Updated: May 14
In this post I will go over how you can create an Express Entry profile to apply under the Canadian Experience Class in 2022, especially if you want to apply in a common law relationship.
I will leave here a story related to how we plan to create our profile for this program.
You can choose the topic you are interested in according to the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
During 2021, we knew we had to plan ahead for when we would meet the requirements to be able to create our profile for Express Entry.
The last requirement to be met was the one year of experience working in Canada and that was due on February 8, 2022. Around October 2021 we started to outline what were the remaining steps and requirements we needed to complete before that date.
I studied everything about the requirement from the official website and then created an action plan for each of us (my partner and I).
I learned that having our credentials evaluated and the CELPIP exam would score us higher, so we prepared ahead of time.
Short story short, we were able to create our profile on February 08, 2022 and then we started seeing information about the invitation rounds for Express Entry.
Since September 2021 there are no invitations for this category due to a long delay in processing applications.
So here we are waiting (maybe you too) for the invitations to resume. We are confident that in July 2022 the drawings will start again.
1. What is Express Entry?
Express Entry is an online system that Canada uses for people to apply for permanent residence.
This system is managed with scores, each applicant creates a profile and each of their qualifications gives a score.
When you create a profile, you enter a pool of candidates (similar to Working Holiday).
The best scores have the possibility to be selected and receive an invitation to apply, unlike the working holiday, the higher the score, the higher the possibility to be selected.
Under the Express Entry umbrella there are 3 different programs:
Federal Skilled Worker Program: you can apply for this program even if you have never been to Canada. It is usually used for people with professional profiles living in their home countries to come to Canada. You can find more information on this official website.
Federal Skilled Trades Program: This program is offered to skilled workers in a skilled trade such as cooks and chefs, equipment maintenance and operation trades, industrial, electrical and construction trades, among others. More information can be found here.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC): We will focus on this program because it is the one you normally qualify for, once you have been working in Canada for at least 12 months on a Working Holiday for example.
2. How does the Canadian Experience Class work?
In general, the following minimum requirements must be met to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class:
Have 1 year of work experience in Canada, within the last 3 years before applying, in NOC 0 A or B positions.
No job offer required (but you get more points if you have one).
No education required (but having an educational credential assessment gives you more points).
To check in more detail all the requirements, you can read the information here
If you want to apply as a family, there is a main applicant and your spouse or common-law partner must be included as a dependent.
3. Determine your National Occupational Classification (NOC)
First, you may be wondering what NOC is.
NOC stands for National Occupational Classification; Canada has a list in which it classifies each job (occupation) with a number so you can easily identify what the position and related duties are.
On this official website you can find out what your NOC should be, you can filter by job name.
How do I know what my NOC is? I requested a letter from my employer for my partner's work permit application and they sent me the information from that letter.
4. Work experience in Canada
One of the requirements for you is to have at least 1 year of qualifying work experience in Canada under NOC 0, A or B.
To be considered 1 year of experience you have the following options:
Full time in a job: 30 hours/week for 12 months= 1 year full time (1,560 hours).
Equal amount in a part-time job: e.g., 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours). You can work in as many part-time jobs as you need to meet this requirement.
Full-time work in more than one job: 30 hours/week for 12 months in more than one job = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours).
5. Determine your language level
To create your profile you need to have taken one of the available exams that are accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), this can be IELTS or CELPIP.
In my case, I took the CELPIP exam, if you want to explore more about this exam, visit this post.
The level of English you must meet will depend on the type of job you have.
If you have a NOC 0 or A (professional jobs) you will need to get a CLB 7. On the other hand, if you have a NOC B (Technical jobs & skilled trades) you will need CLB 5.
Keep in mind that you will need the result to create your profile, so plan your scheduling and test preparation so that you can create your profile in time.
6. Getting your Educational Credential Assessment
As I mentioned before, for this category there are no education requirements, BUT if you want to improve your ranking in the Express Entry pool you can get an educational credentials assessment for immigration purposes and increase your chance of being chosen.
We did our credentials assessment and it gave us 133 points for the pool, so we recommend it. For more details on how we did this credential evaluation visit the post How to get an educational credential assessment (ECA) for employment and immigration purposes.
So far, if you've gone through the above points and you know you meet the requirements. Let's jump right into the system and move on to creating the profile.
