Moving from India

What you should know on how to immigrate to Canada from India through Express Entry.

You would be amazed to learn that Indian citizens have always topped the list of applicants with the highest number in the Express Entry by country of citizenship. 

In 2019, Indians made up a quarter of new Canadian permanent residents, a total of 85,000 Indian PRs! One underlying factor for this huge success might be none other than India is the world’s second-largest country and with a high number of English-speaking middle class characterized by high levels of education and desired skills and work experience.

If you then want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, you will need to ensure you are eligible and understand the requirements and information to provide. In the paragraphs below, that’s what we have put together to ensure you get a good shot at Express Entry.


Which Express Entry Program Are You Eligible For?

The three immigration programs under the Express Entry system have distinct requirements.

  • The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for applicants outside Canada with foreign education and work experience.
  • The Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program is suitable for those with Canadian tradesperson qualifications.
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program has a requirement of Canadian work experience which is usually gotten after studying in Canada.

Therefore, If you have never worked nor visited Canada, the FSW program is the Express Entry route that is best for you.

One thing to always have in mind with Express Entry is that is not enough to meet the basic requirements as it is point-based and quite competitive. Hence you need to score high to meet possible cutoffs.

FSW Requirements:

  • minimum of one year full-time, continuous skilled work experience;
  • high school education or above;
  • proof of language ability via test scores at or above CLB level 7 which is the Canadian Language Benchmark

Where meeting minimum requirements doesn’t help much is in garnering lots of points that you would need to secure an invitation in a draw.

For instance, the minimum level of education is high school but it only attracts 5 points on the FSW points grid while Bachelor’s degree holder gets 21 points! The same applies to language, (if bi-lingual with test scores to claim points) age, work experience, and adaptability factors.

Now that you are familiar with the basics. You will need to check your CRS score and see for yourself your chances of success.

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is the singular determinant of applicants’ success in Express Entry. This is why it is advisable to attempt a sample of the CRS score, you can check receivable points for each factor here (insert  )

It is also important to note that language test scores and level of education plays can affect possible CRS scores greatly, It gives without saying that a high score should be achieved in these two areas.

Documents Needed

Language Tests:

There is no escaping this requirement and what we have found out is that the majority of Indians opt for the English tests to show proficiency in lieu of French tests.

For any immigration routes to Canada, there are two approved English Language Tests. They are the IELTS General Training and the CELPIP General Training with both available in India. India has over 50 IELTS centers and 7 CELPIP test centers  Getting a center to write your tests shouldn’t be a problem at all.

That being said, to have an edge, an applicant should aim at achieving CLB 9 in any of these tests.

The following are scores to achieve CLB 9

IELTS General:

Listening – 8.0

Speaking – 7.0

Reading –  7.0

Writing –   7.0

Read How to pass the IELTS in one sitting

CELPIP General:

Listening – 9.0

Speaking – 9.0

Reading –  9.0

Writing –   9.0


Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

We previously mentioned how high school education is the minimum required for Express Entry, the truth is, It is not enough to make you competitive in the pool.

The CRS points for education are based on the Canadian educational equivalence and this is where ECA comes in. The ideal level of education (not that others don’t work, but this has more points) you should go for is-

” Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years”

In simpler terms, you need an education level like this for instance:

  • A Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree
  • A Bachelor’s degree and a one-year college diploma

The process of ECA is quite simple but can be costly. You will need to get the official transcripts of your degrees, certificates, or diplomas and submit them for processing. One of the widely used platforms for this is WES – World Educational Service.

Your school(s) and WES may delay this processing so it is advisable to start early! and this can’t be emphasized enough.


Work Experience and Age

Work Experience: Even though the minimum required non-Canadian work experience is 1 year. If you want to maximize your CRS points, you would need three years of full-time skilled work experience.

Age: Let’s just say Saskatchewan and Canada generally favor those in the younger age group when it comes to awarding points. This is why the maximum number of points for applicants aged is between 20 and 29 years old. Once you hit 30, you lose points downward


Let’s talk about Funds: How much do you need to show?

Remember we have been talking about FSW that doesn’t require a job offer, because of this you will need to show immigration you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Saskatchewan.

Please note that these funds have to be in your account that has your name or that of your spouse, It must be accessible to spend.

The following is in Canadian dollars and the actual amount in rupees will vary according to exchange rates at the time of your application.

Number of family members/Required funds (in CAD)

1 (single applicant) $13,310

A family of 2   $16,570

A family of 3    $20,371

A family of 4 $24,733

A family of 5  $28,052

A family of 6  $31,638

A family of 7 $35,224

(For each additional family member, you will have to add $3,586 )