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  Canada Immigration Forum > Immigration & Citizenship > Independent Category > My Express Entry migration to Canada - Aditi Kashikar
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My Express Entry migration to Canada - Aditi Kashikar




https://medium.com/@aditik7/my-express-entry-migration-to-canada-ef4d5b97fc0d

My Express Entry migration to Canada

It has been a year since I received my Canadian permanent resident visa freshly stamped on my Indian passport. I went through a smorgasbord of feelings from elation to relief to bittersweet moments (reminding me that it was soon time to bid adieu to my loved ones in India).

Without much ado, let me get down to the brass tacks of my journey in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Express Entry system that the Canadian government introduced in 2015 to streamline immigration that was burdened by a huge backlog of applications that were being processed on a first come-first served basis. I am singling out the FSW program because this is the one that I was a part of and have experience in. Canada has a myriad other immigration options for skilled workers, namely, the Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) for each province. These are a little more complex than the FSW, only in terms of their ever-changing requirements and short windows of opportunities to apply. There are lots of resources available online to help you navigate the PNPs and find the one that suits you best.

Coming back to the FSW, you need to first complete two essential tasks -getting your educational credentials evaluated and appearing for language test(s) to prove your basic proficiency in either of Canadas official languages  English or French. Please note the either because you do not need proficiency in both (although having it will add more points to your immigration score).

I opted to have my Indian Bachelors and Masters degrees evaluated by WES (World Education Services) in Canada. They have an evaluation report specially catered to meet the Canadian Immigration departments needs. You can find more information here: https://www.wes.org/ca/eca/.

Having completed my Bachelors degree from Bangalore University, I dreaded the thought of overcoming the bureaucracy I would inevitably have to face to obtain attested copies of my transcripts for the WES evaluation. Luckily, some browsing online revealed a gem of a service run by a company in Bangalore called ClearTranscripts. Like WES, they too have a special service for applicants to obtain official transcripts from their educational institutions and deliver them directly to WES Canada. ClearTranscripts streamlined workflow and efficient staff made this otherwise onerous task a breeze for me. You need to give ClearTranscript anywhere between three to four weeks to get your transcripts. This duration obviously changes depending on the bureaucracy (or lack of it!) at your educational institution.

After receiving your official transcripts, WES Canada takes another two to three weeks to prepare the evaluation report (ECA), which outlines the equivalency of your foreign educational credentials to those in Canada. The good thing is that WES Canada also provides electronic (PDF) copies of your report apart from mailing you an original one. The electronic report has a report number that you will need to enter in your Express Entry profile, which I will get to later on.

To prove English language proficiency, I opted for the IELTS General module test administered by IDP Australia. There is also a test administered by the British Council. There were rumors floating that the British Councils test is tougher than the IDPs test, but these are just that  rumors and nothing more! I would recommend the IDPs test only because it is scheduled more number of times in a month than the British Councils test. For those that have working proficiency of French, I would highly recommend appearing for the TEF (Test dEvaluation de Franais) because as of June 2017, the Canadian government added bonus points for those proficient in both English and French. See the following post for more information on this: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2017/03/express_entry_improvementsspring2017.html.
IDP usually takes two weeks to release your scores via text message, and another week to mail the test reports. You will need to wait to create your Express Entry profile until you receive your reports because there is a report number that you need to use to substantiate your language proficiency in your Express Entry profile.

Armed with your educational credentials evaluation report and test scores, you are now ready to officially check your eligibility online using the Government of Canadas Come to Canada tool. I say officially because you can use another tool (yeah, yet another!) called the CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) tool with guesstimates to calculate your CRS score to know if you are eligible or way off the mark before investing in the above two tasks, which arent exactly easy on the pocket! A WES Canada evaluation can set you back by about Rs. 20,000 and the IELTS and TEF are not very far behind on that count. Look at the CRS tool as a useful guide at the beginning of a trail who gives you an idea of what lies ahead and what you need to achieve to get to your destination. More on the CRS score and its implications later.

Coming back to the Come to Canada tool, it takes you through a straightforward questionnaire about your work experience in Canada and abroad. One thing to note is that it would be a good idea to zero in on your NOC (National Occupation Classification), so that you identify just the right NOC that matches your area of work. You can use the NOC tool to help you with that. This has a bearing on your permanent residence application later on, because you will need to substantiate your work experience in the NOC with work experience and job duties letters from your current and past employers.

If the tool finds that you are eligible to migrate to Canada under the FSW program, you receive a personal reference code, which you can use to register an online Express Entry profile on the Canadian governments my CIC portal. The procedure to create an account is just as simple and streamlined as the other tools we have encountered so far. As a foreigner (someone applying for immigration from outside Canada), I opted for the GCKey option in which you register a username and password.

With your login credentials set, you are now ready to fill in and complete the much-needed Express Entry profile. Look at it like some kind of a LinkedIn/Indeed job profile with a few more personal details thrown in. Here too, Id like to call out the ease with which you can navigate through the various forms and wizards to paint a compelling picture of yourself to your potential adoptive nation. Just be careful not to get too carried away in painting as compelling a picture as possible because everything that you mention in your Express Entry profile will need to be substantiated with documents if you are picked from the Express Entry pool and invited to apply for permanent residence.

Now that your details are transmitted, your profile is active in the pool, and you know your CRS score, you receive an email and document from the Canadian government with what to expect next. By the way, getting your profile into the pool in a timely manner is the new need of the hour due to changes I have noticed in the current process that were affected by the Canadian government having to deal with a large number of applicants in the pool. In the event of a tie between applicants having the same CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score for a particular draw, I believe the applicant who submits their profile earlier takes precedence over the other.

The Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) system basically works on a simple premise to rank applicants based on the various criteria entered in their profiles  age, education, experience, job offer, relatives in Canada, and so on. Every fortnight, the Canadian government runs Express Entry draws with a designated cut-off score announced at the beginning of the draw. Applicants with CRS scores higher than the cut-off qualify to receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residence. Applicants that dont qualify need to wait till the next fortnightly draw and hope that the CRS score lowers to meet theirs.

With the current Liberal governments stance of increasing immigration levels over the next few years, I definitely saw a substantial dip in the CRS scores through most of 2017. However, with an increasing pool of applicants, the last few months of 2018 have seen the CRS score mostly hovering around the 440445 mark. The draws website is a good place to keep an eye on the prevalent scores, while the previous draws page helps to plot trends and predict upcoming cut-off scores.

If youre lucky to meet the CRS score cut-off, you receive an ITA, which is an email and document from the Canadian government giving you 60 days (for those who received their ITA after June 26, 2018, or the earlier 90-day timeline for those who received an ITA prior to June 26, 2018) to accept the invitation (and if you change your mind, even decline it), and submit your permanent residence application. This is where I find a lot of people (myself included) tend to get a bit unnerved (for fear of making a mistake in their application that could lead to a potential rejection). Im here to tell you that your fears are unfounded! It is this very fear that drives a lot of people (with genuine histories) to the hordes of (unscrupulous) immigration consultants that are out there to literally milk you. Trust me, I have been there and experienced a few of them first hand. Not that all immigration consultants are unscrupulous; there are a few out there who are worth consulting, but you need to really assess and ask yourself if you are doing it out of fear, or is it something more.

The Canadian immigration process was overhauled, simplified, and streamlined to form the Express Entry system just so that eligible skilled workers having genuine credentials and work experience could navigate it themselves, resulting in fewer overheads.

Back to the 90-day timeline, which is set in stone by the Canadian government, but sufficient enough to obtain the required documentation to substantiate your profile details. At this stage, you already have your passport, education transcripts and certificates, language test reports, educational credential evaluation reports, and work experience letters. The only documents that you would need to focus on getting would be job duties letters (not a deal breaker!) from your current and past employers that outline your roles and responsibilities as closely to your chosen NOC, a police clearance certificate (PCC), a medical report, and digital and hard copies of your photo (measuring certain specifications).

Lets tackle these one-by-one.

You should be able to work with your manager/supervisor and HR team to draft a job duties for this purpose. If you are still in touch with your past employers, it would be useful to obtain similar letters from them too. I have seen that most people have encountered ex-employers who are helpful and reasonably accommodate such requests.

You can get a PCC within a few hours from the nearest passport office after scheduling an appointment online and taking the required documents with you. The passport office I visited in Bangalore was very efficient and left me with a sense of pride on seeing how efficient things have become.

For the medical report, you need to schedule an appointment and undergo some mandatory medical exams at a designated IRCC-approved diagnostic center in your city. The center is not obligated to reveal the results of your medical exams; however, if there is something of dire consequence to the applicant, they are humane enough to let you know, so that you can consider treatment. In normal cases, your medical report is electronically transmitted to the Canadian government; however, you are given a document with a reference that you can upload with your application.

Now that you have all of the documents needed, you are all set and ready to upload them, pay the required fees using your credit card, and submit your permanent residence application. You will receive a confirmation (known as Acknowledgement of Receipt or AOR in immigration jargon), which is yet another email and document from the government outlining the next steps. The countdown to process your application begins from this AOR date. My application was approved within three months and I believe that the pace has not decreased. You can track the stages your application goes through using a neat dashboard in your my CIC portal. I must warn you that the stages can sometimes seem rather random and illogical, but they typically follow something like this:

AOR → Medicals Passed → Background check in progress → Background check not applicable → Background check in progress → PPR (Passport Request)

The PPR stage more or less signifies you have received your Canadian permanent residence. You receive a Ready for Visa email from the Canadian government outlining the next steps. These involve submitting your passport and a copy of the email, along with two recent photographs (per the specifications outlined) to the nearest VFS Global center in your city. My wait time at the VFS center was about an hour, but the submission process went smoothly. The only slight glitch is that you need to pay the required fees by cash, so ensure that you withdraw sufficient cash before heading to the center. I opted to collect my passport from the same center; however, I know a lot of people who have had it safely delivered by VFS for an extra fee to their house.

I received my passport with the permanent residence visa affixed in it, photographs, and Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document exactly after a week. The photographs and COPR need to be handed over to the Immigration officer at the port of landing. More on this in a subsequent post.


And this brings me to the end of this story. I will share more on my pre- and post-landing experiences in subsequent posts. I hope this post has been useful to those of you thinking of immigrating to Canada. Please feel free to reach out to me with your questions and feedback. Cheers and good luck!


 
Last edited by: MITRON on 10-07-18 12:31:32
MITRON

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Post ID: 237155 10-07-18 12:24:18
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MITRON
Senior Desi
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Posts: 152
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:cheers:

 
Post ID: 237156 10-07-18 12:25:40
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tamilkuravan
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Member since: Jun 05




Posts: 5740
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Good information.
A lot of mosquitoes in India are asking me the procedure for immigrating to India, soonest.

I shall ask them to review this article.

Murali

-----------------------------------------------------------------
I am a Gents and not a Ladies.

 
Post ID: 237163 11-07-18 05:14:07
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MITRON
Senior Desi
Member since: Sep 17




Posts: 152
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Quote:
Originally posted by tamilkuravan

Good information.
A lot of mosquitoes in India are asking me the procedure for immigrating to India, soonest.

I shall ask them to review this article.

Murali



why don't you charge them for this information?


 
Post ID: 237177 17-07-18 21:42:55
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