Established in 2015, the Express Entry system (which spans the Canadian Experience Class program (CEC), the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)) represents a path to immigration that has seen massive amounts of traffic. It has aided many skilled foreign workers in becoming Canadian permanent residents since its inception.
While Express Entry remains one of Canada’s most in-demand paths to immigration, there are also multiple costs that go along with the process.
The Investments to Submit a Profile
To assemble a profile for Express Entry candidacy, you may need to include the following:
- A Passport copy/copy of travel document;
- Language tests (International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English; or the Test d’Évaluation de Français pour le Canada (TEF) and the Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) for French – to evaluate listening, reading, writing, and speaking ability);
- Proof of Canadian Education or an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) (for those who have studied abroad);
- A Provincial Nomination Letter (if obtained);
- A written job offer letter from a Canadian employer or proof of work experience or certificate of qualification in a trade occupation (issued by a Canadian province or territory); and
- Proof of settlement funds (only for FSWP & FSTP candidates who do not have a valid job offer in Canada).
*Note: all expenses are listed in Canadian dollars*
However, these required documents come with their own fees. For example:
- Language testing – based on whether one is pursuing accreditation in English or French, (and what location one is testing in) prices for these tests will likely vary:
IELTS testing costs roughly $300 + tax, depending on what location one is testing in;
CELPIP testing costs roughly $280 + tax;
TEF testing costs roughly $440 + tax (according to Alliance-Francaise) with an additional $75 non-refundable charge if the applicant needs to cancel or reschedule before the testing day; and
TCF testing costs roughly $460 + tax (according to Alliance-Francaise) and features the same $75 non-refundable charge.
If you have studied abroad, an ECA is required to determine how your education may compare to an equivalent Canadian education.
According to IRCC, the average cost of receiving an ECA is roughly $200, in addition to courier fees – though this varies depending on which Designated Organization (DO) does the credential assessment.
- ECA’s reveal another charge – the expense of having documents translated into English or French.
These costs are incurred if your documents were not initially in French or English. Importantly translations need to happen with a board-certified translator to be valid for IRCC applications.
- Additionally, there are costs that you don’t need to incur but that can be of great benefit to your potential success in the applicant pool.
One of the most important in this regard is hiring an immigration lawyer. While fees here will vary between different law firms, candidates should expect to pay between $2,000 – $5,000. Though this is an additional fee, the benefits are plenty: expertise in the immigration space and experienced knowledge of crafting applications to the highest standard; avoiding unnecessary mistakes and misrepresentation (which can lead to huge penalizations including being barred from applying for immigration for up to five years); saving time and granting peace of mind in your immigration process, and even maximizing your potential Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) points. CRS is the main system by which most immigrants to Canada will be evaluated for immigration by the IRCC.
While many of these costs may seem high, immigrants accepted into the Express Entry pool, and who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) stand a strong chance of succeeding in the labour market – as their acceptance is based on human capital factors that Canadian employers value highly.
The Cost of Applications and Success
The application processing fee is $850, for any individual applying. With a spouse/partner that fee is doubled to $1,700 total. Additionally, any dependent child will incur a charge of $230.
This means that a family of three (for example) will have to pay $1,930 simply to get their applications processed.
However, should the family of three be successful in their bid for permanent residency, both adults will have to pay an additional Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) of $515 – raising the total cost to $2,960.
Further, there are associated fees to assembling an application (with a myriad number of required documents and official papers).