Once your Express Entry PR gets approved, you have about one year from the date of your medical checkup to claim your PR. Note that the medical certificate is most often valid for about one year from the date of its issuance. Therefore, you will have to immigrate to Canada within this period (before the medical certificate expires).

But, if you are in Canada already, you can simply exit the Canada-USA border and re-enter, showing the border officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and supporting documentation.

However, if you can’t exit via the Canada – USA border, you are allowed to request an appointment at a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office for proper verification. For individuals outside of Canada, you will have to land at the airport first and present your Confirmation of Permanent Residency to the officer.

The principal applicant is expected to land first. If family members are part of the application and were also confirmed for permanent residency, they are also allowed to land at the same time as the principal applicant or land at a later date, but not before the principal applicant.

Once you get to the border, you are expected to show the officer your Confirmation of Permanent Residency and all necessary supporting documents. Note that the officer will ask you some standard questions. Once he/she is satisfied that you are still eligible for permanent residency, your permanent residency status will be granted.

The officer will also request for a Canadian mailing address to mail you your initial permanent resident card and this would cost nothing. Meanwhile, the permanent resident card takes around 2-3 months to receive and will be sent to the Canadian address.

For those without an address in Canada yet, consider using that of a friend, family, or your representative’s address. They can then mail or deliver to you since you will need the card for your next entry into Canada. But if you fail to enter Canada and the date issued in the COPR expires, then you can no longer travel to Canada on that document.

Unless it was an emergency case, you are permitted to write to the Immigration Authorities to inform them of the reason for you not being able to travel. If your case is genuine and deserving, you will be granted an extension, but not all the time.

Once you miss entering Canada within the stipulated time given to you on your COPR, have it in mind that you also forfeit all the fees you have paid to get your COPR and other PR Visa-related expenses that you may have incurred during the duration of your application procedure. At this point, you have to start your PR Visa application process again, that’s if you decide you still want to go to Canada.

How Express Entry Canada Works

Canada’s 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan intends to draw in over 400,000 new immigrants per year. Note that a good percentage of these new immigrants will come as skilled workers, with Express Entry being a key system Canada will use to manage their applications.

In 2022, 2023, and 2024, Canada is looking to welcome around 110,000 Express Entry immigrants each year. If you are interested in this system, here is a simple breakdown of how to submit your Express Entry profile and obtain a permanent residence visa to immigrate to Canada.

  1. Check Your Eligibility

First, note that applicants are expected to be eligible under one of the following federal economic immigration programs.

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)

While the eligibility requirements will surely vary for each of the Express Entry-aligned programs, all candidates are expected to showcase at least one year of skilled work experience, coupled with a satisfactory level of proficiency on an approved language test in either English or French. In addition, Canada filters Express Entry applications using criminal history and medical issues that could make a person inadmissible.

  1. Create an Express Entry Profile

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you are expected to fill and submit an Express Entry profile to the pool of candidates. The Express Entry profile simply serves as an Expression of Interest (EOI). Have it in mind that eligible candidates automatically receive a score based on their profile and will have to be ranked against other candidates in the pool.

According to reports, the ranking score for Express Entry is based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and it is out of 1,200 points. Candidates get the opportunity to improve their rank by doing certain things to improve their CRS scores. Note that the higher a candidate’s CRS score, the higher the possibility they will get an Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA).

This CRS score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws to project the possibility of a candidate becoming economically successful in Canada. It analyzes candidates based on their career and educational history, language skills, and if they have already received a qualifying job offer or provincial nomination in Canada, among other factors.

  1. Create a Job Bank Profile (Optional)

Note that Express Entry candidates without a job offer or a provincial nomination are allowed to register in the Canada Job Bank, a free public resource specifically designed to help Canadian employers find workers with the exact skills they need. Although this step used to be mandatory, from June 2017 it was made optional.

  1. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Have it in mind that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) carry out Express Entry draws at regular intervals (within every two weeks). During this Express Entry draws, candidates within a certain rank get invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Note that the profile of candidates who didn’t get invited will expire after 12 months, at which point they may submit a new profile.

  1. Improve your CRS score

Even candidates who didn’t get selected in the Express Entry pool can improve their Express Entry profile and score to have a better chance in the forthcoming draws. Note that they can do this by submitting new and updated information, such as better language scores, educational credentials assessments, adding extra work experience, and/or getting a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination.

  1. Submit Your Application for Permanent Residence

For those who receive the Express Entry Invitation to Apply (ITA), you have at least 60 days to submit a well-detailed application for permanent residency. In this application, you have to make available extensive personal information coupled with certain necessary and supporting documentation.

Also, note that every form and process of this application is submitted electronically. Once you have submitted your application, you have to wait for a final decision to be conveyed. Have it in mind that over 80 percent of Express Entry applications are processed in six months or less, and once your application is approved, you will surely get authorization to activate your permanent resident status in Canada.

Conclusion

Express Entry remains one of the quickest ways to immigrate to Canada. Once your Express Entry PR gets approved, you are expected to enter Canada within the validity of your permanent resident visa (COPR). This cannot be extended.

After landing in Canada, you can choose to go back to your home country to properly finalize your move. There is no problem with that because once you become a landed immigrant; you are allowed to move in and out of Canada.