Express Entry application timeline and CRS related questions

Hello Guys,

Excited to join this community.

I am living in the US for past 10 years.Came for masters and now working as construction engineer for 7 years. I am on H1B visa with approved I-140 and officially on the perpetual wait list for the mystical green card. My wife is on H1B as well. My family situation back in India and the insecurities of H1B visa has brought us to consider immigrating to Canada. A little background information about us

Myself(Principal Applicant):
Age: Turning 34 in March 2018
Education: BE in Civil Engineering in India and MS in Civil Engineering in USA.
Work Experience: Continuous 7 years experience in the US- working full time as a Construction Engineer(Construction Cost Estimator on H1B papers)

My Wife:
Education: BBA in India and MBA in the US.
Work Exp.: Continuous 2.5 years working full time as a QA developer(Business Analyst on H1B papers).

FSW elgibility criteria and Come to Canada tool say that I am eligible to apply. I have been reading a bunch about the process of applying for Canadian PR. Lot of my questions have been answered by reading other threads on this site. I still do have a few questions and I appreciate anyone who could provide answers.

  1. With increasing demand what is now considered as a high CRS score to be picked in the draw? Where do I go to check the current CRS threshold is at?

  2. As I am turning 34 in this March I want to apply before March 2019 to avoid losing 5 more points on the CRS. So What timeline should I follow for applying though the federal skilled workers express entry prog?
    Specifically, When to write IELTS,
    When to get ECA done,
    When to get the Police verification done?
    When to get the medical exam?

  3. Any specific documents that I should begin to procure ahead of time so that I am not held up after getting invitation to apply ?

  4. Since I am the primary applicant, do I need to get my wife’s both bachelors and masters degrees ECA? I ask because getting her bachelor’s degree transcripts would be quite challenging.

  5. WES asks for sealed and stamped transcripts from India. Is there any other organization that accepts scanned transcripts? May be a stupid question but I really want to know if there is one because it will save lot of time.

  6. I have narrowed down to three following NOC’s that I can use for myself
    -2234 Construction Estimators -Skill Level B

  • 2131 Civil Engineers -Skill Level A
  • 0711 Construction Managers - Skill Level 0
    Is there a way to know what skill level can be the most beneficial on my application?
  1. Does my wife’s NOC skill matters at all if I am the principal applicant?

  2. What avenues are available that I can make use to gain a possible provincial nomination?

Than you in advance.

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  1. DHS recently announced it has no plans for ending the H1B extensions for GC waiting line (atleast for now). This might result in some people breathing a sigh of relief and not applying for EE; you’ll know if the CRS cutoff drops in next few cycles. CRS cutoff also increases if there is a backlog of applications. Check on

  2. Duration between filling express entry profile and moving to Canada
    Steps before submitting EE profile and Pre-ITA phase
    In short, you need passport for IELTS and you also need to send it for Indian Embassy Police clearance so don’t overlap those. Give medical exam (preferably) after ITA so you get more time on your single entry PR visa (check availability of medical examiners beforehand and decide accordingly; the medical examiners have been specified on the CIC website). Apart from that get everything done asa you can (ECAs, Police clearances, experience/reference letters).

  3. See 2.

  4. EE - should I add spouse
    Getting your bachelors degree transcripts will also be challenging (I presume since it’s the univ in India) if you add bachelors degree towards points. But according to Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) for all degrees? you might not have to.

  5. When I applied all agencies were asking for sealed transcripts from univ direct to agency (WES, BCIT etc.) so I got it (took 2.5 months to get it from India though). See 4.

  6. Good question. You have said that you have two civil engineering degrees. It sounds like construction estimator would be an accountant type job, and construction manager might be a management type job rather than engineering, although I may be wrong (I’m CS). Assuming Skill level A gives you highest points In my opinion, you should add 2131 Civil Engineers since you have two “Civil Engineering” degrees. See if you can get reference/experience letters mention that you have a civil engineering degree and that you work as a “Civil Engineer in cost estimation” (for e.g., if you draft a letter and your boss is OK to sign on it). Also try simulating the different NOC codes in CRS calculator and see which one gives the best score. @anon25417004, any inputs?

  7. Try simulating you and your spouse as principal applicant in the CRS calculator and see which one gives you the highest point. If her NOC is in higher demand than yours she might get more points in that category. If her overall points are more than yours let her be the principal applicant.

