Following the launch of its new Express Entry selection system for Canadian immigration last week, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has stated its intention to perform the first draw from the Express Entry pool before the end of January, 2015. This news may benefit candidates who create their online profiles before the first draw is made.
How may this benefit candidates?
From the outset and for some time to come, CIC expects that a significant proportion of invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence will be issued to people without job offers from Canadian employers. This is because the job matching facility for Canadian employers is unlikely to be in place for a number of months, yet the government of Canada aims to admit approximately 180,000 new immigrants in 2015 through the economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Provincial Nominee Programs.
“We expect that certainly, as of implementation and early days in 2015, it will take some time for that employer take-up to happen,” stated a CIC spokesperson at a recent conference. “What we’re expecting in the early days is that the [immigration] department will be pulling those candidates with the highest scores even though they don’t have job offers because we need to be looking at meeting admission targets for the economic classes.”
Consequently, human capital factors, which make up half of the available points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (which ranks candidates in the Express Entry pool against each other), may be particularly important in the earlier stages. This is likely to benefit candidates who have prepared in advance, sat language tests, and gathered supporting documents, as they are the candidates most likely to be in a position to submit an Express Entry profile and accept an invitation to apply, if offered one.
How can candidates prepare and take advantage?
The first step on the road to immigration to Canada through Express Entry is to determine eligibility. Candidates who are eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs may enter the pool, while those who are not eligible at this time can work towards becoming eligible and entering the pool at a later date.
Potential candidates are encouraged to sit a standardised language test to demonstrate proficiency in an official language of Canada, either English or French, at the soonest possible opportunity, as language test results are required in order to enter the Express Entry pool.
Once a candidate has positively determined his or her eligibility and received language test results that satisfy the minimum requirements for the federal immigration program for which he or she is eligible, he or she can begin to create an Express Entry profile. Candidates eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program must also obtain an Educational Credential Assessment before entering the pool.
Candidates who do not receive a positive immigration eligibility assessment at this time can make efforts towards improving their core human capital factors and eventually becoming eligible for one of the three federal immigration programs listed above.
How can candidates in the pool maximize their chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence?
Candidates’ profiles in the Express Entry pool will not be “locked”. On the contrary, candidates will be able to maneuver within the Comprehensive Ranking System if they gain additional points, which they may do by, among other things: improving language test results, proving ability in a second official language, completing a diploma, gaining additional work experience, or having their spouse or partner sit a language test in either English or French.
CIC has stated that it intends to make steady and regular draws from the pool, selecting the top-ranked candidates for each draw, the first of which is scheduled to be made before the end of this month. Therefore, it is in candidates’ best interests to strive to improve their points total under the Comprehensive Ranking System. Candidates who successfully improve their ranking as early as possible are likely to have a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply than those who do not.
“When it was announced that job matching would not be in place when Express Entry was launched, it became clear that the early few weeks and months of Express Entry would likely reward those candidates who were proactive and got everything in place as quickly as possible,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Individuals who are currently humming and hawing about how to immigrate to Canada could potentially be letting the opportunity of a lifetime pass them by. With a couple of simple steps, however, they could be receiving invitations to apply for permanent residence, otherwise known as golden tickets to Canada.”
To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, including the federal economic programs that will be conducted under Express Entry, please fill out a free online assessment today.
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