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 Express Entry 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

What you’ll need to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry:

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

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