Canada is known world around to be a very welcoming and hospitable country. The Canadian people are warm and receptive towards migrants from other nations and most Canadian cities are hence culturally and ethnically diverse. Though Canadian values are the primary reason for this attitude, a major chunk of credit is also due to Canadian policymakers. The Canadian officials have great belief in the powers of diversity and inclusion. In an era where so many other countries are averse to accept and include people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and value systems; Canada’s attitude is so refreshing. As per estimates, Canada is expecting 1 million migrants every year from now through 2020! But how and why will these people get there? The answer to this question is the Express Entry system designed by the government. Haven’t heard about it? Never mind! Here’s everything you need to know about the Express Entry system and what to expect from and about it in 2018.
WHAT IS EXPRESS ENTRY?
First things first, the Express Entry system is a system that accepts and processes Canadian permanent residency applications. It is NOT an immigration program. The system was first brought into implementation in January 2015. Though the immigration authorities took some time to accept and adjust to it, it is now utilized at its optimum and applications are now being processed at breakneck speed!
This system manages 3 different merit-based programs to ensure that only the best and most deserving applicants get an invitation to come to the country.
Federal Skilled Worker (FSW):
This program is meant for highly skilled workers who are proficient and educated in English or French. The program aims to include them in Canada’s workforce and hence younger applicants are usually preferred over the older ones. This program does not require applicants to have any Canadian connections with respect to education, work experience or Canadian relatives. Foreign nationals thus stand a great chance to be integrated into the country’s workforce through this program.
Federal Skilled Trades (FST):
This program aims at experienced workers who are engaged in skilled trade occupations. Only applicants who have a full-time employment offer of at least a year or a Canadian authority’s qualification certificate for their particular skilled trade will be accepted. However, educational qualifications and language proficiency requirements are lower for this program.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC):
This again is a program for skilled workers like the FSW but is much less competitive. It targets skilled workers with at least 1 year of experience in skilled work in Canada. High proficiency in English or French and higher education are preferred attributes.
A foreign national must first submit an Express Entry profile to be considered for any of these programs. This would suggest that they are interested in Canadian permanent residency. Then, after every 2 weeks, the government issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the most competitive candidates. The ITA gives you the eligibility to submit your final Canadian permanent residence application.
EXPRESS ENTRY IN 2018: CRS SCORE AND ITAs
2017 saw more ITAs given than 2015 and 2016 combined. This suggests that Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has now attached greater priority to Express Entry to welcome and accommodate economic migrants in Canada.
This also suggests that the Comprehensive Ranking System has increased leniency and the trend may continue this year too as the Express System is taking in more and more migrants. 600,000 of the proposed 1 million migrants that the government intends to accept every year will come through various economic programs.
In May 2017, applicants were to require a minimum CRS score of 413 to receive an ITA. . This is an all time low and also approximately 50 points lower than the average score for 2016. So as the comfort levels with the use and adoption the Express Entry system has increased, the government is now able to turn over applications faster and issue more ITAs with lower CRS requirements. 2018 may well witness another drop in CRS requirements and this is the perfect time to submit an immigration application through the Express Entry system.
EXPRESS ENTRY IN 2018: PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAMS (PNPs)
PNPs are province centric programs that give priority to economic migrants based on the need of their skills in the specified province’s employment scene.
So let’s say that the province of Alberta requires Information Technology specialists, they have the option open a PNP intake for this specified field of work for a specified time period that they deem suitable.
PNPs are of 2 types: enhanced and base.
The enhanced PNPs fall under the scope of the Express Entry system. Applicants stand to earn additional CRS points and also an ITA if they’re nominated through the enhanced PNP.
The base PNPs function independently from the Express Entry system. So the successful nominees just need to submit a final application for Canadian permanent residence to IRCC.
So in 2018, economic immigrants must lookout for nominations through enhanced PNPs.
Alberta, the oil and gas production epicenter of Canada, has opened an Express Entry aligned nomination stream this year; the criteria for which is yet to be announced. The Manitoba province has also pledged to renew and update its enhanced PNP stream this year.
These are just 2 among a host of territories that have or are about to, open employment opportunities for economic migrants in 2018. The timing seems just right to make a long-term move to Canada. So prepare your Express Entry profile and submit it now!