Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system continues to grow, giving more aspiring immigrants the opportunity to obtain permanent residence. The latest draw, which took place on January 25, issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to 3,508 candidates in the pool with 453 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.
Once again, this is the largest draw of all time. In fact, the same was said for the past four draws, each of which was at that time larger than any previous draw. So far, 2017 has been a breakout year for the Express Entry system. More candidates have been invited to apply this month than in any other month since the system was first launched more than two years ago.
The decrease in the CRS requirement across consecutive draws — from 497 points in mid-December to 453 just over a month later — is significant. Candidates who were persistent, patient, and proactive throughout recent months were rewarded with an ITA.
In addition, the decrease in the CRS requirement has given renewed hope to individuals looking to make Canada their new permanent home. The last time the CRS requirement was this lower than this was in October, 2015, and it appears possible that it may decrease further over the weeks and months to come.
When Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) predicted that the improvements made to Express Entry last November would allow more candidates to be invited to apply based on their human capital, skills, and experience, it was unknown exactly how the subsequent draws would look and the extent to which the CRS requirement might go up or down. Ultimately, it appears that these changes — which included a reduction in the number of points that are awarded for a qualifying job offer — have given more candidates a stronger chance of receiving an ITA.
(The following scenarios are hypothetical and do not represent real people who have received an ITA.)
Robert is 30 years old, with two post-secondary educational credentials (including a Bachelor’s Degree) obtained in his home country and initial advanced ability across all four language abilities in English. After graduating, he built up three years of skilled work experience. He is single, and does not have a qualifying job offer in Canada or a provincial nomination. Indeed, he has never even been to Canada. Nonetheless, his 457 CRS points were enough for him to obtain an ITA in the latest draw.
Dana is 36, with initial advanced English ability. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree and working in her home country for three years, she moved to Kingston, Ontario to pursue a two-year diploma program. Upon graduating, she obtained a Post-Graduation Work Permit and built up two more years of skilled work experience in Canada. Her spouse has a Bachelor’s degree, but has not taken a language test. All of this was enough for her to be awarded 469 CRS points, and she and her spouse may now settle in Canada permanently.
Zaid is 41 years old and was eligible to enter the Express Entry pool through the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC). He has adequate intermediate English ability and six years of skilled work experience, all of it obtained outside Canada. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree. His spouse has completed secondary education and has initial intermediate language ability. Zaid was in the Express Entry pool with 255 points, but through a proactive approach and by staying up to date with the latest developments in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, he discovered that he was eligible for a sub-category of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). Through this program, he was able to obtain a provincial nomination certificate, which boosted his CRS score to 855. Consequently, he received an ITA in the latest draw.
The 9,744 individuals who have received an ITA so far this year, as well as many who were invited previously, are now in a position to submit their application for permanent residence to IRCC. Indeed, candidates who had prepared thoroughly in advance of receiving their ITA may have already submitted their application, in which case they can expect it to be processed to completion within six months.
Accompanying family members, including spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, may also come to Canada along with the principal applicant.
“Earlier this month, I said that 2017 would be a big year for Express Entry. Well, it may actually be bigger than we thought. The government is inviting a wider cross-section of the global population to immigrate, including those who have experience of working or studying in Canada, as well as those who do not,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“What the latest trends tell us is that it is crucial to be ready. There is so much to consider when embarking on a Canadian immigration project. There are eligibility concerns, program changes, Provincial Nominee Programs to keep an eye on, gathering and reviewing documentation, completing forms accurately and honestly, and more besides.
“Although the latest news is exciting, it is nonetheless important to be strategic, proactive, and thorough during the immigration process, right up until you land in Canada and beyond.”
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