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Canada’s Express Entry System – Part 2

The second article in a series of three on Canada’s Express Entry system, written by Miho and Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners (Vancouver).

Express Entry – Reviewing The Scoring System

In the second part of our three-part series on Canada’s new Express Entry system, we look at what you need to succeed. We examine the Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) system and discuss the advantages of a validated Canadian job offer showing you how you can be ranked at the top of the pile.

Also in this part we provide analysis on the draws thus far and our opinions on how low we could see the Express Entry cut off score go in 2015.

Gastown, Canada

Why Express Entry?

The purpose of Express Entry is to select immigrants who demonstrate desirable characteristics such as language, recognized credentials and specific skills sets, which are known to be beneficial for the settlement and integration of new immigrants and for effective contribution to the Canadian economy. As a result of Express Entry’s active selection, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is able to control applications for permanent residency allowing for faster processing times. CIC claims that 80% of applications will be processed in six months or less. 

Your first point of consideration for Express Entry will be whether or not you qualify under a Federal Immigration category. If yes, then your next step is to assess if you have a competitive CRS score, the optimization of your CRS score and whether you have a Canadian job offer. This could mean the difference of being selected and not being selected.

Your “core human capital” score is calculated based on your age, education, language and work experience. The maximum score for this section is 600 points.

You can double your score if you have a ‘validated job offer’ in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or Provincial Nomination (PN), giving you an additional 600 points. The former means a Province has nominated you because of the skills you can bring to Canada, and the latter means that your new Canadian employer has proven that there is a genuine labour shortage and that a Canadian citizen cannot be found to fill the position.

In theory, with a validated job offer, the maximum anyone can receive is 1200 points with a perfect CRS score. To-date, the lowest score required to receive an Invitation to Apply has been 453 points out of a possible 1200 points.

Reviewing The Requirements

You will need to provide information about your marital status (single, married or common-law) as well as any dependents you might have (children). You will also be asked about your education and work experience as well as your language skills. Canada has two official languages: English and French, so speaking one or both of these will give you a higher score. 

When it comes to immigration, one of the Government’s main concerns is to ensure that its citizens are not losing employment opportunities to foreign workers. By having a LMIA or Provincial Nomination with your application you are showing the need for your immigration, as it will benefit the Canadian economy.

The Lower the Score, the Higher the Invitations

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has set the 2015 target for economic class immigration at 185,000 applicants. Accounting for family members, a conservative estimate is that 90,000 to 100,000 people will need to receive an Invitation To Apply in 2015 in order for the Federal Government to reach its targets. This means as the year progresses and they still have tens of thousands of invitations to submit, the cut off score must decrease in order to allow for these invitations to be processed.  

This is what we have been seeing month-over-month. At the beginning of the program, the cut off CRS was over 900 points, yet less than 800 invitations were sent out. And the more draws they went through, the lower the score (on average). We have also seen that as the score decreased (as low as 453 points), more invitations were submitted (over 1600).

What Does This Mean For New Applications?

It means as we near the fall and winter, we are likely to continue to see the CRS decrease as an overall trend, though by smaller increments and we may even see the CRS go below 400. As a result, we will likely see the number of invitations continue to increase, enabling the government to meet their annual quota.  

Although the CRS score requirement is trending down, you still need to ensure you have the highest score possible. Because this is a ‘pool’ system, like a lottery, you still want to make sure you have a high score, as you don’t know what the cut off score will be.

Remember To Be Honest!

The Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) is there to rank all the different applicants based on several criteria. The higher your score the better your chances of receiving an ‘Invitation To Apply’ for residency in Canada.

If you receive an ‘Invitation To Apply’, then it is your duty to submit proof of all the information you’ve claimed on your online application, as well as other documentation. Should it become evident that you have embellished or misrepresented your skills, experience or education you could receive a 5 year ban from applying to be a permanent resident in Canada. But be warned, the reality is once the government knows you’ve misrepresented yourself, it is very difficult to have a successful application.

So, the most important thing to take away is that your Express Entry online application needs to be entirely truthful and accurate otherwise you will come into some issues down the road.

Do I Qualify?

In the last six months we have received inquiries from people around the world wondering if they have what it takes to submit an Express Entry online application. The reality is Express Entry is not for everyone. There is a way to determine if you are eligible for Express Entry and if it’s an option for you, or if you should pursue other immigration avenues.

You can take our free online assessment to determine if your score will place you high enough in the pool of applicants, or if you should consider other options. Alternatively, you can always call us to schedule a one-on-one consultation and either Miho or Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners can assess your eligibility for Express Entry and immigration to Canada.

