Express Entry Checklist for Canadian immigration

One of the most commonly asked questions that people ask us is, “where can I find the Express Entry checklist?” This is an excellent question as the Canadian government and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada do not actually have an Express Entry checklist available. The reason for this is that with the Express Entry online system, each applicant’s Express Entry checklist is created based on their specific background and can only be accessed once the applicant has received an Invitation to Apply and has completed all of their online application forms. This has caused problems for many applicants who had no idea what documents they needed before getting to this stage. As you only have 60 days to submit your application for Permanent Residency after receiving your Invitation to Apply, you want to try and obtain as many of the required documents that you can before receiving your Invitation to Apply.

There are mandatory documents that all applicants will require, regardless of whether they are classified as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson, a member of the Canadian Experience Class or a Provincial Nominee. If an applicant fails to upload any of their required documents on their Express Entry checklist, their application will be marked canceled and will not be processed. The applicant will then have to re-enter the Express Entry System and wait for a new Invitation to Apply and then re-submit their full application for Permanent Resident status.

This Express Entry checklist applies to applicants once they have received an Invitation to Apply and are applying for Canadian Permanent Residency. A PDF version of this checklist can be found at the end of this article.

Travel documents

Travel documents for express entry checklist

As part of the Express Entry checklist, the main applicant and each of their accompanying family members will require a valid passport or travel document. Each family member will be asked to include the identity page that shows your photo and date of birth as well as any pages in your passport which have visas or stamps on them. It is recommended that each travel document be valid for at least one year.

Documents to prove your marital status

Marital documents for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is married, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit a marriage certificate with their application. The marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law.

If the main applicant is in a common-law relationship, their Express Entry checklist will require them to complete a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form and provide proof of their common-law relationship which needs to include proof of co-habitation for a minimum of twelve continuous months before the date of submission of the application. Evidence of cohabitation includes but is not limited to

  • copies of joint bank account statements;
  • copies of leases;
  • utility bills.

If the main applicant or their accompanying spouse, if applicable, has previously been divorced their Express Entry checklist will require them to provide a divorce certificate, divorce order or legal separation agreement.

If the main applicant or their accompanying spouse, if applicable, has previously been married and then widowed, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit a death certificate, executorships or other legal certificates to prove their widowed status.

Birth certificates

Birth certificates for express entry checklist

If the main applicant or their spouse has any dependent children, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit an unabridged birth certificate for each child which shows both of their parents’ details. This applies to dependent children that are not accompanying the main applicant to Canad as well. The spouse of the main applicant must also declare all of their dependent children whether accompanying them to Canada or not.

Custody documents

Custody documents for express entry checklist

If the main applicant or their spouse is including an accompanying dependent child on the application whose other parent is not part of the application, you will need to provide proof that you have authorization to immigrate to Canada with that child. This can include custody agreements and documents as well as a declaration for non-accompanying parents. The Express Entry checklist will specifically require a declaration for non-accompanying parents.

Proof of education

Proof of education for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming any points on the Comprehensive Ranking System for their education or their accompanying spouse’s education then their Express Entry checklist will require them to provide proof of education. This will include a copy of the certificate/diploma/degree and if the education was completed outside of Canada, an educational credential assessment. If the education was completed in Canada, you will require the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number of the Canadian institution as well as proof that it was completed.

Proof of Canadian studies

Proof of Canadian studies for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming any points on the Comprehensive Ranking System for Canadian education or their accompanying spouse’s Canadian education then their Express Entry checklist will require them to provide proof of that Canadian education. This will include a copy of the certificate/diploma/degree, the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number of the Canadian institution, proof that the studies were completed on a valid Canadian permit and that the education was completed in person.

Proof of work experience

Proof of work experience for express entry checklist

For any periods of employment for which the main applicant is receiving points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, they will need to provide proof of this employment. The Express Entry checklist will specifically require records of employment which have to include:

  • a reference or experience letter from the employer, which
    • should be an official document printed on company letterhead (must include the applicant’s name, the company’s contact information [address, telephone number and email address], and the name, title and signature of the immediate supervisor or personnel officer at the company),
    • should indicate all positions held while employed at the company and must include the following details: job title, duties and responsibilities, job status (if current job), dates worked for the company, number of work hours per week and annual salary plus benefits; and
  • if the applicant is self-employed, articles of incorporation or other evidence of business ownership, evidence of self-employment income and documentation from third-party individuals indicating the service provided along with payment details (self-declared main duties or affidavits are not acceptable proof of self-employed work experience).

Proof of Canadian work experience

Proof of Canadian work experience for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming any points on the Comprehensive Ranking System for Canadian work experience or their accompanying spouse’s Canadian work experience then their Express Entry checklist will require them to provide proof of that Canadian work experience. This will include the same reference or experience letters listed above as well as copies of T4 tax information slips and notices of assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (the time period for these documents should reflect the work experience timeframe you are claiming points for.

