Top Ten Tips When Applying for PR (Express Entry)


10. Find your job code (for Canadian work and foreign work experience) by looking up the NOC list. When checking the list, if you can’t find anything that matches your exact job title, use the NOC code that best describes your duties. If possible, get the relevant NOC code included in your employment reference letters.

9. Be prepared – as soon as you have an inkling that you’re interested in applying for PR, start gathering the documents that don’t expire, such as police checks from every country you’ve lived in for more than 6 months (police certs must be issued after you have ceased living in that country) and employment reference letters*. If any of your employments do not fall under NOC 0, A or B, you won’t need reference letters for them as you won’t get points for those periods of employment.

* Employment letters should include the following information:

  • Should be an official document printed on company letterhead (must include the applicant’s name, the company’s contact information [address, telephone number and email address] and the name, title and signature of the immediate supervisor or personnel officer at the company)
  • Should indicate all positions held while employed at the company and must include the following – job title, duties and responsibilities, job status (if current job), dates worked for the company, number of hours worked per week and annual salary plus benefits.

9. If getting your education assessed, start getting this organized early. Depending on who you are using to assess your credentials, it can take a while, plus you must allow for delays that may occur on your university’s end. Education must be assessed by a designated organization.

8. Be aware – even though you are from Ireland, and presumably therefore can speak English, you still have to do the English exam. You can’t set up your express entry profile until you have completed an approved English exam (CELPIP or IELTS).

6. Be aware of requirements – when setting up your EE profile, you will be prompted to register with Job Bank, you MUST do this unless you have an LMIA or a nomination from a province or territory. Even if you have a full-time job in Canada, if you don’t have an LMIA then you must register with Job Bank.

5. Be mindful – don’t jump the gun and decide to do your medical early, medicals must be done by a physician on the list of panel physicians and must be valid for 6 months at the time you submit your application. The medical is not required until you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

4. Be organized – after you receive your ITA, as part of the PR process, you have to give all your travel history for the past 10 years. Sit down and organize this and make sure you enter it in chronological order. You also have to list every address that you have lived in for the past 10 years. If you’re an avid traveler and went through periods where you had no fixed abode, use your home address for these times and include a letter of explanation. Don’t leave gaps. Work history for the past 10 years also has to be provided. Don’t include any employment that you did not receive points for in the work history section as then you will be asked to provide employment reference letters. Put these periods of employment in your personal history only.

3. Be wary – it is not unheard of for CIC to incorrectly refuse a PR application (it happened to me). If this happens, carefully read the refusal letter, if you believe it was a mistake on their behalf, then submit a Case Specific Enquiry (CSE) and explain the situation, ask them to re-open your application and ensure to attach all necessary documentation (even if it was provided with your application). Then be prepared to wait about 10 weeks for your application to be re-opened.

2. Be safe rather than sorry – if you have a unique case or unusual circumstances, speak with an immigration professional. PR applications can certainly be done on your own, but, if you need more help than can be provided on online forums, it’s best to get a professional to help you as it could be the difference between you getting PR or getting refused. Also, if you have any strange circumstances, or any of your paperwork is slightly different to what’s required, attach a letter of explanation to your application.

1. Be patient – The whole process can take a year from the point where you begin gathering documents to actually receiving your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), depending on how quickly you get an ITA. Mistakes can be made on applications and unforeseen delays most likely will happen. Be patient and be prepared to wait, often for long periods with nothing but radio silence from CIC!

Good Luck to you all!!!