  8. Find a job in that province and move on a work permit I guess.

Please see the following posts as well since some of your questions might have answers here:


@avj Anshul thanks a lot for taking the time and answering my questions- all of these are great answers. I did not know there is something called a CRS tool where you can calculate your score, here I was wasting time calculating my score in excel. So thanks for that.

Some followup questions.

-In the CRS calculator tool I did not find a place to input my NOC. it just asks how many years of experience you have in NOC 0/A/B skill area. Am I missing something? I went here to calculate the CRS score

  • Regarding transcripts: It appears from the links that you have posted that ECA for only the highest degree is required. The CRS calculator tool only asks for highest level of education for me and spouse which is masters for both of us. However, the only place where I find the Bachelor’s degree might be counted towards 50 points is under CRS-C(skills transferability factor) that needs Good IELTS score plus “Two or more post-secondary prog credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary prog of three years or longer”
    So do you think to get these 50 points we may require the bachelor’s degree ECA?

  • Regarding NOC: I have only read about NOC skills eligible are 0/A/B, I don’t know if they are all treated equally or one has preference over the others. I can get my employer to sign on a civil engineer NOC I think, but before that I want to be very sure if skill level A is better than skill level 0 or B on my application.

Sorry my bad. I forgot the CRS calculator does not take this detail into account:
I simulated your score based on your profile and it came out to be 454 (I simulated maximum score for IELTS). The latest cutoff was 446 so you would have qualified. I would suggest you and maybe your spouse give the IELTS asap so that you can apply while the cutoff is low. It is likely CRS calculator is a bit off and you might score more points since you have significant work experience.

Transcripts: I am not sure about the CRS-C points and whether you get additional points or not. Maybe @anon25417004 can answer this? I don’t remember if I got any additional points for giving PhD+MS+BE ECAs; honestly I didn’t bother to check since I was above the cutoff. I only know that I had counted BE towards my points (rather, I had added it all my degrees) and failed to give the ECA for BE and my application was canceled. Had to get the BE ECA and resubmit. In either case it doesn’t hurt to get the ball rolling in India to start mailing your transcripts to Canadian agencies. If I were you I’d have my Indian university mail transcripts to ALL the 5-6 agencies listed (wouldn’t cost much in INR). That way even if you are undecided on which agency to get ECA from, atleast you know it won’t take any additional time. When I was applying BCIT and UofToronto was quickest and WES was bad;now it seems the situation has reversed.

NOC: I’m not sure if you get more/less if you change NOCs from 0-A-B; it depends on which job category is most required in Canada. I’ll defer to more knowledgeable people to answer this. Honestly, I am CS so it was pretty straight forward for me. You will only know for sure once you get IELTS score, create and submit a profile. But again, I think you should be in the Civil Engineer (A?) category and not the management/cost estimator category, based on your BE+MS.

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@avj I too got a similar score when I simulated it, I hope now that I can score high on IELTS.

Seems like a good idea to get Indian transcripts. But may I ask where did you count BE degree as part of all your degrees? Was that during filling out EE profile? because I don’t see it as input in the CRS scoring tool.
I would be more inclined to get the transcripts in my hand and then mail it to the agencies that way I can be in control of the timeline rather than depending on Indian Universities to do it on their own sweet time.
Appreciate your inputs.

The CRS tool uses only a subset of your information to guess your score. Which is why sometimes the actual EE score could be more. I added ALL my degrees during EE profile creation and which is why I needed to get all ECAs. However I read later that you can add the degrees later on during additional information. See Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) for all degrees? for other answers. I’m not sure how to do this though, since I went through the pain to get my BE ECA.

The agencies that I got my ECA specifically say that the transcripts should be mailed directly from the university to the agency. If those words are written for the agency you are using, the transcripts have to go directly. Don’t worry, Indian universities will take their own sweet time to do this! Pune University took 2-3 months to mail the transcript with no updates whatsoever.

I read on WES that I can send it to WES provided that the enveloped is sealed , stamped or signed on the back flap. I will look into BCIT and other agencies.

Ok. The only question I have is whether, time-wise, the Indian university sending the transcript to you in the US and then you to WES will be any different than then sending it directly to the agencies other than WES.

I was thinking more on the lines of having somebody pick up the transcript from Indian university and speed post it to me here in the US. Speed post arrives within a week.

If WES (or other agencies) are OK with it, sure, why not.

Hi Anshul… We are getting a CRS score of only 347 or around. We are from India with no Canada education or job offer. Even if we take IELTS the score might not increase much. I am applying for jobs but no response from any of them. Is there any chance to get picked in the draws? What are our prospects of coming to Canada?