7. Summary of what you need to create your profile
In summary, to create your profile you will need at least the following
Passport (I assume you have it)
Language test results (CELPIP general or IELTS general)
Canadian work experience
Know your NOC
The following will help increase your score if you have one:
Written job offer for an employer in Canada
Certificate of qualification in a trade occupation issued by a Canadian province or territory
8. Log in or register with Canada.ca
With the above information, enter the official website and you should see a page where you have to choose whether to read the content in English or in French. Choose the language of your preference
Click on Immigration and Citizenship
Click on My application
Click on Sign in or create an account
Log in with your GCKey if you already have one. If you do not have one, create an account.
Read the terms and conditions and accept them if you agree.
You will be logged into your account and will be able to see all your previous applications and permits (if any). Next, scroll down and you will see the Apply to come to Canada option.
A personal checklist will appear and you should select the Express Entry (EE) option - for the purpose of this post.
9. Find out if you are eligible to apply.
Once you click on Express Entry (EE). You will complete a checklist to see if you are eligible to apply for it.
9.1 Province or territory where you plan to live
Choose to include which province or territory you plan to live in.
If you do not know, you can choose the place of your choice. If you want to check what you should take into account to choose the best place to live in Canada, visit this post.
The drop down menu will open and you will choose what you want. In our case, we live in Ontario and chose that option.
9.2 Language level
Next, you have to choose which language test you have taken. For English you will have the IELTS or the CELPIP. If you tested French as well you will have the TEF and the TCF.
Include when you took the test
Include what the result was in each of the skills tested.
If you took more than one test, you must include it here.
9.3 Work experience
The questionnaire will ask you how many years of experience you have working in Canada. Respond according to your personal situation.
If you have completed all the information so far and are eligible to apply, you should see a message like this one
Once you click continue you will begin to fill in your profile information so pay attention to the details of each item.
10. Complete the Express Entry Profile
In this step you must fill in identification information, gender, date of birth and click next.
Then you must include your marital status, in our case we checked common-law in this option. Answer according to your personal situation.
Then comes a confirmation question asking if that person or people will accompany you to Canada.
In our case, we checked yes, so a new series of questions appeared to identify my family member
Once you have answered all of the above, you will be presented with a series of options to continue completing your profile. This is an example with our profile.
As you can see there are several categories to complete, let's go through them one by one as follows:
10.1 Personal details
Within this category you must confirm your name, make sure that it is written the same as in your passport and click on next
You must include the information from the personal description below
your marital status
then the system will ask you if you have a passport or other identity document.
Depending on your answers it should open something like this to complete the information.
You will then be asked to answer questions about your application history in Canada.
Then questions about your family members are included.
Once you finish this section you can click on Save and Exit to go to the next section to complete.
10.2 Contact details
Here you will be asked which language you prefer to use to receive correspondence
your email address
and click save and exit to go to the next section.
10.3 Study and languages
The system will ask you for your level of education.
In my case, the answer was yes, so more questions are displayed to complete.
Once you fill in the details of your studies, if applicable, you must click on Save and add
Then, questions regarding language assessment are included
Click save and exit to go to the next section.
10.4 Application details
In this section you will be asked to indicate if you have a province of preference or you can choose All Provinces and territories if you want.
Next, the system will ask you if you have a nomination certificate from a province or territory. We did not have one, but if you do, you must include it here and then click Save and exit.
In this section you are asked to complete if you hired a representative to do your application for you, in our case the answer was no. Answer according to your personal situation and then click on Save and exit.
10.6 Work history
The first information in this section will be to complete the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to which your occupation belongs.
Then you must include if you got any certificate of qualification from a Canadian province or territory
and if you have a job offer in Canada
Then comes a question to find out if you have work experience and here you have to include one by one the positions you have held.
In our case this question appeared only for research purposes, I think it was in relation to the perspective one has on whether it is easy or not to find a job, but it is optional if you want to answer it.
At this point the questions concerning the principal applicant are finished and the sections for the accompanying spouse or common-law partner should be completed.
In general, you have to check the names.
Immigration history and citizenships
Questions about the accompanying person's family members
Questions about accompanying person's studies
Information on whether the accompanying person has taken any language tests
and work history of your accompanying person
Then you have to click on save and exit
11. Submit the Express Entry Profile
At the end when you have completed all the items you must click on Save and exit.
If everything is in order you should see a message like this one
Your profile is now in the pool of candidates and you should receive notifications within your profile to confirm this.
Now you just have to wait for an invitation to apply.
I wish you much success in this process!
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