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    15 February

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    Express Entry Canada, through a consultant’s lens.

    developer1 | 15.02.2021

    If you are living in the UAE chances are high that you have heard about something called Express Entry (EE) to Canada however, there are some misconceptions out there right now about how this immigration process works, and this is what I am here to help with!

    As an immigration consultant I like to explain things to my clients in an honest and clear way, and as a specialist in immigration it only makes sense that I share my knowledge in a simplified way making you an expert to! So, now is the time to sit back and enjoy this read that will have you empowered with immigration knowledge in no time at all!  

    To begin let us think of Entry Express (EE) much like a Facebook (FB) profile. You create a profile in EE much like you would for FB, and you fill in your details (unless of course you have signed up with us at The Immigration Office in which case one of our amazing processing officers will handle this all for you). Now the main and most important difference between the two profiles is one allows you to network with friends and the other gives you a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) that will either put you in a Provincial Nominee Program or a Federal Skilled Worker program and this has the potential to give you a new life! Ummm… I’ll have one EE profile please!

    With Entry Express you have two options that can take you to Canada. One is called a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the other is a Federal Skilled Worker (FDSW). Currently everyone I speak to is all about the Federal Skilled Worker in fact some people believe that this is the same thing as Express Entry… It is not. And this takes me back to my first point about misconceptions people have regarding Canadian immigration. I will also add here that PNP although a little longer to process is still equally as achievable however, unfortunately it is seen as not a good option for those not in the know but after reading this I am sure you will see it differently.  

    So, what is the key requirements to create an EE profile? Anyone? Alright I’ll tell you! To start you will need to meet the basic eligibility points for application. This is determined by a few factors including but not limited to: Age, Education, Work Experience and Language Proficiency. If you meet the requirements and score a 67 or higher you can move on to the next stage which is as follows:

    Taking the General International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This will need to be completed to a level that will put you in the best chance for selection. Meaning you should aim to score a 7 in Reading, Writing and Speaking and a score of 8 in Listening. This level is what we refer to in immigration as a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 9 and yes that’s right, individual band scores matter more than the overall score in IELTS. Most people don’t know this sneaky fact, so you’re welcome!

    You will also need to have your academic records assessed by an Educational Credential Assessment body (ECA). This will be different for each individual, but most people go through the World Education Service (WES). *Side notes this is the fastest and cheapest ECA* but we will talk about the other ECAs another time. Essentially if you have anything from a 1-year diploma or above Canada wants to know about it and make sure your education matches theirs in equivalency! So ECA = Important.

    Lastly, and probably the most important step is to make sure you have a job in demand! This is a must to be considered for selection. This means that your job should be found under a category A, B or O in the Nominated Occupational Classification (NOC) and you will need to make sure that your job description and the requirements match your profile not just the job title itself.

    So, now let us assume you have your IELTS and ECA completed, you have a Job in demand, and you have prepared any other necessary documents, you should be at the profile creation stage. Enter Express Entry!

    To begin let us discuss the PNP 101! A Provincial Nominee Program simply means that you scored a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) between 300 and 466 in Express Entry and now you need a province in Canada to nominate you for an invitation to apply for a permanent residency visa. This pathway is longer because provinces select 2 to 6 times per year, so you’re looking at around 12 months for selection and you must meet the requirements of the province to be selected. It also means that if you are selected under PNP you will need to reside in the province that has nominated you for 2 years which can be consecutively or accumulatively to maintain your permanent residency but after that time you will be free to move wherever you desire in Canada. Think of it like we sponsor you, you live with us sort of situation.

    So, what are some of the requirements you might be wondering? Here is a list of provinces open to nominating people for permanent residency and their requirements:

    British Columbia (BC): This is a high demand province, kind of like the holy grail of Canada so getting a nomination here is not easy but so satisfying when it happens. This is one of the provinces that requires a Job offer *insert cry face* unless you are applying as an International Post-Graduate, but in that case, you need to have a masters or PhD in Science, Medicine or Engineering (I will explain this in detail another time).  For a Job Offer you will also need to be placed in a Job Bank. This is where you have access to employers in Canada and they also have access to you. 

    It is important to keep in mind that all job offers need to be Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approved and this is a must for all provinces requiring a job offer. Simply put, LMIA means the employer will need to prove to the Canadian government that they have exhausted all avenues of finding an onshore Citizen or Permanent Resident before looking offshore. As you can imagine this makes the chances of a Job offers quite low however, not impossible especially if you fall within the healthcare scope as this is in high demand in BC. 

    Alberta: This province is a personal favorite of mine and you might be wondering why? Well to start you do not need a job offer yay! But they also select people with CRS scores from 300 and up provided they have a valid EE profile, IELTS completed to the CLB 9 level and a job that is in demand. So essentially people that are eligible for Alberta selection are in with a great chance of being nominated! Easy, breezy, beautiful, alberrttaa… sorry I got carried away. 

    Saskatchewan: Well, much like Alberta, Saskatchewan is straightforward, the only key difference is that Saskatchewan has its own point-based system. Now some people will tell you that if you meet 60 points in Saskatchewan you are eligible, in essence that is true however, it is important to note that although you are in fact eligible at 60 points Saskatchewan has not selected below 68 points in recent times. So, please keep this in mind if you have an expression of interest being put forward to this province. 

