Document checklist

Make sure your Express Entry or IEC application is complete.

Before applying for Express Entry you’ll need to start gathering all of the documents that the CIC will ask for. For some of the requirements, you’ll need to wait several months before you receive the specific document that you’ll be asked to upload as part of your Express Entry profile and application for permanent residency. So, it’s generally a good idea to start gathering everything before you even submit your profile requesting to apply to any of the Express Entry programs. We’ve put together a checklist for all the things you’ll want to have on hand, approximate cost of each, and about how long it can take to get a hold of everything.

There are two different rounds of the application process, first you’ll need to create your Express Entry profile on the CIC website. Then, you’ll be invited to apply for permanent residency status through one of the three economic immigration programs available through Express Entry (Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience, or Federal Skilled Trades).

Since the CIC applies deadlines to each section and it can take several months to gather all the documents, it’s best to have the majority of these documents in hand before you get started. We had all of the paperwork ready to go before we even created our profile since once you get started it all goes so fast. The only exception to this is the medical exam, which you won’t even be eligible to schedule until you’ve already been invited to apply.

What you’ll need to create your profile

Approximate wait time Approximate cost Federal Skilled Worker Canadian Experience Federal Skilled Trades
Education Credential Assessment (ECA) 1-3 months $200 optional optional
     diplomas to submit for the ECA 4 weeks $50 optional optional
     school transcripts to submit for the ECA 4 weeks $50 optional optional
language test (required for everyone, no matter where you are from) 1-3 months $225
passport (valid for at least 1 year) 6 weeks $50
10 years of travel history
10 years of residential history
10 years of job history

Serious about moving?

Get the full story in our book. Find out everything you need to know about moving to Canada without an immigration attorney, from applying for residency, to getting across the border, and getting settled in your new life.

What you’ll need for your Express Entry application

Approximate wait time Approximate cost Federal Skilled Worker Canadian Experience Federal Skilled Trades
Police certificate for each country you’ve lived in as an adult for 6+ months (except Canada) 3-4 months $20
     fingerprints to submit for the police certificate 1 day $25
Medical exam 1-2 months $350
     Passport photos (2) for medical exam 1 day $20
Official letters from all employers for the past 10 years 1-6 months  
Official letters from all qualifying employers in Canada 1 month
Proof of funds unless you have a valid job offer or are already authorized to work in Canada 1 weeeks  
Provincial nomination 1 months optional optional optional
Proof of relationship status (marriage, divorce, etc.) 1 month $20 if applicable if applicable if applicable
Proof of parental status (birth or adoption certificates) 1 month $20 if applicable if applicable if applicable
Written job offer 1 month optional optional optional
Copies of work permits 1 day
T4 slips and NOAs for each year you’ve worked in Canada at a qualifying job 1 day
Passport photos (2) for travel documents 1 day $20
express entry document checklist

Things you need to know for Express Entry

Make sure your profile and application are correct and complete.

How it works

Everything you need to know, from two people who did it.

Finding a job in Canada

Even if you have enough points for an ITA without one, most of us want to find work ASAP.

How to improve your CRS score

These 9 ways will bump up your comprehensive ranking system points without breaking the rules.

Don’t get ahead of yourself

Make sure you have all the information you need to make the right choice for you before you spend hours gathering Express Entry documents.

 

What you need to know

There are a lot of things to think about before moving to another country.

Immigration FAQs

Have questions? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Is this the best way?

There are many different routes to permanent resident status. 

Moving to Canada

You get your visa to move to Canada.

What comes next?

  • Declaring yourself a landed immigrant
  • Getting pets across the border
  • Moving your things through customs without owing duties
  • Getting new IDs, enrolling in health insurance, and getting your SIN

Canada is just like home.

Except for when it’s not. We share what we’ve learned to save you some trouble.

  • Healthcare in Canada
  • Finding a job in Canada
  • Canadian salaries
  • Cross-border banking
  • Filing taxes in Canada as a newcomer
  • Filing taxes as a US citizen living abroad
  • Understanding currency conversion
  • Planning for retirement as an expat
Living in Canada
Living in Toronto

Welcome to Toronto

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, it’s financial capital, and a place where over 50% of residents were born abroad.

There’s more to being Canadian than watching hockey and saying ‘eh.’

Canada isn’t just a colder US, it’s got a culture and history of it’s own. They’re just too modest to brag about it.

  • Becoming a Canadian citizen How long it takes, whether or not you have to give up your US citizenship, and other things you should know before making a decision.
  • Kingdom of Canada How exactly did Canada wind up with a queen and what is a dominion?
  • Canadian Federal Government A 101 guide to Canadian politics
Becoming Canadian

We moved to Canada without an immigration attorney or consultant and you can, too.

Now that we’ve successfully immigrated to Canada from the US using the Express Entry program, we’ve writing the guides we wish we’d had.

Get the full story

What other prospective immigrants have said about our book,
Moving to Canada: A detailed immigration guide from two Americans who’ve done it.

If you want the step by step process on how to immigrate to Canada, here it is. I found the book easy to read, inspiring, and very informative.

Laura J.I.

Useful for getting a general overview of the process all in one place, rather than searching around the internet.

R. Marshall

This book is clearly exhaustively-researched. Each section gives detailed information on how to begin the process of moving to Canada, with super informative with real-world examples and step-by-step instructions. I found the section on health care and taxes especially informative!

Briana Rubin

We are an American couple planning our immigration to Canada through the Express Entry program. This book has been very helpful to aid us in planning and organizing all the steps and timelines for the immigration process. It also has lots of other great information about the actual moving, landing, and transitioning process. If you are a professional looking to navigate through the Canadian immigration program this book is well worth the read. We actually are using it as a reference as well, keeping pages bookmarked and using the spreadsheets and timelines, costs, etc as a model for our own documents.

G.B.

A lot of the other books about moving to Canada talk about what it’s like to live in Canada, whereas this book talks about how to actually get there. A must have for anybody thinking about immigrating.

Carter

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