Police clearances

Police clearances for express entry checklist

The Express Entry checklist will require the main applicant, their spouse, and any dependent child 18 years of age or older, whether accompanying or not, to submit police clearances with the application. This includes a police clearance from the country you currently reside in as well as any country you have spent six months or more in a row in the past ten years, or since your eighteenth birthday. You do not need to provide police clearances for any period of time where you were under the age of eighteen. The police clearance for the country you currently reside in must have been issued within the past six months before submitting your application. For any country you no longer live in, the police clearance just has to have been issued after you last lived in the country for six months or longer in a row. Officers have the discretion to request additional police clearances during the process if they deem it necessary.

Proof of an upfront medical examination

Proof of upfront medical for express entry checklist

The Express Entry checklist will require the main applicant, their spouse, and any dependent child, whether accompanying or not, to undergo an upfront medical examination. The examinations have to be completed by a panel physician who has been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. These examinations are only valid for one year from the day they are completed. It is recommended that you only complete these once you have received an Invitation to Apply.

Digital photo

Digital photo for express entry checklist

The Express Entry checklist will require the main applicant, their spouse, and any dependent child, whether accompanying or not, to submit a digital photo of themselves. The photo:

  • Must include full front view of the head, with the face in the middle and include the tops of the shoulders
    • The photo must be in colour
    • Taken against a white background
    • No smiling

Proof of settlement funds

Proof of settlement funds for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is applying as a Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Tradesperson or Provincial Nominee, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit proof that they have enough money to support themselves and their family on arrival in Canada. This amount is based on family size. To prove that you have these fund available, you will be requested to submit:

  • an official letter(s) from one or more financial institutions that lists all current bank and investment accounts as well as outstanding debts, such as credit card debts and loans.
  • The letter(s) must be printed on the letterhead of the financial institution and must include:
    • the applicant’s name,
    • the contact information of the financial institution (address, telephone number and email address), the account numbers,
    • the date each account was opened and
    • the current balance of each account as well as the average balance for the past six months.

To view the amount that you will require based on your family size click here.

If you’re authorized to work in Canada and you have a valid job offer, even if you are applying as a Federal Skilled Worker or Federal Skilled Tradesperson, you will not be required to show the required amount of settlement funds. The Express Entry online system currently still asks all applicants to provide proof of settlement funds as part of their Express Entry checklist regardless of application type. If you do not need to provide proof of funds with your application, you must upload a letter explaining that you either have been invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class or that you have a valid job offer in Canada.

Provincial or territorial certificate of qualification

Canadian trade certificate for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming points under the Comprehensive Ranking System for having a provincial or territorial certificate of qualification, or they are eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades program due to this qualification, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit a copy of the qualification with the application.

Offer of employment

Offer of employment for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming points under the Comprehensive Ranking System for having a qualifying job offer of arranged employment, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit the following documents:

  • A letter from the employer that:
    • must be printed on company letterhead and
    • includes the applicant’s name:
    • the company’s contact information (address, telephone number and email address):
    • and the name, title and signature of the applicant’s proposed immediate supervisor or personnel officer;
    • expected start date,
    • a commitment that the applicant will be employed on a continuous, paid, full-time work, for work that is for at least one year after issuance of a permanent resident visa,
    • job title,
    • duties and responsibilities,
    • current job status (if current job),
    • number of work hours per week and
    • annual salary plus benefits.

Proof of relationship to Canadian relative

Proof of Canadian relative for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is claiming any points on the Comprehensive Ranking System for a Canadian relative or their accompanying spouse’s Canadian relative then their Express Entry checklist will require them to provide the following documents:

  • A copy of both sides of the family member’s Canadian citizenship document, Canadian birth certificate and/or permanent resident card
  • Evidence that the family member currently resides in Canada
  • Proof of the relationship
  • If the relative is a stepbrother or stepsister, there should be no evidence in the application that the marriage or common-law relationship between the parents of the stepbrother or stepsister has broken down.

Name changes

Proof of name change for express entry checklist

If the main applicant, their spouse, or any of their dependent children have undergone a name change or have used another name previously, their Express Entry checklist will require them to submit documents to support this. For anyone whose name changed due to marriage, they would provide their marriage certificate. If their name was changed legally by the courts they would need to submit any official documents issued to them by the court.

Translations of documents included in your Express Entry checklist

Translations for express entry checklist

If the main applicant is including any documents with their application that are not in English or French, then they will be required to submit a copy of the original document as well as a version translated by a certified translator. This will include:

  • the English or French translation; and
  • an affidavit from the person who completed the translations; and
  • a certified photocopy of the original document.

Download the PDF version of this complete Express Entry checklist here.

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