Immigrating to Canada is an exciting and lifechanging experience. Canada is a country with a high standard of living and a global reputation for safety and stability. It is also a country that is constantly looking to welcome global talent as it is currently facing a growing labour shortage in several sectors. This is largely due to Canada’s aging population and low birth rate.
Canada’s immigration levels plan seeks to welcome over 450,000 new permanent resident by the end of 2024. In order to achieve this goal, it offers over 100 immigration pathways for those who are looking to start the next phase of their life. If you are considering immigrating to Canada from Kenya, it is worth researching some of the most prominent pathways available.
Express Entry is the most popular pathway for skilled workers to enter Canada. It is an application management system that works with three programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), to assess a candidate’s qualifications and rank them alongside other candidates.
Candidates are ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Once an Express Entry candidate self-evaluates if they are eligible for one of the programs and uploads their profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, they will be given a number score known as a CRS score. This score is based on factors such as education, language ability, work experience and other human capital factors such as age. The higher the CRS score, the more likely a candidate is to receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
Among Express Entry programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program is the most prominent pathway for those who have work experience and education outside of Canada and wish to immigrate permanently. It was the first program in the world to feature a points system designed to evaluate candidates impartially and has been the basis for similar programs in other countries.
As with all Express Entry programs, the first step to becoming a FSWP candidate is to self-evaluate if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to create a profile on the IRCC website. Once your profile has been uploaded, you will receive your CRS score and enter the pool.
IRCC has resumed Express Entry draws as of July 6 this year. Typically, there are draws every two weeks in which the candidates with the highest CRS scores are issued an ITA. The CRS score changes with every draw so even if you are not invited in one draw, you may still be invited in the next. IRCC has a processing standard of six months for all applications.
If you receive an ITA, you will have 60 days to submit your application for permanent residence to IRCC.
Looking ahead into 2023, Canada’s government has passed a law that will allow IRCC to hold targeted draws that will invite candidates to apply for permanent resident status based on on a candidate’s occupation, language, or educational attainment, for example, rather than their CRS or program of eligibility. Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, told CIC news that this measure would help IRCC close urgent gaps in Canada’s labour market.
All provinces, except for Quebec and Nunavut, have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). These programs allow provincial governments to select the candidates they feel are the best fit for the province.
Provinces can invite candidates from the Express Entry pool who they feel best suit the province to apply directly to the provincial government for nomination, a process known as enhanced nomination. Candidates who may not be in the Express Entry pool can submit an application to directly to the province to be considered.
Provincial nomination can act as a huge boost for Express Entry as those who obtain a provincial nomination are automatically given 600 CRS points and become highly likely to receive an ITA.
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