As with anything there are do’s and don’ts of applying for Express Entry Permanent Residency. Hopefully some of these will stop you making mistakes that could delay or completely prevent your successful application.
- Get your documents together early, especially any qualifications that need to be assessed and turned into Canadian equivalents. This take take a lot of time especially with the number of people being invited to apply for residency. Canada is going through a big immigration drive so a lot of people are after the same services at the same time.
- Research the minimum requirements for the Express Entry route you are thinking of applying for. If you do not qualify find out why and see if there is anything you can do to overcome the things that are lacking. Examples might be doing another course to get another qualification or using exprience from your home country on your application.
- Make sure to complete all forms fully, and that includes online forms. It is too easy to skip over details that seem irrelevant but down the road become important to the success of your application.
- Get someone to give your application the once-over before you submit it. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way. I didn’t fill in my family information on my application because I misread what was meant but it thankfully only delayed my application by a few weeks but could have caused big headaches.
- If you’re application seems to be taking a seemingly longer than normal time to be processed you can submit a request for your case notes under the Freedom of Information Act. Submit an Access To Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request. This is really useful as it gives you some idea of where your application is in the process. It takes up to 30 days to get your notes but it can act as a good prompter for someone to look at your application and get it moving. Unfortunately, on the online immigration portal there isn’t a status bar to tell you how far along in the process you are.
- If you are missing information or documentation from your application you must submit a Letter Of Explanation (LOE) with your application explaining why you do not have it and when you expect to have it. Without this immigration can simply cancel your application due to it being incomplete.
- Know the law. If you have a criminal conviction from outside Canada but intend to apply to live in Canada make sure you check if your past history prevents that from happening. Things like being caught Driving Under the Influence can be sufficient to exclude you from Canada altogether. That is not to say if you have made bad decisions in your past you won’t ever be able to live in Canada but know where you stand before you start to save wasting time and energy if you are on the exclusion list.
- Submit an application half-completed. Sounds obvious but the number of people you see on forums doing this in some vain hope is unbelievable.
- Falsify information. It can be very tempting to lie on your application but, as often happens with lies, you will eventually get caught out. If you intend on staying in Canada long term do not fall for the trap of trying fudge details and get caught later down the road, it could jepodise the next step in your immigration plans and lead to complete future exclusion from Canada, even as a visitor.
- Overstay your existing visa illegally. If you are waiting on an application to be processed and you are going to run out of time on your existing visa before a decision is made on your application, apply for a bridging visa, which bridges the gap between your visa expiring and a decision being made on your Permanent Residency application. Applications can be made online or by post. If your application for a bridging visa hasn’t been processed before your existing visa expires you will go to Implied Status provided you have proof of submitting your bridging visa application.
- Forget to notify immigration Canada if your circumstances change. If your medical situation, your marital status (if you’re applying under a spousal sponsorship Express Entry), your address, or employment status (if you are applying under a workplace sponsored application) change. It is so important to keep your records up to date to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises later.