As the global economic climate becomes increasingly unpredictable, more skilled workers are seeking better opportunities in the West for hopes of a better future. Entry into the United States has long been a difficult process and that’s why most people prefer Canada, due in part to its healthy working climate, cheaper health services, and ease of entry.
The easiest and most preferred means of entering Canada as a skilled worker is through the Express Entry method. This method accounts for over 110,000 skilled workers finding new opportunities in Canada every year. There are many immigration consultants who may prefer or advise other methods, but the Express Entry is the most assured and fool proof method that gives immigrants assurance of a positive legal status as Canadians.
What Is Express Entry
There are other means of seeking Canadian immigration which might sound similar to Express Entry, but there are key differences. The Express Entry system is an online system that organizes and processes applicants from skilled immigrants seeking permanent residency in Canada. It is a system wholly run and managed by the Canadian government and it oversees three distinct immigration programs:
- Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Federal Skilled Trades
The Federal skilled trades program uses the comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank different candidates and weigh their competencies against each other. The focus is on finding the right balance of skills and trades that Canada needs.
Federal Skilled Worker
This program allows candidates with robust foreign work experience to attain permanent residency status in Canada. Here, previous work experience backed by testimonials is key because it is these skilled trades that Canada is seeking to inject into its economy.
Canadian Experience Class
The CEC is best for candidates who have stayed in Canada and have Canadian social and work experience. It is another equally effective and fast method for attaining Permanent Residency status in Canada.
Application Process for Express Entry
The first step in applying for Express entry is to fill out one’s profile. This contains the language test results, education assessment report, and passport documents.
Once these documents have been processed, then the applicant receives an invitation to apply, as well as a request to furnish the immigration office with other crucial documents such as reference letters, police clearance certificates, and a medical examiner’s report.
There are certified doctors who can conduct the medical examination report and it is important to first check the credentials of the doctor before seeking the medical report. Any failure or illegality at this level might result in failure of the application or a criminal investigation.
Understanding the Comprehensive Ranking System
Immigrants to Canada can enter the country using the CRS score as students, skilled workers, or refugees. The system is predicated on the assumption that anyone applying for permanent residence in Canada will contribute to Canada's well-being in some way, both now and in the future.
Here we break out the minimum CRS score needed to enter Canada as a permanent resident through Express Entry. The immigration service looks at the current climate and then makes the cutoffs public. Points like this are required for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), whereas the Provincial Nominee Program requires a score of at least 718 on the CRS.
Criteria for Eligibility to Express Entry System
To be eligible to apply for Express Entry, there are several qualifications that an applicant should have before they can be considered as a candidate. However, these qualifications are not exhaustive as they form the main entry requirements prior to more personalized background checks. These requirements are:
- The applicant must have at least 1 year work experience of full term and continuous work in the past 10 years prior to their application. The goal of this requirement is to ensure that the applicant was gainfully employed and has gained the necessary skill-set and employment acumen to work in a highly technical work environment.
- The applicant must have completed a post secondary education level that will be assessed in accordance with the Canadian system. Higher education levels attained will greatly add to an applicant’s suitability.
- The candidate must pass the language tests under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) and attain at least a score of 7 in English or French. Some provinces such as Quebec recognize French as the official language and therefore French language literacy is compulsory.
Tips for Increasing CRS Scores
Some applicants may require extra tips to getting higher CRS scores. Not every applicant eventually gets an invite to apply and therefore, any tips towards increasing scores works positively towards one’s application. The first point to note is that language literacy is a key requirement and no matter how skilled a person is, so long as they score low language points, their application will receive lower scores.
If an applicant has failed in their first language test, they should get a tutor to help them attain higher scores. Though the minimum benchmark is 7, most applicants are advised to aim for a score of at least 9 as this will not only add to their language scores, but also contribute to their skills transferability scores.
Another great idea is to find ways of attaining crucial skills that are highly valued in Canada. Any work experience in skilled labor and nursing, including the requisite skills will go a long way in scoring the applicant much needed points.
Choosing the Right Province
One factor most people overlook is the fact that Canada is broad and is composed of different provinces, each with its own criteria for Express Entry.
Each province has different needs and that’s why most applicants notice a preference for Nova Scotia and Quebec for skilled workers, whereas Ontario mainly prefers applicants with Information Technology skills. Quebec has a known preference for healthcare personnel due to the local shortage and applicants also must understand French and English.
Overall, the Express Entry system is a fair process, but applicants are also advised to seek professional assistance from immigration consultants before starting their application process.