Documents Required for Immigration to Canada
There are certain documents required for Immigration to Canada. Some of these are mandatory for everyone while others depend on individual factors. In case of Express Entry, when an ITA (Invitation to Apply) is issued, a personalized checklist of documents for application for Permanent Residence is also generated by the system and is available with the online form.
List of Documents Required for Permanent Residence in Canada
- Valid Passport
- Educational Credential Assessment Report
- Language Test Results
- Work Experience Certificate
- Police Clearance Certificate
- Medical Exam
- Proof of Funds
- Relationship Certificate(s)
- Job Offer Letter from Canadian Employer (if applicable)
- Provincial Nomination (if applicable)
For Express Entry you will need to upload these documents to the online form. You can upload these documents in only .tiff, .jpg, .png, .doc, .docx and .pdf formats.
You must have a Valid Passport on which your visa will be stamped. In case your passport is going to expire within the next 6 months it is better to get it renewed at the earliest.
Educational Credential Assessment Report
You will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if you are applying as a Skilled Worker under Express Entry Program or you want to claim points for your spouse or yourself in other Express Entry Programs. However, you do not need an ECA for your Canadian Education.
You must submit your Educational Credential Assessment results to your Express Entry Profile. You will get points in Comprehensive Ranking System for each post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate according to equivalency to a Canadian post-secondary program.
Further clarifying, it means that to get points for a 4-year bachelor’s degree, your ECA result must mention it to be equivalent to a Canadian 4-year bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, if your ECA result says that your 4-year bachelor’s degree is equivalent to a Canadian 3 year bachelor’s degree or a 3-year diploma, then you will get points accordingly.
You must get all of your post-secondary degrees, diplomas and certificates assessed to get maximum points.
You will need to contact and apply to one of the designated organisations for your ECA. They will ask for copies of your degrees, diplomas and certificates along with transcripts/mark-sheets. You will have to apply to your university or college for these copies. They generally do not accept the photocopies of your own set of degrees, diplomas, and certificates. You will either have them sent directly from your university/college to the designated organisation or collect them yourself in an envelope sealed and stamped by your issuing authority and post it along with other required forms etc.
Once your ECA result arrives, you can verify your points and give the reference number in your Express Entry profile and then permanent residence application. You may need to upload this result along with other documents to your online application.
The organisations designated for ECA by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada are:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- Medical Council of Canada
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)
Language Test Results
These are the results of the language tests that you and your spouse must appear in to prove your ability in at least one of the official Canadian Languages, English or French. Your language score will be based on these test results. You cannot start your profile without one of these test results.
The approved tests for English are:
IELTS – International English Language Testing System and
CELPIP – Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
The examination centres for CELPIP are very limited and mostly in Canada.
For immigration purposes you will need to take IELTS – General Training or CELPIP – General Test
The approved test for French is TEF – Test D’Evaluation de Francais
For further details about language tests and their conversion tables to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) check here.
Work Experience Certificate
You will need to upload proof of your employment with your online application. You need to get a reference or experience letter for each work experience and employment you have declared.
The experience letter must:
- be printed on company letterhead
- include company’s address, telephone number and email
- have name, designation and signature of immediate supervisor/boss or personal officer/human resources manager
- indicate all positions held while employed at the company
- include job title, duties and responsibilities, date of joining and leaving or is it the current job, number of work hours per week and annual salary plus benefits
In a rare case if the employer wouldn’t issue experience letter, you can prove your employment experience through providing joining letter, pay slips (at least first and last), income tax returns etc. However, it is up to the processing officer to accept these as a proof of employment.
If you are self-employed you can provide proof of ownership of business like article of incorporation, registration certificate and self-employment income proof like income tax returns and chartered accountants statement. You will also need to provide a third party documentation indicating the service provided and payment received.
Police Clearance Certificate
Police Certificate or Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) is a mandatory requirement for all types of immigrant visas. You have to prove that you have never been involved in any criminal activities of any kind and do not have a criminal record.
The PCC is needed for the principal applicant and every family member who is over the age of 18 years for last ten years. You need to get a PCC from every jurisdiction, state, territory and country where you have lived in last ten years for six months in a row or more since the age of 18 years. You need Police Certificates for the period of last ten years or since the age of 18, whichever period is less.
You don’t need to get a Police Certificate for your stay in Canada.
You can get your police certificate through your passport office, district police headquarters or state police headquarters. If you have lived at different addresses in the same state, you can apply at the state police headquarters mentioning all addresses. If you have lived at the same address all your adult life and still live there then best is to apply through Passport office. You can apply online also.
