How Express Entry Immigration Works in Canada (For US Applicants)

In recent years, the number of US citizens looking to move north to Canada has skyrocketed.

If you’re an American and are wanting to move to Canada, you’re not alone.

Every year, Canada accepts roughly 300,000 immigrants into the country (Statista).

Moving to Canada can give you and your family a wealth of opportunities in regards to jobs, education, and health.

However, before you start your journey into the great white north, you’ll need to figure out a way to enter and stay in Canada legally.

Out of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants into Canada every year, a large portion make their way through the Express Entry system.

In this article, you’ll learn what the Express Entry system is, how it works, and what steps you need to take as an American to gain entry into one of the greatest countries on earth.

How to Get Permanent Residency in Canada through Express Entry from US

Immigration can be a difficult process no matter what country you’re moving to—even Canada.

However, one of the easiest ways to immigrate to Canada as a US citizen is through the Express Entry program.

The majority of Canadian immigration applications are processed as Express Entry applications for three different economic immigration programs.

If you qualify for any of the three economic programs, you may be eligible for permanent residency through Canada’s Express Entry program.

The best part about the Express Entry program is that 80% of applicants for permanent residency are processed within 6 months. It’s one of the fastest immigration programs on earth.

If you’re looking to immigrate into Canada but you don’t want to wait years, then this is your best option.

Express Entry into Canada: Three Economic Program Options

In order to apply through the Express Entry system, you need to apply through one of three federal economic immigration streams: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Let’s take a closer look at each of the three programs to see if you would qualify:

1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is created for skilled workers with foreign work experience. In order to be eligible for the FSW Program, you must meet certain education criteria and pass a few other qualifications.

Here are a few of the requirements:

  • Minimum one year skilled work experience
  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French
  • Score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points on the FSW selection grid

2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is created for skilled trades workers with Canadian work experience. You must have a certificate of qualification or a valid job offer in order to qualify.

Here are a few of the requirements:

  • Minimum of two years skilled trade experience
  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French
  • Either of the following:

1) Canadian certificate of qualification to practice in Canada

2) Job offer in Canada for your skilled trade

3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class Program is created for people with Canadian work experience in specific fields.

Here are a few of the requirements:

  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French
  • Minimum of one year work experience in Canada
  • Canadian work experience must be in a skilled position (A, B, NOC 0)
  • Must have a valid work permit
  • One year work experience must have been gained in one of the 3 years leading up to your application

If you’re eligible for any of the three programs above, you can also apply for Express Entry through the Provincial Nominee Program.

If you are nominated in this program, you’ll gain additional points towards your Express Entry application so you can apply quicker.

Something you need to keep in mind is that all of these three programs are score-based. This means that even if you meet the minimum requirements for any of these three programs, your application may still not be approved.

It’s not enough to simply meet the application requirements. Express Entry candidates are assigned a score on their application. Once their score is in, they are ranked against other candidates. And, only the highest-ranking Express Entry candidates will be able to apply to immigrate to Canada from the US.

5 Steps to Apply for Express Entry into Canada from the US

As a US citizen, the best way to immigrate into Canada quickly is through the Express Entry program.

Here are five simple steps to apply through Canada’s online system as an American:

Step 1: Discover If You’re Eligible

Before you fill out a bunch of paperwork, you need to ensure you’re eligible for one of the Express Entry programs.

There are two main ways to find out of you’re eligible for one of the three programs:

  1. Answer a few questions on the Government of Canada Website.
  2. Read the detailed program requirements of each program.

Step 2: Check Your Express Entry Score

If you’re eligible for one of the Express Entry programs, you can submit your profile.

Then, you’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool using the CRS—the Comprehensive Ranking System.

The CRS is a points-based system used to assess and score your Express Entry profile.

It is used to then rank you among other candidates within the pool.

Something important to keep in mind is that you may be eligible for more than one of the three Express Entry programs.

This may increase your odds of gaining a higher score which improves your chances of approval for invitation.

In order to be invited, you’ll have to score above the minimum points score.

You can use the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) tool to get an estimate of your score.

Step 3: Organize All Necessary Documents

When you fill out your profile, you’ll need to have all your documents ready.

This will include (but not limited to) language test results, work permits, job offers, skilled trade certificates, etc.

You should get your documents ready as quickly as possible as some may take a long time to get.

Step 4: Complete Your Profile

Once you have your documents ready, you need to then fill out your Express Entry profile.

This is where you’ll need to provide simple information about yourself.

If you meet eligibility requirements, you’ll be accepted into the pool of candidates and given a CRS score.

Step 5: Receive Your Invitation to Apply for Immigration

If you receive a high-enough score, ranking you among the highest in the candidates pool, you’ll be sent an invitation to apply for Express Entry immigration.

Once you’re invited to apply, you only have 60 days to submit your application. If you don’t submit your application in time, your invitation will expire, so it’s important to apply quickly.

Most complete applications will be processed in under 6 months.

Need Help With Express Entry Immigration into Canada from the US?

Are you an American citizen?

Are you looking to obtain express entry immigration into Canada?

If so, you’ll want to reach out to a Canadian lawyer to help you with the process. For help immigrating from the US into Canada, or, if you have any questions about the Canadian immigration process, reach out to us at Falcon Law.

Right now, we’re offering free virtual consultations for express entry immigration services in Canada.

Click here to book a consultation today.

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