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Canadian Immigration: How to Become a Canadian Citizen Through Express Entry

Canadian Immigration: How to Become a Canadian Citizen Through Express Entry Becoming a Canadian citizen is an important milestone for anyone who has made Canada their home. If you fall into one of the many eligible immigration categories, you can become a Canadian citizen much sooner than you think. Apply for citizenship through the Express Entry program and you could be on your way to becoming a new Canadian before the end of this year! A lot has changed in the world of Canadian immigration since we last wrote about it, back in April of 2016. The launch of the Express Entry system that same year opened up immigration to all kinds of skilled workers, not just those with family ties or pre-existing work permits. Anyone who meets eligibility requirements can now apply for permanent residence through Express Entry, which also makes it easier to transition from being a temporary resident to a full-fledged citizen… Express Entry is an online system used by the Government of Canada to manage applications for certain economic immigration programs. It allows eligible candidates to submit an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, and be considered for selection to immigrate through one of the programs managed by Express Entry. To become a Canadian citizen through Express Entry, a person must first be eligible to apply for one of the following programs:
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
Eligibility for these programs depends on factors such as education, work experience, language proficiency, and other criteria. Once a person has determined that they are eligible for one of the programs managed by Express Entry, they can create an online profile in the Express Entry system. This profile is used to assess the person’s qualifications and rank them against other candidates in the Express Entry pool. If a person’s profile is selected from the Express Entry pool, they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. To become a Canadian citizen, an individual with a permanent residency status must meet the following criteria:
  • Be physically present in Canada for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
  • Have filed taxes, if required, for at least 3 tax years that are fully or partially within the 5 years
  • Demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French
  • Pass a test on Canadian rights, values, and responsibilities
  • Have not been convicted of a crime
If the person meets these criteria, they can then submit an application for Canadian citizenship, which will be reviewed by the government. Once approved, the person will take the Oath of Citizenship and officially become a Canadian citizen. It is important to note that the process of becoming a Canadian citizen through Express Entry can take several months or even years, and the eligibility criteria and application process can change over time. It is recommended to check the Government of Canada’s website for the most up-to-date information and requirements. In summary, Express Entry is an online system used by the Government of Canada to manage applications for certain economic immigration programs, such as Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. Eligible candidates can submit an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, and be considered for selection to immigrate. Once a person has a Permanent Resident status, they can apply for Canadian citizenship by meeting the criteria such as physical presence, language proficiency, knowledge of Canadian values and rights and passing a test, and no criminal record. The process of becoming a Canadian citizen through Express Entry can take several months or even years.  What is Express Entry? Express Entry is Canada’s immigration system for attracting skilled workers to come here and contribute to the economy. It was launched in 2015 as a replacement for previous programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The vast majority of those who apply through the system are trying to get approval for permanent residence (PR). A PR visa allows you to live and work in Canada, but it’s not the same as being a Canadian citizen. If you want to become a Canadian citizen, you must first apply for PR and then be selected by the Express Entry system. The good news is that you’ll almost certainly be selected, because there are many, many more applicants than there are spots. That means the system is oversubscribed, and those with the highest scores have the best shot at PR.  Becoming a Canadian Citizen Through Express Entry In order to become a Canadian citizen through Express Entry, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements, including having a valid job offer and a high enough score (more on that in a minute). You’ll also need to have PR status, which can take anywhere from six months to a year to get. Once you have PR status, a Canadian immigration officer will review your application and background. If everything is in order, the officer will likely interview you and then make a decision. If everything goes smoothly, you could become a Canadian citizen before the end of the year.  Requirements for Citizenship through Express Entry In order to take advantage of the Express Entry system, you must first meet the following eligibility requirements: – You must have a valid job offer. The work you’ll be doing must be in “shortage” occupations in Canada. – Your years of education and work experience must match the job you’re applying for. – You must be able to communicate in one or both of Canada’s official languages. – You must have enough money to meet the minimum income requirements. – You need to have enough money saved up to pay for the application fees. – You must have a valid immigration status, such as a work permit or study permit, and not have any criminal convictions that would keep you from becoming a Canadian citizen. – You must have health insurance that covers you in Canada.  Things to Remember Before You Apply – The minimum income requirement is $23,000. This amount is for a single person, so if you have a spouse or dependents, you’ll need to account for that. – You need to have enough money saved up to pay for the application fees. – You must have a valid immigration status, such as a work permit or study permit, and not have any criminal convictions that would keep you from becoming a Canadian citizen.  The Bottom Line If you’re a temporary resident in Canada and meet the eligibility requirements, you must apply for Canadian citizenship through Express Entry. There’s no other way to do it and the system is oversubscribed, so you’ll likely get in if you apply. The best time to apply is as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements. Since the system is oversubscribed, it can take six months to a year to get through the application process. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can become a full-fledged Canadian citizen. There are a lot of changes happening in the world of Canadian immigration right now. If you’re interested in becoming a Canadian citizen, it can be a great time to apply. Remember to keep up with the latest changes and news relating to immigration to Canada and to consult an immigration lawyer before you make any decisions. Quick links;
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