    Now for those of you that speak French listen up! Saskatchewan as of last year added French to their points system! So, if you are armed with this as your first or second language make sure to make a note of this on your profile or if you’re working with a consultant and this is the first time, you’re hearing of this update… maybe it’s time to rethink who is managing your profile. 

    Quebec: Bonjour, je m’appelle Quebec, if you did not understand that this is not the province for you. Quebec is a French speaking province and thus no need to apply unless French is a language you can speak. If it is, well here is some things you need to know: 

    Quebec like Saskatchewan has its own points-based calculator with eligibility being 50 if single and 59 if married and requires an expression of interest direct to the province via Arrima and a Certificate of Selection from the Quebec government (CSQ) for selection. It helps to have friends and family living in this province although please note Quebec has not selected in recent times so if this is your focus you might be sitting on the fence for the time being but, never fear they will resume selection. 

    Manitoba: This province not only has its own point-based calculator for eligibility which requires a minimum score of 60, it also has its own ranking score which is calculated out of 1000 and only high scoring candidates stand a chance but there is a twist, you see in Manitoba you can lose points if you have worked or studied in another province BUT you can also gain points if you have friends or family there… it is kind of a “you can’t sit with us” situation. But if you have friends or family living there, I guess you could say it is Mani-to-be haha and your chances are decent with an expression of interest submitted.

    New Brunswick: This province likes to take matters into their own hands, they even hold events for potential applicants to attend provided they have a job that is in demand in New Brunswick. You need the basics which are IELTS, ECA and job in demand and if you have attended an event you pretty much have your foot in the door but, you probably need your whole leg in the door as there is a small window for opportunity with this province via this avenue. Of course, you can always also secure this province via a connection to New Brunswick or a job offer but without these make sure you have yourself armed and ready to apply when the opportunity arises, so you don’t miss out! Or simply hire a consultant and sit back, relax, and let them do the processing for you.

    Newfoundland: This province has made its debut as of 2021 with a Newfound pathway for permanent residency (see what I did there). This is called Priority Skills stream and in short if you fall in the scope of healthcare, engineers and developers, Technical specialist or Aquaculture this is worth looking into as an option for you. Please refer to my colleague Sorina’s blog if you want to know more on this province!

    Prince Edward Island (PEI): To start I must state that no princes live on this island but, if you are wanting to move to this province you will get the royal treatment, meaning you basically need nothing and no one to get a nomination. With a valid EE profile, Job in demand and at least 1 year of work experience, all you must do is register on the PEI immigration website and you have good chances!   

    Nova Scotia: Now this province is like a mystery box, you don’t really ever know what is going to happen, but what I do know is the best chance for selection is under a Category B stream in EE, simply meaning you need your completed ECA, IELTS, and at least 1 year’s work experience in a job in demand. There is also Category A, but you need a job offer for that and well, its closed so for now so let’s not waste time on that. There is also Nova Scotia Experience pathway in EE, but you need work experience in Nova Scotia so unless you have that it’s not worth your time applying via that stream.  

    Ontario: For EE, this province has 3 main streams Human Capital, French and Tech. Now for Human Capital and Tech the requirements are much the same as the other provinces, IELTS, ECA, and a Job in Demand however, for the French Stream you have more of a Quebec situation, only French speakers need to apply. Now Ontario is a popular choice, but it is important to note they select in the 400 – 450 CRS range and above. If you are in the PNP pool you will need to be the top of your class to get into this province.

    So, there you have it all the provinces that fall under PNP and their requirements. Now onto what I bet you have been waiting for! Federal Skilled Worker! Well let me just say this is going to take about as much time as it will for you to be nominated if you are the right candidate! Well maybe not that quick, but it is a shorter process, approximately 2 – 6 weeks for selection.

    People that are eligible for a Federal Skilled Worker Visa have met the general eligibility criteria of 67 points or above and have also managed to score a CRS of 467 and higher. This is the ideal visa program because unlike PNP they select every 2 weeks! Yes that is correct every 2 weeks! AND you get to pick where you want to go in Canada! I swear if immigration had a dreamboat visa this would be it BUT it isn’t easy to achieve otherwise everyone would be jumping on this option and jet setting off to Canada. So how do you know if you have a chance in this program?

    Do you speak French and English? Working experience in a job in demand? Are you in the younger age bracket and have a master’s or higher? If you answered YES than chances are you are the ideal candidate for this visa and you should probably be contacting me like right now 😊

    So, as you can see the Express Entry is a bit more complex than you probably thought but still a fantastic option for anyone who is wanting to start a new life and create opportunities for themselves or their children and loved ones. Immigration is about changing lives and that is why I am so dedicated to it and want to be part of people’s journeys. It can seem daunting when you are about to start but that is where consultants like myself come in to take the stress away and make the experience fun!

    If you are sitting at home now wondering what your chances are, or if you want to see if you are eligible and under which program, or perhaps you have thrown your hands up in the air with excitement after reading this blog and want to move right now (really who could blame you) then go pick up that phone or grab your laptop and get in touch with me today! I am busy, but I promise I will make time for you 😊

    Hiba

    Immigration Specialist @The Immigration Office – Dubai