We started Roadtripping Juans with the idea of sharing our journey through the immigration application process to Canada. We’ll be collecting everything in this section so bear with us as we walk you through the path we took.
We’d like to share our unique perspectives going through our own immigration journey. Accordingly, we hope that you’ll appreciate and gain an understanding of what we went through. In addition, we intend to provide tips that will help you navigate your way through your own application process.
As Fizban mentioned, we are individuals from 4 Filipino families. Therefore, you will find most of our articles revolve around our experiences from a Filipino perspective. However, if you’re of a different nationality, that doesn’t mean that we can no longer be of assistance to you. You can still pick up a nugget or two especially around Canada’s requirements and processes.
- How Do I Start My Immigration Journey to Canada?
- Going Through The Stages
- I. Express Entry Stage
- What’s Next?
We are not immigration consultants.
We are just individuals who would like to share with you our experiences and the challenges that we encountered. Later, you’ll read some advice and tips based on what we did. However, it is up to you to assess how applicable it is to you and your current situation.
It’s your journey. You are responsible for how you will do it.
Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, we can begin.
How Do I Start My Immigration Journey to Canada?
Anything that’s worth achieving is worth doing. And anything that’s worth doing is worth planning… or is it worth thinking about? Or… you know what I mean.
Similar to any major life decision, deciding to migrate to Canada (or to any other country) will be the first step and it is not an easy task. You are relocating yourself and your family and will be settling in a new country. Consequently, you will be leaving familiar things behind – your career, your friends, your comfort zone. It’s damn scary. I know I was scared.
Therefore, think about it. Pray for guidance. Next, discuss it with your family. And spend more time thinking about it. Take your time. Then repeat as needed. It’s a life-changing decision. Don’t rush it.
Once you’re ready, make a decision. And be comfortable with that decision. Don’t second guess yourself.
Making that decision is no easy feat. Going through the process and finally finding yourself in Canada is exhausting. However, it is also an exciting opportunity and is such a profound experience that you will learn a lot from it. You can read some of it below.
Going Through The Stages
What? You’re still here? I am assuming the reason for that is because you’ve already made your decision.
Well, since it looks like you really want to push through with it, let’s kick it off, shall we?
Before we got into the main application process, we took some time to familiarize ourselves with the different immigration categories available to us in Canada. You might want to do that as well. As such, check the article below to have an overview of the different immigration categories available.
All of us here in Roadtripping Juans went through Express Entry via the Foreign Skilled Worker program and I’m guessing it will be the same for you. Read on to understand more of what we went through.
You can group our Canadian Immigration journey into certain main stages, namely, Express Entry or Pre-ITA, Post-ITA and Visa Issuance. As such, we will be grouping posts and topics accordingly.
NOTE: You might want to skip to Section I-c first. However, since you don’t have your IELTS and ECA results yet at this early stage, you should enter your expected IELTS score and ECA results. Doing this will give you an idea as to whether you qualify to migrate to Canada and your potential CRS score. Let this guide you in your decision whether it’s worth going through as you will be spending money on IELTS test and ECA. Once you’ve decided that you want to go through the process and apply, read on from the beginning.
I. Express Entry Stage
a. Get an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA)
A key contributor to our total CRS points in Canada’s Express Entry system was our ECA report.
An ECA basically provides an assessment of our educational credentials and translates them into their Canadian equivalent. This Canadian equivalent was used in our Express Entry application to determine how many points we earned under CIC’s Education criteria.
Learn more about it below:
b. Take your IELTS exam
Another important contributor are the scores we got from the IELTS exam we took.
The IELTS basically tests how well you write, read, speak, listen and understand using the English language – one of the 2 official languages in Canada.
Aim to get a score of 8 or higher in this exam as this directly contributes to your CRS points. Bonus points if your spouse will take the IELTS and scores high as well.
Read more about it below:
Fizban prepared some valuable tips before and during your IELTS exam. You can find it below:
c. Check your Express Entry eligibility and potential CRS score
Once we have our IELTS score and WES report, we decided to confirm again our eligibility to apply via Express Entry. Also, we opted to compute again our potential CRS score – this time based on the actual results of our IELTS and WES reports. Details below:
d. Create GCKey user ID and Express Entry profile
Once we’re satisfied that we were indeed qualified to apply, we went to the CIC website to create our personal GCKey user ID and Express Entry profile.
This is the stage where you are formally submitting your application and informing CIC that you are qualified to apply via Express Entry. This is where you get to declare your credentials – education, work experience, IELTS score, etc. The credentials you declare here will officially make up your CRS score that will serve as the basis for CIC to give you that Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canada Immigration.
Read below how we created our GCKey user ID and profile:
e. Look for open Provincial Nominee Programs
By this time, we already had our profile in the Express Entry system. The 410 points we had in our CRS just waiting for CIC to give us an invitation to apply (ITA).
However, the cutoffs every 2 weeks were not falling below 450 points. We knew it’ll take some time before we can get an ITA. And we knew we needed find a way to boost our score.
Luckily, we knew that some provinces have their Provincial Nominee Program open for applicants. And one of those is New Brunswick!
Read on below to learn more about the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the process we followed when we applied to New Brunswick’s PNP:
Hold your horses.
In case you haven’t noticed, we are just getting started. We’ll be posting a series of articles related to this topic in the next couple of weeks.
Either way, do get in touch and let us know what you think.