To get a PCC from another country where you don’t live anymore, best is to contact the embassy of that country. You will need to submit a PCC from another country even if you were just travelling for more than six months in single visit.
The PCC at the time of application should not be more than 6 months old. If you are submitting a PCC from another country where you have lived and it is more than 6 months old then the date of issues must be after you left that country for the last time.
You need to submit or scan the original police clearance certificate. Copies or attested copies are not accepted.
In some special rare cases, where you couldn’t get a Police Certificate, you can submit a proof that you made your best effort to get one. You may submit proof of applying to get a Police Certificate.
Before granting a permanent residence visa, your and your family’s health is assessed. You may be inadmissible if you have a health condition which can pose a danger to public health or safety or your condition is very expensive to treat.
The medical exam normally consists of a blood test, chest x-ray and general observations by the physician.
The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada will tell you when to take your medical exam depending upon your visa class. It is generally at the final stages of your application processing. You will receive complete instructions at this point and you will have 30 days to get your medical exam done.
You have to find out an approved doctor/physician convenient to you and book an appointment. At the time of booking the appointment ask for what you need to bring with you. Generally you are required to bring your passport, Profile/application Number, recent photographs and fees.
Your exam results will go directly to the visa processing office and the visa processing office will inform you if any further examination is needed.
Proof of Funds
For most of the Immigration programs you have to show that you have the necessary funds available in liquid/cash form to support yourself and your family for at least a year after arriving in Canada. This amount of funds is determined from year to year.
You cannot borrow this money. You can only include the funds you have in your and your accompanying spouse’s bank accounts i.e. Only cash savings or investments readily available to you.
Immigrants who have a valid job offer or who are already working in Canada do not need to show these funds.
As a proof of your funds you must get a certificate/letter from your bank or financial institute. The letter must:
- be printed on the bank’s letter head
- include their address, telephone number and email
- include your name
- for each bank account, fixed deposits etc. it must state the account number, date of opening, current balance and average balance for last six months
- list any outstanding credit card balance or loans
- It may also mention the current exchange rate and value of funds in Canadian dollars
The amount of funds required depends on the number of family members accompanying you and is as per the following table:
|Number of Family members
|Amount (Canadian Dollars)
|For each additional member
Those applying under Express Entry and want to claim points for a relative in Canada, you must prove your relationship to the immigration department.
You can do so by providing documents, certificates, passports etc. where your parents names are given in case of Siblings.
In case of Uncle, Aunt, Nephew, Niece you may have to get documents with names of grand parents.
You will also need to submit your marriage certificate and birth certificates of your dependent children.
The other documents concerning relationships required in some cases may be Divorce Certificates, Death Certificates and Adoption Certificates.
Any documents that are not in English or French must be translated to English. A certified translator should do the translations.
The translator must also provide an affidavit mentioning the documents translated and also a certified photocopy of the original document translated.
Any photocopies must be attested by an Oath Commissioner or a Notary.
The person attesting must put a stamp stating Name and Authorization Number along with the words “Certified true copy of <Put name of original document here>“
This is generally not required in case of Express Entry as all the documents are scanned and uploaded online, so originals should be used for scanning.
You must get your photographs for Canadian Visa, taken as per the guidelines and specifications given below.
You can take a print or download latest photo specifications guide for your photographer here.
The Size of Photos for Canada Immigration is:
- It must be 50mm (2 Inches) wide and 70mm (2.75 inches) high
- The size of the face must measure between 31 mm to 36 mm from chin to top of the head (not hair).
The Specifications of Photographs for Canada Immigration are:
- Photo must be taken within last six months
- Your eyes must be open and clear
- Your mouth closed and no smile
- The photo must show full front face and shoulders in the middle of the photograph
- Do not wear any hats or caps
- Photo must be clear and in focus
- If you wear spectacles/glasses then make sure your eyes are clearly visible and there is no glare in the eyeglasses
Other Requirements for Photos for Immigration to Canada are:
- Your photo must be taken by a professional photographer
- The photographer must stamp or write by hand your full name and full address of the studio and date of the photograph taken
- Photo must be taken in front of a clear white background
- Lighting should be uniform and photo must not show any shadow or glare
- Photo must be printed on high quality photographic paper
- The photo should not be digitally altered in any way
- Photos with red-eye or red-eye correction are not accepted
Job Offer Letter from Canadian Employer
If you have a job offer also called offer of arranged employment, it must include:
- Employer name and address
- Start date
- Total period of job offered
- Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Number (if applicable)
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) code
- Salary and deductions
- Job Duties
- Hours of work
If you have Provincial Nomination, then you must include it in your Immigration Application.