February 18, 2015

Increasing your rank under the new Express Entry system

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The most common question we receive from candidates after we submit their Express Entry (“EE”) profile is what are their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for permanent residence.  The answer to this question is always, it depends.  There are many factors that come into play when ITAs are involved; the main determinative ones are what immigration will set as the minimum point requirement on each of their draws as well the calibre of the other candidates in the “pool”.

The best advice we can provide these EE candidates is to take steps to increase their point total. Without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) or Provincial Nomination, candidates who were previously eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”), Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) under the new EE system, are scoring points in the range of mid 300’s to mid 400’s.  Although arguably respectable points, with the last two EE draws both in the 800 point range, these candidates remain quietly unselected in the pool.  Below are some tips on how to increase your points and ranking under the EE system:

  1. Review your point’s allocations after submission:After completing quite a few EE profiles, we noticed that in more than one instance, candidates were not allotted the correct number of points.  For example in one case, a candidate was deemed to have “met” the CEC category having at least one year of Canadian experience, however was not assigned the corresponding 40 points for their experience under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CSR) – Human Capital – Canadian Work Experience.  Make sure that you review the points that you have been allotted and compare these points to CIC’s CSR criteria.
  2. Approach your current employer/secure an employer who is willing to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) for your position:The acquisition of a positive LMIA gains you an additional 600 points under the EE system. This increase in points almost guarantees that you will receive an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for permanent residence from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”).
  3. See if your employer/prospective employer in Canada is willing to submit an application to nominate you to the province under a Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”):A provincial nomination under a PNP will also increase your points under the EE system by an additional 600 points.  In Ontario, if you are an international student who has completed half of their post-secondary education in Canada, you could qualify under the Ontario PNP – International student category.  This category does not require you to have experience in the position you are applying under nor does it require your employer to advertise your position as long as you are working for them in the same role.  If you do not hold post-secondary in Canada, you can still qualify for one of their categories as a foreign worker.  You will however need 2 years of experience within the last 5 years in the occupation you hope to be nominated within.
  4. Although not required to be entered into the EE pool, it is recommended that you have your education assessed by a CIC accredited organization as well as have your spouse (if applicable) undergo English testing.These are just some of the ways that you can increase your points under the new EE system.  Remember that after your EE profile is submitted, you can at any time update/change/amend any of the information you have provided.  Taking steps to obtain additional points for your profile offers you the best chance of being invited to apply for permanent residence.

For more information on Express Entry, please click here.