The past few weeks have been busy with respect to the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada, with four draws from the pool and many updates across the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams that are aligned with Express Entry. This mid-summer update provides a synopsis and analysis of all the latest events.
Four draws since June 1
From June 1 up to the time of writing, a total of 3,034 candidates in the pool have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence, with draws having occurred on June 1, June 15, June 29 and July 13. Over this period, the minimum point requirement under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) was 482. While the number of candidates invited to apply in each draw remained around 740-780 per draw, stakeholders may note that the CRS requirement has not increased— indeed, it has decreased over this period.
Candidates who have been issued an ITA may then submit an application for Canadian permanent residence. Accompanying family members, including spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, may also immigrate to Canada along with the principal applicant. The government of Canada aims to process applications within six months.
Closer than people may think
As covered earlier this year by CICNews, a majority of people who received ITAs in 2015 had ‘core’ CRS scores of less than 450, which happens to be the lowest CRS point requirement of any draw since Express Entry came into operation in January, 2015. Core CRS scores indicate a candidate’s point total without any additional 600 points for a qualifying job offer or enhanced provincial nomination. Consequently, a majority of individuals who received ITAs had also received a job offer or successfully applied for an enhanced PNP option.
With this in mind, now is a good time to review the enhanced PNP options that have been available over recent weeks.
New Brunswick has been looking for IT professionals
As mentioned in our previous issue, the province of New Brunswick has been looking to attract IT professionals in the Express Entry pool through the ‘Open Category’ of the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) Express Entry Labour Market Stream. This category stopped accepting Expressions of Interest on July 15, but may open again at a later date. To learn more and to review the full list of occupations and job titles involved in this category, click here.
British Columbia selects skilled workers and international graduates
British Columbia regularly invites individuals to make an application to immigrate to the province through a range of categories under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). On June 29, a portion of those invited to apply to the BC PNP were Express Entry candidates, with invitations issued to skilled workers and international graduates in the Express Entry pool. In a previous draw that took place on June 2, British Columbia invited even more international graduates in the pool.
The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation. A job offer is required under this category.
International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the Express Entry BC – International Graduate category. Interestingly, this category is open to eligible graduates who graduated from a university or college in any location in Canada; it is not restricted to graduates from BC universities and colleges. Like the Skilled Worker category, a job offer is also required for this category.
Saskatchewan reveals new occupations list
When Saskatchewan reopened its International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) for an additional 500 applications earlier this summer, it caught some people by surprise. Not only was there no prior announcement of the sub-category reopening, there was also a revised occupations in-demand list — including occupations that were not previously considered in-demand by the province. Included on the revised list were a number of occupations in IT, management, agriculture, engineering, health care, and trades.
The sub-category closed quickly, marking the sixth time that it had opened and closed since it was first introduced in 2015. To learn more about this sub-category and to review the latest occupations in-demand list, click here.
(Update, July 20: The SINP International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category reopened the morning of July 20, 2016. The quota was subsequently reached and the sub-category closed again within 48 hours.)
PEI always an option
Last year, Prince Edward Island (PEI) issued more enhanced provincial nomination certificates, relative to its own population, than any other province. Moreover, the government of PEI has recently been vocal about its need to attract even more skilled workers to the province.
PEI’s Express Entry stream arguably involves the simplest first step of all the provinces’ Express Entry streams, as candidates are only asked to complete a single page online form outlining their reasons for wishing to immigrate to PEI. In order to submit this form successfully, candidates must have already created an Express Entry profile. The PEI PNP then invites a selection of these candidates to apply on a priority basis.
Note: This article analyzed PNP streams that are aligned with the Express Entry immigration selection system, and did not include PNP streams that are processed outside that system. Earlier this summer, CICNews published exclusive articles on all PNP immigration options, which you can read here:
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