Immigrating To Canada: Understanding The Basics Of The Express Entry Program

Moving to Canada can be appealing to a number of United States citizens, but it's not as simple as packing up your car and driving north. Being skilled in a trade can help expedite the process, and hiring an immigration consultant can make that process go smoothly. Here are some things to know about applying to move to Canada as a skilled tradesperson.

Express Entry Requirements

Skilled workers with years of experience in their field can apply for the Canadian Express Entry program. This program consists of different subsections, each with its own requirements. For example, one requires a year's worth of employment in Canada, while another requires up to a year's worth of employment in the U.S. in your chosen field. Only certain types of work qualify, so it's a good idea to check with an immigration consultant to ensure you meet the criteria before beginning your application.


Applying for permanent resident status or citizenship can require a considerable amount of paperwork. In addition to a passport, birth certificate, government-issued identification, and proof of employment, there may be other documents you'll need to submit. Ask your immigration consultant to help you access the required language test to prove your fluency in English or French. Depending on the Express Entry program you qualify for, you may also need to submit a copy of your college diploma if proof of post-secondary education is required. Immigration consultants can make sure you have all the paperwork in order before you begin your Express Entry application.

Comprehensive Ranking System

The Canadian government uses something called the Comprehensive Ranking System to give immigration applicants a score. The higher your score is, the higher up on the list you are for approval. This score incorporates a lot of different information, and it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to do to ensure success. This is where an immigration consultant comes in. They can help you highlight your education and work experience to demonstrate your value as a resident in the country.

Next Steps

Applying for Express Entry, gathering paperwork, and completing information for the Comprehensive Ranking System are just the first steps on your move to Canada. While you wait for your application to be approved, you may want to consider exploring different cities and neighborhoods to see where you want to live. If you don't already have a job offer or an option to transfer your job to Canada, consider looking for employment as you wait. Some immigration services may offer help with locating employment in your field of expertise to help move along your application through the system.