 

More Information / Contact

Click here to see how Miho and Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners can help you.

– Written by Miho and Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners, for the Working In Blog

Canada’s Express Entry Immigration System – Part 1

Following our blog last month, we received a number of queries on the new Express Entry system – a new immigration process which came into effect in Canada in January 2015.  Our partners in Vancouver, Miho and Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners, have written a step-by-step, three-part guide on how to use this new system, should you wish to apply for a Canadian visa.

Express Entry Overview

Vancouver Waterfront

Immigrating to Canada via Express Entry

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has developed a new online application system, to assess those seeking permanent residence in Canada.

The system, which was launched in January 2015, is specifically designed to selectively control the flow of immigrants to Canada, providing faster processing times for those who qualify for an Invitation To Apply and responding to the needs of the Canadian labour market. 

Express Entry is best used by people with verifiable work experience, educational and professional credentials, as well as language proficiency (English and French) that will help them settle and contribute to Canada’s society and economy as a whole.  To qualify for Express Entry you must be eligible under at least one of three Federal Immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class.

There are Many Steps in the Process

The online application system is only the first step in the Express Entry process. Once your application is submitted, you will be entered into the pool of candidates. Your application will be scored and based on that score, the top candidates will be offered an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. This can take up to 12 months to receive, if at all.  The second step can only be completed once you receive your invitation, and you have only 60 days (two months) to do so, or you forfeit the invitation. 

Your Express Entry application is valid for 12 months, and there is no limit as to the number of people who can submit an Express Entry application – but there is an annual limit to the number of people offered an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.  For 2015, that number is set for 185,000 economic class immigrants and their families.  Once that number is reached, the quota will reset for 2016.  If you are not offered an invitation within 12 months, you will be invited to resubmit your Expression of Interest application again.

What Will the Express Entry Application Ask?

The application profile will require you to submit truthful and verifiable information about your employment skills, work experience, language ability, education, as well as any other details that may help the government assess your employability and your overall contribution to Canadian society.

Your profile will be scored against other candidates in the pool based on the Comprehensive Ranking System.  This system is designed to determine your eligibility based on your skills and experience as described above.  Those with the highest scores will be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence first.

Can You Guarantee I Will Be Picked from the Pool?

 The truth is, no one can guarantee that you will be picked from the pool of candidates. But you can improve your chances by securing a validated Canadian job offer. These come in two forms:

(a) Nomination from a Province or Territory

(b) Labour Market Impact Assessment

If your application includes one of the above, you will automatically score 600 points out of a possible 1,200 points. But remember, education, work experience and languages also play a mandatory part in your score.

Long Road

Free Online Assessment

If you are unsure of how you would score, you can take a free online assessment to help guide you and to determine if Express Entry is right for you.

Please visit the CIP website to complete our short eligibility form. Please note: this is an initial assessment to see if you qualify for a Federal Immigration Program and Express Entry. A more detailed evaluation should be performed before submitting your official application to the government.

Important Note 

Submitting an online profile for Express Entry does not automatically qualify you to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in Canada. Once you submit your profile, and your profile is accepted into the pool of candidates, your profile will be ranked.

This is an ‘active selection’ system which means once you have been ranked amongst your peers, the Canadian Government will continue to select candidates on an ongoing basis.  This means you could wait up to 12 months before finding out if you have been selected to receive an Invitation to Apply.  However, you might not receive your Invitation to Apply, which means you will have to resubmit another Express Entry application.  If you do receive an invitation, this is just the first step and you must still meet all other requirements under Canada’s immigration law.

What Happens After I Receive An Invitation To Apply?

If you have received an Invitation to Apply, congratulations!  You are on your way to becoming a Canadian permanent resident. However, you’re not quite there yet.  Once you receive your invitation, you only have 60 days (2 months) to respond by completing an electronic application for permanent residence.

Because of this time constraint, it is very important that you start getting your response ready immediately, as many of the requirements can take several weeks to receive back (like a police check, for example).  The team at CIP Consulting has developed a process whereby 90% of your application is complete when you submit your Expression of Interest, which means you won’t have to stress about completing the electronic application.

Once your electronic application for permanent residence has been submitted, the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada will try to process your application within six months or less.

Learn More About Express Entry

Applying for Canadian permanent residence is a time-consuming and challenging process.  If you would like to speak with an immigration expert, please contact Miho or Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners at 1.888.508.5308, or visit us online to learn more about how we can help you.

– Written by Miho and Matthew of Canada Immigration Partners, for the Working In Blog

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