A landmark moment in the history of the Express Entry selection system for Canadian immigration took place on September 18, when Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence to candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores of 450 and above. This is the lowest CRS points requirement so far this year.
A total of 1,545 candidates in the pool received ITAs, the largest number of invitations issued in any single draw for more than two months. These candidates are now in a position to submit an application for permanent residence, with processing times of six months or less.
While a number of candidates who received an ITA did so without obtaining a qualifying job offer or enhanced provincial nomination certificate, many other candidates have taken advantage of one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that have offered an Express Entry stream so far this year. Moreover, many candidates for Canadian immigration through Express Entry have spent time networking and making contact with Canadian employers in their field, leading to them receiving qualifying job offers.
If a candidate in the pool obtains a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate, he or she is awarded 600 CRS points and will receive an ITA at a subsequent draw from the pool.
Over recent weeks and months CICnews.com has featured PNPs in the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In addition, it was announced recently that Nova Scotia has been given an increased allocation for its Express Entry streams. PNPs are a dynamic and constantly evolving set of immigration programs, and candidates are encouraged to remain updated on them regularly.
How are people getting Invitations to Apply?
(The following scenarios are hypothetical and do not represent real people who have received an ITA.)
A time to take action
“For candidates in the Express Entry pool who are serious about realizing their Canadian immigration goals, there are four clear ways to take action,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“First, they can try to improve their ranking by enhancing their language skills, gaining additional work experience or completing a higher level of education. Second, they can develop a strategy to connect with Canadian recruiters and employers. Third, they can stay up to date with the latest news on enhanced PNP streams — gathering supporting documents and getting a head start is an important factor on this front, because it has been shown that some of these opportunities only present themselves for a short time.
“Lastly, candidates in the pool can take stock and have a look at some of the non-Express Entry Canadian immigration programs, such as the reopening of the International Skilled Worker – Occupation in Demand stream in Saskatchewan and the approaching application cycle for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Sometimes you can become so focused on getting through one door that you don’t even see the other doors wide open around you. In any case, candidates eligible to enter the Express Entry pool are encouraged to do so in order to maximize their chances of success.”
Important information for all candidates and applicants
Once an ITA has been issued to a candidate, he or she has 60 days to file a complete application with all supporting documents; no extensions will be granted. Candidates who have been issued an ITA are encouraged to submit their complete applications in good time to avoid missing their opportunity, while those who have not yet been selected from the Express Entry pool are encouraged to gather documents in advance.
Moreover, it is important that the information provided and documents submitted are completely accurate in order to avoid a refusal or, worse still, being penalised for misrepresentation. Penalties for misrepresentation may include a five-year ban on applying to immigrate to, or even visit, Canada.
Express Entry is not an immigration program in itself, but rather a system used by CIC to select candidates for immigration to Canada using the following economic immigration programs:
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