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How to apply for permanent residence via Express Entry

It's finally here, an article that is requested by most WHVers and many of my subscribers, THE permanent residency. I will explain in detail how it happened for me by trying to highlight the different options. As a reminder, this application is valid for permanent residency in Ontario and most English-speaking provinces. I will try to see if I can do an article for Quebec only, which requires other administrative steps beforehand.


The simulation and the number of points

First of all, it is best to do a simulation on the internet to see how many points you can accumulate. The more points you have, the easier it will be. Your number of points will take into account your diplomas, your language level, but also other factors such as your age or status. Several times a month, a round is held. The people with the highest number of points are immediately chosen to apply. FOR THE NUMBER OF POINTS, I WOULD SAY THAT 470 IS A MINIMUM TO BE SURE TO BE DRAWN IN THE FIRST ROUND.

Another thing to take into account: The validity date of your passport must be at least 6 years to be sure that your residence is 5 years (the time of the process). If your passport expires in 3 years, then your visa will expire with your passport.

Translate your diplomas

To have your diplomas recognized, you must go through an accredited organization. Here is a list of the different organizations:

Take a language test

To be eligible for PR in Ontario, you must at least pass a test in one of the official languages.

For French, the TEF CANADA and the TCF Canada are taken into account. You have to take 4 tests at once: reading/listening comprehension and writing/ speaking. I have written an article on everything you need to take the TEF if you click here ;).

For English, there are two tests available: the CELPIP-General (be careful NOT to choose CELPIP-General-LS) and the IELTS General Training.

Your goal is to get the maximum points for the language you choose first. For the second language, it may be worthwhile depending on your case, but you will get less points than the first language.

The Pool or Express Entry

You're ready to start the application! Go to the IRCC website to start your application. You can apply if you fall into one of the 3 categories:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • Skilled Trades Program (Federal)

  • Canadian Experience Class

Here we will focus on the Canadian experience/skilled worker category that I have, but I will also try to explain to you how it works if you apply as a couple ;)

To start, go to your IRCC account and click on "Apply to come to Canada". From there, you should have the Express Entry option appear.

Once you begin the Express Entry application, you will be asked several questions. Some of them will target your eligibility for pools via documents.


If you want to be in the Canadian experience pool, you will need to have a total of 1 year of experience in work categories A, B or 0. You do not need to have had a full time job, you need to have accumulated a total of 1560 hours (at the time of writing this article). To find out what category your job falls into you can check the NOC code of your job on this site. My advice is to only put in this category the experience you feel is necessary. For each job you enter in the pool, you will have to justify it with a letter from your former employer/HR manager. You don't have to put every job you've ever had, you can put those once you're drawn for the PR in the Background section. I explain all this below ;)

So I put only the NOC of my current job in the Work History section.

Then they ask you if you have a job offer. For my part, I have a contract but I still put no. My contract is renewed every 6 months and I need at least a 1 year or long term contract. Furthermore, I didn't want to associate a contract with my PR request, it would add paperwork.

Degrees and WES

For the degrees part, the pool will ask you for each part of your studies if you have obtained a degree. If you answer yes, you will be asked if these degrees were obtained in Canada. Answer according to the country where you obtained your degree. Then you will be asked if you have done an equivalency for these degrees. You will then be asked which department you went through (and your WES file number, for example, will be sufficient). In the end, you will only have to answer these questions if the diploma you obtained was translated by an agency (or in Canada). In my situation, I have a DUT, a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. But I only did WES for my Master's degree. So I have at the end of the form the following window:

Language tests

IRCC will also ask you if you have any language test results in French or English. If you have, they must be less than 2 years old and you will be asked for details of the number of points you have obtained in each test. You will also be asked for the number of each type of test. For example, for the TEF, you have 2 series of 7 digits: XXXXXXX - YYYYYY. For the certificate number, you have to enter the 1st series of 7 digits: XXXXXXX and for the PIN, you have to enter the 2nd: YYYYYYY. For the other tests, I put you below where to find the numbers.

You will also be asked for other information until you submit your file in the pool.

That's it, your file is submitted. The site will then give you the number of points calculated for your application and in which pool(s) you will be eligible.

Now you just have to wait to be drawn in a round. To do so, I advise you to check your email every day, as well as the results of the draw once a week on this site.

The application for permanent residence (Page 1)

Then one day, you open your mailbox. And that's it, you have to apply for permanent residence. Now the real work begins!

Personal details

In the personal details, you will be asked to confirm all the information about yourself and your family. It is very important that you fill in all the family information. This will allow you to facilitate registrants to obtain visas for Canada.

Contact information

We will ask you how to reach you, your current address and where you have been for the last 10 years. Please understand that we are asking for your official addresses, i.e. the ones that appear on your tax form every year. If, for example, you went abroad for a month and then came back to your apartment, your address is always your apartment. If you didn't have an apartment during that time, put the address of your parents or the person you were officially staying with. If, like me, you arrived in Canada at the beginning without an apartment, put the address of the first apartment where you settled (after having stayed in a hotel or AirBnb).

