Canada is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants who want to enjoy a high quality of life, a diverse and multicultural society, and a stable and prosperous economy. Canada has recently announced its new immigration levels plan for 2024-2026, which aims to welcome more than 465,000 immigrants in 2023 and 485,000 in 2024. This is an increase from the previous plan, which targeted 401,000 immigrants in 2021 and 411,000 in 2022.
If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, you may be wondering how to apply for this new plan and what are the requirements and benefits. In this article, we will explain the steps you need to take to apply for Canada’s Express Entry programs, which are the main pathway for skilled workers and professionals who want to become permanent residents of Canada. We will also provide some statistics and information on the different immigration categories and streams that are included in the new plan.
What is Express Entry
Express Entry is an online system that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Some provinces and territories also use Express Entry to select candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which allow them to nominate immigrants who meet their specific labour market needs.
Express Entry is based on a points system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which ranks candidates in the pool according to their skills, education, work experience, language ability, and other factors. Every two weeks, the government of Canada issues invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence to the highest-ranked candidates in the pool. The number and frequency of ITAs depend on the immigration targets and the availability of spaces.
How to Apply for Express Entry
To apply for Express Entry, you need to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Find out if you are eligible. Before you create your Express Entry profile, you need to make sure you meet the minimum requirements for one of the Express Entry programs. You can use the online tool on the government of Canada website to answer a few questions and check your eligibility. You will need to provide information about your nationality, age, education, work experience, language ability, family members, and other details. If you are eligible, you will receive a reference code that you will need to enter in your profile.
- Step 2: Submit your profile and get ranked. Once you have your reference code, you can create your Express Entry profile online. You will need to provide accurate and up-to-date information about yourself and your spouse or partner (if applicable). You will also need to upload copies of the documents you used to answer the eligibility questions, such as your passport, language test results, proof of Canadian education, proof of funds, police certificates, medical exams, and birth certificates. These documents will be required for your application if you receive an ITA. After you submit your profile, you will receive a CRS score based on the information you provided. Your CRS score will determine your rank in the pool and your chances of receiving an ITA.
- Step 3: Prepare your documents. While you are in the pool, you should prepare the documents you will need for your application in case you receive an ITA. You should also update your profile if there are any changes in your situation, such as getting a new job, a new degree, a new language test result, or a provincial nomination. These changes may affect your CRS score and your rank in the pool. You should also monitor your email and the online account regularly to check if you have received an ITA or any messages from the government of Canada.
- Step 4: Complete your application. If you receive an ITA, you will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence online. You will need to fill out the application form and upload the required documents. You will also need to pay the application fees, which include the processing fee, the right of permanent residence fee, and the biometrics fee. You can check the current fees on the government of Canada website. After you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgment of receipt and a confirmation number. You will also be able to track the status of your application online.
- Step 5: Wait for the decision. The processing time for Express Entry applications varies depending on the program, the category, and the country of origin. The government of Canada aims to process most applications within six months or less. However, some applications may take longer due to various factors, such as the volume of applications, the completeness of the application, the verification of the information and documents, the security and medical checks, and the availability of spaces. You will receive a notification online when your application is approved or rejected. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if applicable). You will need to present these documents when you arrive in Canada.
What are the Immigration Targets and Categories for 2024-2026
The new immigration levels plan for 2024-2026 reflects Canada’s commitment to welcome more immigrants to support its economic recovery, population growth, and social diversity. The plan aims to achieve the following targets and categories:
- Spousal, Partner, and Children Programme: This category includes spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, and adopted children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The target for this category is 80,000 immigrants in 2023 and 85,000 in 2024.
- Parents and Grandparents Programme: This category allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada as permanent residents. The target for this category is 23,500 immigrants in 2023 and 25,000 in 2024.
- Federal High-Skilled Programme and Caregivers: This category includes the Express Entry programs and the caregivers program, which allows foreign workers with experience in caring for children, elderly, or people with medical needs to apply for permanent residence. The target for this category is 110,500 immigrants in 2023 and 117,000 in 2024.
- Economic and Humanitarian Streams: This category includes the PNPs, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, the Start-up Visa, the Self-Employed Persons, the Economic Mobility Pathways Project, and the humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The target for this category is 251,000 immigrants in 2023 and 258,000 in 2024.
Canada’s new immigration levels plan for 2024-2026 offers a great opportunity for immigrants who want to start a new life in Canada. If you are interested in applying for one of the Express Entry programs, you should follow the steps outlined in this article and prepare your documents and profile carefully. You should also keep yourself updated on the latest news and information on Canada’s immigration and visa policies by following our updates.