If you’re interested in immigrating to Canada as a tech worker, you may be able to get your permanent residency (the Canadian equivalent of a US Green Card) in as little as 4-6 months. Due to the high demand for skilled workers – especially software developers, info systems analysts and computer programmers – Canada implemented a program called Express Entry in 2015.
Getting approved through Express Entry means you can live anywhere in the country, work for any company you’d like, have access to the Canadian healthcare system, and receive citizenship down the road (if you desire). You can also include your spouse and children in your application.
To see if you’re eligible and get started, here are the first 3 steps you’ll need to take:
1. Get your foreign education assessed
One of the requirements as a skilled worker through Express Entry is to have any diploma, degree, trade or apprenticeship credential. If you obtained yours from outside of Canada, you will need to have it assessed through what’s called an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
An ECA is a report done by an authorized company determining what the Canadian equivalent is to your foreign degree(s). To find out more and select an organization on the designated list by Immigration Canada, head over to their website here. This process usually takes 3-4 weeks, but can take longer depending on the company. We recommend getting it done as soon as possible.
2. Take a language exam
The next thing you’ll need in order to determine your chances at Express Entry is a language exam. As a skilled worker, you need to get a minimum score on one of the four tests accepted by Immigration Canada. Two are offered in english and two are offered in french. To see the list of tests accepted by Immigration Canada and book your exam, head over here.
3. Calculate your eligibility and score
In order to be invited to apply through Express Entry, you’ll need to be eligible for the program and also have a high enough Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score (which is based on a number of factors, including your ECA and language exam results – this is why it’s best to do them first). Every few weeks, Immigration Canada gives an invite to apply (or “ITA”) to people who have a high enough CRS score.
For this reason, it’s important to complete step #1 and #2 in order to determine if you’re eligible and if you have a good chance at getting an ITA. However, getting your ECA and language exam done can take some time, so we created a free calculator that will give you an approximate score based on your current situation.