Precision: We will ask you for the last 10 years with dates that follow each other to the day, so you can't have any gaps.

Example :

Address 1: from January 12, 2016 to February 6, 2017

Address 2: from February 7, 2017 to July 6, 2017

Address 3: July 7, 2017 to March 20, 2020

Studies and languages

Here you will also be asked for the same information as in the Pool of Express entry with your studies, your past exams. No problem to fill in. see my part about the Express entry above.

Details of the application

This part is very important because we will ask you in which part of Canada you want to make your permanent residence. I put a big WARNING for people who are in Quebec and want to do their PR in another part of Canada. If just after obtaining the PR you go back to Quebec without a real justification, it could cause you problems for the next step, especially for the citizenship application.


This section is only to be filled out if someone else has access to your file. You can put no if it does not concern you. However, it may be an advantage if you wish to have someone contact IRCC on your behalf.

Work History

In this section, you will only put the jobs that you can justify with a letter from your employer (those with the NOC code that you provided in the pool).

Personal History

For your background, I let you fill in and I give you a tip for the last 2 parts that concern your status and the trips you have made in the last 10 years.


We're going to ask you what you've done in the last 10 years, stopping at your 18th birthday. Basically, if you are 26 years old, you will be asked to justify your status from today (the date of your PR application) to your 18th birthday.

What is a status? Status is where you were in your life at that time. Were you a student, employed, unemployed, ....? In short, you must indicate everything and not leave any gaps. For example, I used to work every summer from the age of 18, so I put that I was a student from September to June, then I added a status line from July to August to indicate that I was working. Don't forget to be precise, if you need to train yourself by doing an Excel before.

How? We'll ask you to be precise month by month, which is easier if you don't have an easy memory.

The trips

To be clear, we will ask you what your travels have been by comparing them to your life address at a time T.

How? The accuracy required is to the day. Check your travels on your passport, on your plane tickets that you may have... in short, don't forget to be precise.

What is a trip? A trip is considered as such when you leave the country where your address was established. If you live in France and you go to India then you will put your travel dates.

Another example: If, for example, you are currently living in Canada, but you have been to your own country, then it is a trip, because you are currently established in Canada. Don't forget this little subtlety that can change everything.

The application for permanent residence (Page 2)

Now that you have finished filling out the first part, you will be able to access the second part of the required documents. Please note that you can return to the first page at any time by logging out and logging back in to your account.

Passport / travel documents

This one is quite simple. You will be asked for a photocopy of your current passport with any photocopies of VISAs and stamps you may have on it.

Proof of Medical Examination

In order to ensure that you are a healthy resident, Canada will ask you to take 4 tests at a center. You will need to bring your letter of invitation to apply for PR and your PR applicant number beginning with an E. Depending on the center, you may be asked to bring a passport photo, but some centers will take one for you, so be sure to ask! The list of available centers is here. In Toronto I went to Immigration Medical Toronto, they are the cheapest, easy to make an appointment (they take cash though) and do the photo on site. Their website is here. Here are the tests you will have to do:

  • a urine analysis

  • a medical visit with a doctor (basic questions, weight, height...)

  • a lung x-ray

  • a blood test

For me, it took a little less than 45 minutes in total, which is very fast. Once the test is done, the doctor gives you a document with a bar code. You only have to download the part with the barcode on your file, the data are automatically transmitted to IRCC by the centers.

Attention: Some centers only have the doctor and the X-ray. This can cause problems and make you do the visit over 2 days by having to make another appointment with a laboratory.

Cost: $240.35

Study and Diploma

In this part you will be asked to upload all your diplomas. For my part I put them all from BAC to Master. Don't forget to attach the letter of WES in this part or the validation of your diploma, some agents want more than the diplomas.

Employment History

Depending on what you declared at Express Entry or in the Employment History section of Permanent Residency, you will be asked to justify the jobs that validate your status for the pool in which you applied. In my case, I had only declared my job in Canada. In my case, I had only declared my job in Canada, so I only had to provide the letter for the job I had in Canada. If you send a letter to your French employer, make sure that the NOC number corresponds to the description of the job given to your employer (Be careful! No copy and paste, it can be very bad). Here is the email I sent to my employer:

"I am applying for permanent residency and need proof of my work experience. Here is what the government requires:

You must provide proof of work experience for your current job and for each previous position you listed. The proof must include a letter of reference from your employer and pay records, if you have them. The reference letter must:

  • Be an official document printed on company letterhead

  • include your name, company contact information (address, phone number and email address), the signature of your immediate supervisor

  • list all positions held within the company

  • include the following details: job title, duties/responsibilities, employment status (if current), dates you worked for the company, number of hours worked per week and your annual salary plus benefits.


Evidence of sufficient financial resources.

Evidence of sufficient financial resources.

For this part you will have to prove that you have sufficient financial funds. If you are applying alone, you will need to prove $12,960 or $16,135 if there are two of you. For this you must have this amount on average over the last 6 months.

If for example during 3 months you have 6,000 dollars and you have 15,000 the last 3 months that makes an average of 10,500$ over 6 months which can be insufficient.

