What is the process of immigrating to Canada?

Canada is one of the popular countries that Indians prefer to immigrate to. Compared to U.K and U.S, getting a permanent residency in Canada is much easier. After you decide to immigrate to Canada, the first things you must know are the process, cost and how much time does it take.

The first step is, to find out which category suits you the best for application. There are three categories: FSW, CEC, and FST.

-FSW or Federal Skilled Worker is anyone whose work is based on their academic degree. For example: doctors, engineers, teachers, accountants, managers and so on.

-CEC or Canadian Experience Class is for those individuals, who already have work experience in Canada.

-FST or Federal Skilled Trades is applicable to anyone who specialised in a particular skill and doesn’t belong to the above categories. For example: designers, chefs, welders, electricians etc.

Once you have decided on your category, the next step is to choose a mode. Canada Immigration offers two modes: Express Entry and PNP or Provincial Nominee Programme. Between these two, Express Entry is the best choice because it allows you to settle anywhere in Canada, whereas PNP only allows you to settle in a particular province.

How Does Express Entry Work?

Immigration procedure through Express entry has few easy steps. First you have to create a profile on the IRCC (Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship, Canada) website. They will ask you basic questions like your age and education and will ask two documents: your IELTS Score card and your ECA(Educational Credential Assessment) certificate.

How to get the ECA and IELTS score?

In order to get your ECA you will have to submit copies of all your degrees to an agency.  www.wes.org is the oldest and the most popular one. They will evaluate your credentials and give a report that identifies and describes your credentials, verifies that your credentials are authentic, and includes an evaluation of the authenticity of your documents. It may also include a grade point average (GPA) equivalency.

To get an IELTS score card, you need to prepare for the IELTS exam with a good personal mentor. Then register with British Council, pick a date and exam centre and take the IELTS test. Once it is done and your performance is evaluated, you will receive your IELTS score card.

Express Entry Pool, CRS score and ITA.

Your profile on IRCC will be complete only after you upload your ECA and IELTS score card. This complete profile then enters the Express Entry pool. Once your profile is in the pool you will get your CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score. If your CRS score is above the cut-off (440-470), then you receive an invitation to apply or the ITA. After receiving ITA you will have to submit all your documents (medical certificates, police verification certificate, financial proof etc.) within 60 days. This is when your Visa Application procedure begins. In about 6 months you can expect to receive a call from the Visa office.

How much time does it take to complete the formalities?

The entire procedure takes about one year to complete.

*Creating profile- Takes no more than an hour.

*Taking IELTS- You need at least 2-3 months preparation to achieve an 8777 score in IELTS. After that you take the exam and get your score card in 13 days.

*Getting ECA- ECA also takes about 2-3 months. You can prepare for IELTS and apply for ECA simultaneously.

*Getting ITA- Depending on your CRS score, getting ITA can take from 16 days to three months. Canada Immigration conducts two draws every month to select candidates for ITA. If your score is above the minimum requirement you can make the cut in the first draw after your application.

*Post-ITA- It takes about 60days to submit your documents and complete the process.

*Visa- Once the documents are submitted, your visa will be ready in 6months.

How much does it cost?

The first thing that will cost you in the Express Entry process is the charge for getting ECA. www.wes.org charges 227CAD (11945INR) to get your credentials verified.

Next is the IELTS. The exam fee is 13250INR which is about 15000 INR, if you include travel. IELTS Coaching for getting an 8777 takes about 30,000INR. So a total of 45-50000INR is needed for IELTS.

Post ITA, the Final Application costs 1140CAD (60,007 INR).


Immigration to Canada through Express Entry is by far, the easiest way. It costs a total of 121945 INR for a single person to complete the procedure. If your documents and credentials are ready then in one year you can see yourself flying off to Canada as a permanent resident.

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About the Author

Indulekha Prabha

My name is Indulekha Prabha. I am an English teacher and a content writer by profession. When I'm not working you can find me writing fiction, reading poetry and painting.

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