Preparing your Express Entry profile and application correctly is extremely important if you want to ensure a good outcome. This is your application that Canadian immigration (IRCC) officers will use to assess you as a candidate, so you want them to have all of the information they need to make a proper assessment. That way, they don’t get confused, request more documents or refuse your application.
While the official government website covers a lot of the process, they don’t cover everything. In this article, we’ll review some details about Express Entry that people often get confused about because they aren’t made clear on the Canadian immigration website.
To be eligible for Express Entry, you need at least 12 months of skilled work experience. Many of our Visto users have noticed that the Express Entry system allows you to create a profile once you have 11 months of experience – this is because the computer sees the current month as the 12th month and is programmed to open up the profile once it sees 12 months. However, there is some concern over whether or not this is a wise choice.
Even though you can set up your profile with only 11 months of experience, it may not be the best idea. You will still need to finish your 12th full month of work experience on your completed profile because if you don’t, technically you are ineligible and would be refused. If you are still employed and will be completing your 12th month, it is still a risk you can take if you choose to because the immigration agent could still point out that you were invited to apply before you completed that 12th month.
This is why generally speaking, it is best to wait until you have 100% completed the work experience requirements before you create your profile. Remember that being able to complete the online Express Entry profile or entering the pool does not guarantee that you’ll be invited to apply for permanent residence. Waiting to complete the 12th month will ensure eligibility and you won’t have to worry about it for months while your application is being processed.
One of the critical parts of the Express Entry profile is the work history section. Due to the popularity of the post-grad work permit and implied status for many international students, many people wonder when they can start counting their work experience in Canada.
Luckily, you can count all skilled/paid work done in Canada while on implied status, just make sure you are eligible for it and submit the application properly. Note that when you complete your program, you must stop working and cannot start working again until you submit your post-grad work permit application. But once you do, assuming it is paid and skilled, you can start counting that towards Express Entry eligibility.
For a full guide to the post-grad work permit, you can sign up for the free Visto immigration portal here.
Finally, I’ve had a lot of questions about the tie-breaker rule. So, what is the Express Entry tie-breaker rule, and why is it necessary?
Remember that everyone who completes their Express Entry profile has a score, and that IRCC does draws to invite people with a certain score or higher to apply. The tie-breaker rule states that if you have the exact score as the minimum score invited to apply, you will get an invitation if you applied before the tie-breaker rule date.
Note: if you have a score above the minimum, you will 100% receive an invitation!
For a simplified example, say there are just three applicants in the Express Entry pool. They have a score of 2, 2 and 3, respectively. If IRCC wants to invite 1 person to apply, they will set the minimum score at 3 – this means only the person with a score of 3 gets an invite. But if they want to invite 2 people to apply, they have to set the minimum score at 2, and set a tie-breaker rule to determine which one of the people with a score of 2 is invited.
This is done by picking a date. For example, everyone who submitted their Express Entry profile before March 1, 2021 (as an example). So in this example, IRCC might set a minimum required score of 2, with the tie-breaker rule set for February 1, 2021, so only the person with a score of 2 who applied before February 1, 2021, would get the invitation and not the other.
This is why it’s important to complete your Express Entry profile as soon as you initially become eligible, to give yourself the best chance at not missing out on a draw due to the tie-breaker rule.
These are just 3 of the more common questions I get asked often! If you need even more help or want to use our guides and videos to start your immigration journey, you can sign up to our free immigration portal here to get started.