My advice is to declare directly what you have on your Canadian account by making transfers upstream from your country before starting the application. Letters from foreign banks are also accepted, as we are just trying to verify that you have enough resources to support yourself.

Here is the email I sent to my bank:


I've applied for the PR for Canada. I will need a paper who prove I've got the funds, if you can do that here is the link

Thanks, regards

Police Certificate

For this section, you will need to provide a police record for all countries where you have spent a minimum of 6 months. Please note that depending on the person processing your application, you may be asked to provide proof even if you have spent 4 or 5 months in a country. This excludes your criminal record in Canada. You are applying for residency in this country, so they have access to this data.

For France: To obtain your French criminal record, in general, it is very easy and takes only 10 minutes to do. It will be sent to you directly by email, via an automatic service. The link here.


You must be careful to tell the photographer that you are requesting a photo for Permanent Residence because the cut and size are different depending on the visa you are requesting. Do not forget to ask your photographer for original dated photos and a digital photocopy to upload to your file.

Submitting your application and payment

That's it! Now comes the time for the pain! The cost is $1325, you can pay in installments, but this will affect the speed of processing your application.


For some people, it happens that they make mistakes on their profile when submitting their Express Entry file in the pool. Please note that almost all information entered in the pool can be changed even after you have been drawn. So if you made a mistake in the start date of your previous job, or in a year of study that you completed, know that this is editable when you fill out the application for permanent residence. To tell you that even I had forgotten to put all my first names during the Express Entry and I was able to modify it by clicking on "Modify your profile" at the top of the permanent residence file.

Forget to document after validating the submission of the file.

What happens next ?

Once you have submitted your application, a progress bar will normally appear on your account. This bar is suggestive and is proportional to 6 months. It does not represent the reality, if it waits for 100% and you still have no news of your application, do not hesitate to call or email IRCC again to know the status of your application.

Biometrics Request

If you have already submitted your biometric data in the past, you will not have to do so again. If you are required to do so, you will have to find the nearest center and make an appointment. The time to obtain the data can sometimes exceed the time IRCC gives you to provide the evidence. In this case, do not hesitate to provide proof of the appointment request. In addition, when there is a long wait in their country, some people prefer to do the biometrics in a neighboring country that requires less waiting time. The list of centers by country is described here. To find out which centers are available in your country, enter it in the filter box.

The long wait...

Then comes the waiting, several months. Then, finally, you receive an email confirming that you can register on the IRCC Permanent Residence Confirmation Portal. Make sure the email is from the government. You will then be asked to reply to this email with your

  • Name

  • IUC

  • Email address (as indicated in this message)

  • Date of first entry into Canada

  • Date of last entry into Canada

  • Location (point of entry) = city where you landed

Once this email is answered, we will then send you an email in the next few days telling you that you can register on the permanent residence website with login information. Once you are logged in, you will need to confirm that you are in Canada and upload a recent photo that is less than 6 months old. Upload the photo you took in the previous steps. That's it! Now you wait for the agents to finalize your file before receiving the Holy Grail email!

Le document que tu vas télécharger est une résidence permanente temporaire, le temps de recevoir ta carte. Tu ne peux pas voyager avec, mais si tu le souhaites quand même, tu peux faire une demande au service Ontario pour demander une sortie spéciale du Canada.

Receive the card

The last and final step is to wait for the PR card to arrive. You should receive it within a few weeks or less after receiving your confirmation

Good luck!


TEF Canada: $440

WES: $250

Medical Examination: $240

Photo: $35

PR file: $1,325

Total cost: $2,290

If Biometric request, add $80


Registration on WES: September 17, 2020

TEF test: September 18, 2020

TEF results: October 8, 2020

Receipt of WES document: November 6, 2020

Registration in the pool: January 2, 2021

PR draw: January 8, 2021

Medical Examination: January 12, 2021

Submission of all PR documents: January 15, 2021

Validation of medical file: February 11, 2021

Receipt of confirmation portal application: June 30, 2021

Receipt of portal credentials: July 4, 2021

Confirmation of Permanent Residence: July 9, 2021

For other special cases

If you wish to apply with your spouse, you will be asked to fill out an additional paper: the Official Declaration of De Facto Union. If you want to know more about this process, I suggest you read Whileimgone's article which explains the process. Only in french.

The little Tips that can help you

  • At some point, you will be asked to provide documents. The problem is that you can only provide one. This is annoying when, for example, each diploma is 1 file. So I used Small PDF to merge the files together. You can also transform images into pdf with this site.

  • For the photos, I went directly to a professional, really nice at 327 Spadina Avenue in Passport Photo.

  • For the travels / history / addresses parts you can prepare yourself by filling a small Excel. With all your travels (day / month / year), your last 10 years of addresses (day / month / year), and your last 10 years of status (month / year).

  • Check your emails at least once every 3/5 days, if the agent needs an extra paper or clarification, you will have 6 days to answer.

  • When you upload a new additional file don't forget to validate the upload.

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