entry Profile has been Submitted to the Express Entry Pool of Candidates?
What happens now is that your Express Entry application has it’s CRS or Comprehensive Ranking System score calculated. This is the number that will be used to rank you in the Express Entry Pool against other applicants in your Express Entry Class. This information will appear on your Express Entry Profile when you log back in.
You will now wait to receive an ITA or Invitation to Apply, form the Government of Canada.
This invitation means that, based on the information you provided in your Express Entry profile, the Government would like to offer you the opportunity to submit a full application for Permanent Residency.
Invitations to Apply (ITA’s) are sent out via email and will appear as a notification in your Express Entry Profile. Therefore, do make sure that your contact details in your Express Entry Profile are current and correct.
What should I do while I wait for an Invitation to Apply?
The best thing you can do while waiting for an ITA is to gather all the documents you will need for the next stage of the application process.
Once you receive an ITA, you will have only 60 days to provide all the information they require. You will have to provide scans of a number of documents. Some of these documents require time to obtain and many can be gathered before you receive your ITA.
If you can’t provide the required documents within the 60 days between when you receive your ITA and when it must be submitted, your invitation will expire. You will then have to wait to receive another Invitation to Apply at a later date. Don’t miss your opportunity through not being prepared.
How long will it take to receive an Invitation to Apply after Submitting Your Express Entry Application
This is a very difficult question to answer, as it depends on a number of factors, such as which program you are applying for, how many points you have on your CRS Comprehensive Ranking Score, and how many places the Canadian Government would like to fill at any given time.
Some applicants receive invitations within 10 days and some take many months to receive an invitation. Occasionally, some applicants do not receive an invitation, and once their Express Entry expires they submit again as a fresh Express Entry application and work on increasing their CRS score.
The simple answer is that it is impossible to tell. Usually, the higher the CRS score the sooner you will receive an invitation to apply.
There have been times where Canada offers many invitations and times where they offer fewer. Canada has a very large target in terms of numbers of newcomers they are hoping to attract, so there will be many hundreds of thousands of invitations being made over the next couple of years. Many applicants will realize their dream of moving to Canada.
What happens if my Express Entry Profile expires before I receive an ITA?
As mentioned above, simply resubmit a fresh express entry application as shown above and keep working on increasing your CRS score. Your Express Entry profile will be valid for one year.
If you have not yet received an ITA, simply wait until your Express Entry profile expires and submit a new one. Don’t create a new profile until your old one expires.
Many applicants have received invitations on their second profile, so don’t take not receiving an ITA as a failure, it could simply mean there were more applicant’s during that time, or that Canada made less offers.
Always be on the lookout for ways to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System score to increase your chances. Most importantly – if you don’t have a profile in Express Entry you can’t receive your invitation, so keep your profile live and submitted.
How do I make changes after Submitting Your Express Entry Application
To make changes you simply log in and change your information. You click on the relevant section and then click on the edit option. You change your information and click save and update. It is that simple.
There are many situations where you might need to make changes, such as moving address or even moving to another country, a new job or having a new passport issued, the birth of a child or completing a higher degree.
It is common that people need to update their profile, it is a very simple process. The most important thing is that you do indeed update your profile as your invitation to apply is based on the information you have on your Express Entry profile. If it is incorrect you run the risk of your invitation being withdrawn.
Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com
Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established EmigrateCanada.com more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.
In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as EmigrateCanada.com, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at EmigrateCanada.com and serves as Editor-in-Chief.