Twelve months after the initial launch of Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system, candidates who were quick to create an Express Entry profile last year are being advised on how they may realise their Canadian immigration goals during 2016.
Many candidates in the Express Entry pool are becoming more proactive in their pursuit of Canadian permanent resident status. For some, this entails a renewed effort to increase their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, while others are focusing more on immigration options outside the Express Entry system; indeed, both strategies may be pursued simultaneously.
A candidate for immigration to Canada under Express Entry can only stay in the Express Entry pool for one year from the date he or she was accepted into it. The profile will be deleted after one year, though a new one may be created. In any event, candidates in the Express Entry pool, as well as those considering entering the pool in 2016, may have cause for optimism due to some recent comments from CIC.
CRS point requirement expected to decrease in 2016
As covered in the previous edition of CICNews, a CIC Policy Analyst made some important announcements regarding the short- and medium-term future of Express Entry at a webinar hosted by CIC on December 16, 2015:
“The number of invitations issued per round is expected to increase as the pre-Express Entry inventory of applications is finalised. In turn, it is expected that the minimum score of those that are invited to apply will drop,” she stated, adding that “we expect that in the new year when our rounds start growing — to meet our new levels plan — that the score will reduce.”
These on-the-record comments have galvanized some candidates who, in spite of not having yet received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence, remain confident that they may receive an ITA. As such, it is expected that many candidates will create new profiles over the opening months of 2016. Indeed, the first Express Entry draw of 2016 has already taken place, with 1,463 candidates receiving ITAs on January 6.
Creating a new Express Entry profile
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) advises candidates who anticipate having to create a new profile to ‘save screen shots of (or print out) your profile to make it easier to re-enter your data. Do not create a new profile until your existing one expires. You can create a new profile at any time once yours expires.’
Candidates in this situation should note that they will have 60 days to fill out and validate the information in their profile. If they still meet minimum entry criteria, a new Express Entry profile number and Job Seeker Validation Code will be provided.
These numbers should be used to update the Job Match account in the Job Bank, if applicable. This step is necessary for candidates without a qualifying job offer or a nomination from a province or territory.
Once a profile is created, candidates can try to improve their core human capital factors by improving their language test results, by completing an additional year of work experience, and/or by completing a higher level of education. Certain candidates may also benefit from their spouse or common-law partner’s core human capital factors being considered, if applicable. In addition, candidates can initiate or improve a successful strategy to connect with Canadian recruiters and employers.
Candidates who decide not to create a new Express Entry profile are advised to remove any references that they are a candidate for Express Entry from any private job board websites, if they used any.
Canadian immigration options outside the Express Entry system
Candidates in the Express Entry pool, as well as other individuals interested in immigrating to Canada, should note that Express Entry is an application management system for only a handful of immigration programs. At the same time, there are other programs — the Provincial Nominee Programs — that have immigration streams that operate outside the Express Entry system. Many individuals are expected to make a successful application to one of these programs in 2016.
For example, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) International Skilled Workers – Occupations In-Demand sub-category, which exists outside Express Entry, was one of many sub-categories that reopened for applications this week. Within a few hours, however, the application cap had been reached. Many, if not all, of those who managed to submit an application had done prior research and preparation, allowing them to be ready to make an application when the program reopened.
In addition, there have been many positive developments with respect to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) over recent days, weeks and months. To read more about this on CICNews, click here.
The QSWP and SINP are only two of many non-Express Entry Canadian immigration options.
From transition to new opportunities
“We don’t know the extent to which the scores may decrease or how the system may change in the future, or when. However, most of the recent signals are positive, and candidates who have not yet received an Invitation to Apply should take heart,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Candidates in the pool are visible, so to speak, to the Canadian provinces that are looking to welcome newcomers through the Provincial Nominee Programs. People are also realizing that a candidate in the pool has far more leverage when discussing a possible job opportunity with a Canadian employer than a candidate who is not in the pool.
“Moreover, it might well be the case that some candidates have been so focused on Express Entry that they haven’t fully grasped that there are many paths to Canada. Some lateral thinking may be required in order to fulfil one’s Canadian immigration dreams. To this end, candidates should note that Canada has a highly decentralized immigration system in which the provinces are also able to select newcomers, and many of these programs operate outside the Express Entry system.”
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