What’s your profile?

Also, I’d suggest going through the Readme posts, as some of them answer your questions New Member Guide - Read Me First

Hello there,

new to this forum and planning to start my application. i have following questions -

I am planning to apply as main application as my score is 492 on CRS and my spouse’s score is little less 468

I have a masters (MBA) from UK and Bachelors from India, going by the posts here, looks like i am only supposed to get ECA done for my masters as thats the one i will be using to score points, correct?

Though my husband will be coming as dependent, do i need to get his ECA done as well? he has done Bachelors from India - B.E. in IT

Does it matter what was your grade for the degree you choose to apply points for? I have completed my Masters but with ok grades, while i earned a distinction in my Bachelors. Even though i had better grades in bachelors, i think Masters is what i should show on my application - correct?


Should we both get IELTS (General) done or just me will be enough? although, my husband had recently got his IELTS (Academic) done - can we use the IELTS academic score?

Job Applications:

Since I am the main applicant, once we get the PR approved - do i have to travel first or can my husband travel first by himself and i join him later?
The reason i say this is because i currently have a job in US and he is finishing his masters. The plan is to let him looks for job first and move and then i leave my job.

Thank you.


How did you calculate CRS score for you or husband without IELTS?
Did you select 9 in for each of IELTS section as that CRS score is impressive or Seems you entered random score…

Anyways, Yes You have to have General Ielts for both…Academic IELTS will not work…

If you are adding your husband in EE profile then you both need ECA and IELTS…

ECA is preferably needed only for Masters… But better include Bachelors and Masters both in ECA as it will cost same.


yes, for IELTS I used the random average score of 7 overall and none for my husband.

I am adding my husband’s profile as spouse travelling with me. if i don’t use that option, i will still have to get his evaluation done when we apply for his visa at later stage?

The issue is - my husband’s university said he needs to come in person and get the documents required for the evaluation, they don’t send the documents via post. We are currently in US with no plans of visiting India.

Can i only apply for EE with my Evaluation only?

Since my Bachelors is from India, it might take few months before this gets done so i don’t want to use my bachelors if its not really needed in order to avoid any delays in process.

Its impossible to get CRS score of 492 with IELTS average score of 7 unless you have Canadian Education or Job Experience… Or perhaps you have someone in relation already PR Or citizen of Canada…or a Canadian job offer…

Its better to add spouse in application and get ECA and IELTS as it will give few more points for spouse…

TO get transcripts if your husband’s university needs someone to visit there… then i think doesn’t mean your husband… So ask some family or relative member to visit with the documents they need ( usually fees and DMC photocopies or inquire with them)…

Correct, i clicked a yes in one of the sections by mistake for canada experience. I re-calculated it - we are getting a score of 469 with average score of 8 in IELTS now. we are aiming to get 8 at least in IELTS for both me and my husband so prepping for it now.

The issue with my husband’s university is they don’t want the relatives, we asked if parents/sibling can pick up but they said he has to come in person - i find it absurd but it is what it is :frowning:

May we should try other institutes for evaluation that WES and see if they are ok to send us the official transcripts by us.

I am still in the application process myself and have not submitted my EE profile so I cannot give you an opinion based on experience. But based on what I read on website, it is my understanding that the only place where primary applicant’s Bachelor’s degree might be counted towards 25/50 points is under CRS-C(skills transferability factor) that needs IELTS score plus "Two or more post-secondary prog credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary prog of three years or longer"

As per “CRS – B. Spouse or common-law partner factors” your spouse’s bachelor’s degree can fetch you 9 points. If you don’t want to use it then you don’t need his ECA.

HERE is the link from where I got the above info.

So I think that if you are not relying on either of these categories for your CRS points then you wouldn’t need ECA for bachelor’s degree. Also I think the grades on your bachelors or masters don’t really matter because I presume they only want to see if your foreign degree is equivalent to a Canadian degree or not.

No you cannot apply for EE with your own evaluation. You need ECA from designated organizations only. You can find them here

Good news is that you don’t need score of average 8 for both… Only primary applicant needs it… So whoever gets more IELTS score make him or her primary…
Yeah you will loose just 5-10points if not adding spouse’s education so don’t need his ECA…

You need official transcript sealed in an envelope either directly sent to WES or you can send that envelope yourself to WES… but it should be unopened stamped envelope from University with transcript inside it.