Part 1-How to Get Canada Permanent Residency (PR)

Canada PR

This is the EpmWise series of articles on getting Canada PR. This is the first post in this series. All of the information provided is based on the updates as of Aug 2017.


As per Canada Immigration and Citizenship news bulletin in Oct 2016, overall, Canada may welcome as many as 320,000 new immigrants over the calendar year of 2017. And this is more evident with the fact that this year has seen a record lowest CRS score of 433 (we will talk more about it)

Why Canada??

If you are looking for a place to settle down with your family with below

C – Competitive Job Market

A- Amicable living Conditions

N- No Internal issues or external

A- Average high life expectancy

D-Dream country for better education, job, healthcare and overall quality of living

A- Abundance of Natural Wealth

It is no wonder that UN has consistently ranked Canada as one of the top destinations to live. Moreover with the turbulent times in USA and more and more issues with getting H1 work visas, it is getting even more lucrative to work in Canada as a second alternative to evergreen USA.

Getting Permanent Residency

Canada since long, has a program called Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), that the most popular among the skilled workers across the globe.This program falls under Express Entry scheme.

This series of EpmWise, on  How to Get Canada PR focuses on various such aspects of applying, planning, preparing and finally obtaining the Canada PR. Ideas, views and opinions expressed in this series are personal to author.

High Level Steps

Getting PR is a lengthy process and based on each scenario it can range anywhere between 6-10 months. It is a step by step process from the CIC standpoint and hence it is imperative that as an applicant too, we understand the latest CIC procedures and adhere to that as much as we can.

Step 1- Get the evaluation done based on your overall profile.

Step 2- Create online account at CIC website

Step 3- File expression of Interest (EOI) with CIC

Step 4- Wait till your review get complete, if it’s done you will get ITA (Invitation to Apply) for PR

Step 5- Reply to ITA within 90 days and wait for next stage, which is COPR (confirmation of PR)

Step 6-Submit your passports to CIC with photographs and wait for passports to come back to you with PR on it.

Mandatory Steps

Probably the most time consuming steps in whole PR application process, according to me are getting these things done below:

  1. IELTS Scores
  2. Getting your Transcripts from universities and
  3. Getting them evaluted with World Education Services (WES)

IELTS Scores

IELTS Scores – Canada immigration under FSW scheme requires language test for primary applicant as well as for spouse. Now instead of IELTS  another language test is also accepted which is CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program.

Most of applicants from Asian countries rely on IELTS exam for immigration. And as mentioned earlier it is mandatory for main applicant and for spouse.


Now, the average time required for preparing and getting it done should not exceed 3 months. This is just a rough estimate and actual timelines can vary based on individual scenarios. In next part we have detailed about IELTS resources. Once the IELTS test is taken scores are usually available in about 10 days.

CIC converts your IELTS into  Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) score. Here is the conversion table from IELTS to CLB score.

University Transcripts and Evaluation

Registrar of University typically issue transcripts in sealed envelope and then handed over to us or to the recipient institution. Each and every university has a dedicated department that caters to this. They have a certain fees as well for this service which varies as per universities.

This step should start as soon as you plan to apply for PR and it may take about 2 weeks to  2 months to get them.

Next step is WESwhich is to convert your education into Canadian Equivalency. This is a third party organization that receives your transcripts and them evaluates them. This step, as mentioned in their website  takes about 20 business days. However during the peak times it  may reach about 1.5 months.

Now we will go back to the steps we highlighted and will go through them one my one.

Step 1- Get the evaluation done based on your overall profile.

This step deals with checking with your overall profile and giving you a rough score. As you might already know that Canada PR is a point based system,and PR is allotted based on cumulative points. Various aspects that are included in it are Education, Work Experience , IELTS scores, Age, marital status and much more.

Click Here to get your estimated score. You might have to put some assumptions while entering IELTS and few other categories though the real evaluation is done based on your actual scores, and WES evaluation, work experience etc.

Another very important factor is to consider is National Occupational Classification (NOC). As per Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website

For immigration purposes, the main job groups are:

  • Skill Type 0 (zero): management jobs, such as:
    • restaurant managers
    • mine managers
    • shore captains (fishing)
  • Skill Level A: professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, such as:
    • doctors
    • dentists
    • architects
  • Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as:
    • chefs
    • plumbers
    • electricians
  • Skill Level C: intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training, such as:
    • industrial butchers
    • long-haul truck drivers
    • food and beverage servers
  • Skill Level D: labour jobs that usually give on-the-job training, such as:
    • fruit pickers
    • cleaning staff
    • oil field workers

Our immigration programs use the NOC to decide if a job or type of work experience meets their eligibility. We consider “skilled” jobs those with NOC Skill Type 0, A or B.

Click Here to find your NOC code.


Step 2- Create online account at Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website

Create online account Here, Select the option of GC Key to create your account as shown below:

Fill in the required details with accuracy and save them as you move along. This website is very user friendly and has most of the options to make it easy for you to navigate, save and prepare your profile.

Step 3- File expression of Interest (EOI) with Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC)

As you move ahead with creating and saving your profile, you are actually creating an EOI, which is expression of interest to Canada Immigration. Before you submit this EOI, you must have your IELTS scores and WES completed.

This is where the importance of having those 2 things lays highlighted earlier. Once you have done these things ahead of starting your PR  process, it becomes way too easy to move along with the steps.

While there is no such date to submit EOI but its more like as long as positions are available you can continue to submit EOI. Based on your overall profile you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Step 4- Wait till your review get complete, if it’s done you will get ITA (Invitation to Apply) for PR

All of the applicants are then ranked based on their scores and the ones with higher rank are invited to apply ahead of others. This stage is called Invitation to Apply (ITA). This is the stage where you must provide below:

  1. Your medical results from CIC authorized medical centers. Click Here to find your nearest medical center. They have a certain amount of fee that they charge for this service. Please note that even if you have an infant you are likely to get his or her medical done as well.
  2. Reference letters from your past employers within the NOC code you filed your application in.
  3. Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) from all of the countries you visited since you were 18 or older. Click Here to find the process of obtaining the PCC.

It is to note that there are 90 days to provide above, and extension can be requested on case to case basis. This leads us to the step 5 of submitting reply to ITA

Step 5- Reply to ITA within 90 days and wait for next stage, which is COPR (confirmation of PR)

If everything goes well and your documents testify as per your application,you will get ITA.

Step 6-Submit your passports to CIC with photographs and wait for passports to come back to you with PR on it.

This is the final step where you are invited to submit your passports with 2 photographs of each of applicant. Click Here for photographs specifications.Please bear in mind that CIC is quite strict about photo specifications, It might be challenging to get these done in USA , UK or other countries. In  Asian counties specially like India, China it is easier to get these done because of more number of photo studios available.

There is a 30 days time period when you must submit your passports with photographs.

After about 20 days passports are returned with your PR stamped on it.

Hope these guide posts will help you in preparing and eventually getting your PR.




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