You have entered the Express Entry pool and received an invitation to apply for permanent residence— now what?
Candidates like yourself can now submit an application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if you want to go through with your plans to immigrate to Canada.
Once you receive an invitation to apply, you will be given a total of 90 days to submit a complete and accurate application. Use this time wisely. If you do not submit an application within 90 days, your invitation will expire. This means that you will have to submit a new Express Entry profile and hope to receive another invitation to apply.
Canada recently invited 27,332 immigration candidates in the largest Express Entry draw ever. These candidates were eligible to become permanent residents through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). As long as their profiles were submitted to the pool before September 12, 2020, they only needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 75 in order to receive an invitation. This was the lowest CRS requirement ever. This huge draw shows that Canada is committed to welcoming over 400,000 immigrants this year.
The first step to submit your application for permanent residence is to gather all your required documentation. Your ITA will tell you whether you have been selected to apply for permanent residence through the CEC or some other Express Entry-managed program. IRCC will provide you with a personalized document checklist through the Express Entry portal, depending on what immigration program you are applying for. Generally, candidates will be required to submit their application with the following documents:
- civil status documents, like a birth certificate for example;
- language tests;
- educational documents;
- work experience documents;
- police certificates;
- proof of funds;
- photos and other documents.
Police clearance certificates are required for any country you lived in for six consecutive months or more, in the last ten years. You do not need to submit police certificates for any time before you were 18 years old. You also do not need to submit police certificates for time spent in Canada until later on in the process.
In addition, you will be required to have a medical exam from a physician that is approved by IRCC. If you wish to learn about the Canada-approved physicians in Canada and abroad, visit the IRCC website.
Candidates usually have to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph). However, if you have given your biometrics in the last 10 years as part of an application for a visitor visa, work or study permit, you do not need to give your biometrics again. This is part of a temporary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have not given your biometrics before, you will be required to do so through the biometric collection site closest to you. If the site is closed, IRCC will automatically extend your deadline to give your biometrics.
You may also be required to provide additional documents depending on your specific situation. It is a good idea to visit your personalized checklist to make sure you prepare all required documents.
Once you have completed your medical, given your biometrics and gathered and uploaded all required documents, you are ready to submit your application.
Processing times can vary. IRCC aims to complete 80 per cent of applications within six months though they acknowledge there may be delays right now due to the coronavirus pandemic.
IRCC may contact you for a short interview before making a final decision on your application. If you are successful, you will be mailed your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). IRCC will then instruct you on what to do next. You may have to go to a port of entry where you will be required to present your COPR and show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family.
If you are outside Canada, you may need to drop off your passport at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) if you need a visa to enter Canada. Once processing is complete, you will be contacted to pick up both your passport and your COPR.
IRCC continues to accept Express Entry applications from people who live outside Canada. Those who are successful may travel to Canada once travel restrictions are lifted. However, seeing as the process may take many months, it is a good idea to enter the Express Entry pool now given the unpredictable nature of the draws. IRCC may invite more candidates currently overseas at any time and may choose to increase their ITAs and decrease their CRS cut-off without warning. In addition, travel restrictions may be lifted by the time you receive your COPR.
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