Have questions about moving to Canada? Here are the answers to the questions we are asked most frequently about Express Entry.

Which immigration programs do I qualify for?

There are a lot of different ways to immigrate depending on your specific professional and educational backgrounds as well as your familial history. Take our quiz that will help to identify what kind of options might apply to you.

Do I need an immigration attorney?

No, you don’t need an attorney to get through the immigration process. The CIC does not require a lawyer and all of the programs are setup in a way that you can navigate them on your own. You can gather all of the documents you need without hiring a third party.

However, if you find yourself overwhelmed with all the details and confused about how to get all of the required information together, it might not be a bad idea. Keep in mind that having an attorney won’t increase your chances of immigrating, nor will it speed up the process.

Do I qualify for Express Entry?

Chances are that if you’re under 35, have an advanced degree, and 2+ years of work experience in an applicable NOC field, then you’re likely to get over 450 points, which will likely qualify you to apply for Express Entry. You can check with a third-party calculator tool to see how many points you’re likely to get with your specific qualifications.

Take our quiz to find out which programs you’re likely to qualify for based on your professional, educational, and family background.

Can I immigrate if I’m over 35?

If you’re over 35, your chances of immigrating through Express Entry are significantly less, no matter what sort of job experience you have. Canada is looking for active professionals that will be able to contribute to the economy for an extended period of time, so if you’re nearing the end of your career, it’s less likely that you will be be invited through one of the Express Entry programs.

There are other ways to immigrate aside from Express Entry. Take our quiz to see if you’d qualify for any other immigration programs.

How long does it take to go through Express Entry?

Permanent resident status is typically granted about 6 months after your completed application is submitted for Express Entry. This assumes that nothing is missing and all of the information you supplied is accurate. One important side note is that some of the information you’ll need to submit for your application can take several months to collect, so the 6 month timeline starts only when you submit the application. In reality, it will take around 3 months to collect all the documents you’ll need to submit PLUS 6 months for the CIC to process your application and grant you permanent residency.

Can I immigrate without a job offer?

Yes. You do not need a job offer in order to qualify for Express Entry. Having a job offer will increase your score but it is not a requirement. 

Take our quiz to find out which programs you’re likely to qualify for based on your own scenario.

How do I find a job in Canada?

Finding a job in Canada before you arrive can be difficult, especially if you require a work permit. However, it’s not impossible. Your chances differ dramatically depending on your industry,  experience, and personal connections. Arranging for a work permit adds a layer of expense and complexity for employers. Even if you don’t require a work permit, employers may prefer local candidates who they can meet with multiple times.

One of the best ways to find a job in Canada before you actually move is to apply to jobs from abroad and schedule interviews during visits to Canada. Obviously, that may not be realistic. If you have friends in Canada, list their address on your resume, or simply list the city you’ll be moving to. 

You can easily begin the job search before you move to Canada. Even if you don’t find a job before you arrive, you’ll be in a better position to find work right away.

What is the minimum number of points I need to qualify for Express Entry?

There is no official minimum number of points, but the lowest CRS score that’s resulted in an invitation to apply has been 450. You can use a third-party score calculator to find out approximately how many points you’ll wind up with. If you’re under 450, you might still qualify for other immigration programs, but chances are you won’t be able to apply for Express Entry.

Take our quiz to find out if there are any other immigration programs that might work for you.

How can I increase my points for Express Entry

Your Express Entry ranking is determined mostly by things that are difficult to change: your age, work history, education, and language skills. Here’s how you can increase your CRS score.

If I’m married do we both apply for immigration or just one of us?

If you’re married you can decide which of you is more likely to qualify for one of the immigration programs. Once you’re accepted into an immigration program, your spouse is automatically granted residency as well. When the CIC processes your application, it will automatically give permanent (PR) resident status to the both of you. Having PR will enable both of you to work legally in Canada. Depending on which program you apply for, your spouse will be able to submit information in order to increase your score.

Can I move to Canada if I marry a Canadian?

Yes…and no. Being married to a Canadian does not automatically grant your citizenship, permanent residency, or even the ability to legally work in Canada. Assuming that you are eligible to move to Canada your spouse will first need to apply to sponsor your immigration. Then, you will need to apply for permanent residence. Concurrently, you can also apply for an “open work permit” that will allow you to find a job in Canada while your permanent residency application is in process.

Do I need to speak French?

Fluency in French is only a requirement if you’re trying to immigrate to Quebec. If you intend to settle in any other province, you will only need to prove fluency in either English or French. Speaking both languages will get you extra points if you’re applying through Express Entry, which might be enough to get you over the 450 mark if you’re close.