Express Entry – How It Works and the Ranking System

Express Entry will manage applications for permanent residence under these federal economic immigration programs:

Provinces and territories will also be able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system through their Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs.

Ministerial Instructions set out the rules for governing the Express Entry application management system.

The Express Entry system has two steps:

Step 1) Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile

Potential candidates will complete an online Express Entry profile. This is a secure form that they will use to provide information about their:

  • skills,
  • work experience,
  • language ability,
  • education, and
  • other details that will help us assess them.

Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal immigration programs listed above will be accepted into a pool of candidates.

Anyone who does not already have a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if you need one), or a nomination from a province or territory, must register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Job Bank. Job Bank will help connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers in Canada.

Candidates are also encouraged to promote themselves to employers in other ways, such as using job boards, recruiters etc.

In most cases when there is a job being offered to a candidate, employers will need an LMIA from ESDC. The LMIA process ensures employers have made an effort to hire Canadians for available jobs. There will be no LMIA fee for permanent resident applications.

Step 2) The highest-ranking candidates in the pool will be invited to apply for permanent residence

Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool using a point-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System. Points are awarded using the information in their profile.

Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply. Candidates will be awarded points for:

  • a job offer, and/or
  • a nomination from a province or territory, and/or
  • skills and experience factors.

A candidate can get additional points for:

  • a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment, or
  • a nomination by a province or territory

These additional points will make a candidate rank high enough to be invited to apply at the next eligible draw of candidates.

If someone is invited to apply, they will have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete applications (meaning those with all the necessary supporting documents) in six months or less.

Candidates can stay in the pool for up to 12 months. If they do not get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence within 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile. If they still meet the criteria, they can re-enter the pool. This will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times.

Express Entry – Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) criteria

A) Summary of points per factor for Express Entry candidates
A. Core / human capital factors Points per factor – With a spouse or common-law partner Points per factor – Without a spouse or common-law partner
Age 100 110
Level of education 140 150
Official languages proficiency 150 160
Canadian work experience 70 80
B) Summary of points per factor for Express Entry candidates
B. Spouse or common-law partner factors Maximum 40 points
Level of education 10
Official language proficiency 20
Canadian Work Experience 10
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors Maximum 500 points (with a spouse or common-law partner) Maximum 500 points (without a spouse or common-law partner)
C) Summary of points per factor for Express Entry candidates
C. Skill Transferability factors Maximum 100 points
Education Maximum 50 points
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a post-secondary degree 50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree 50
Foreign work experience Maximum 50 points
With good/strong official languages proficiency and foreign work experience 50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience 50
Certificate of qualification (for people in trade occupations) Maximum 50 points
With good/strong official languages proficiency and a certificate of qualification 50
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Transferability factors Maximum 600 points
D) Summary of points per factor for Express Entry candidates
D. Additional points (maximum 600)
Arranged employment 600
PN nomination 600
A. Core/human capital + B. Spouse or common-law partner factors + C. Transferability factors + D. = Grand total – 1,200

CRS – Core factors

Core / human capital factors With a spouse or common-law partner (Maximum 460 points) Without a spouse or common-law partner (Maximum 500 points)
Age Number of points (100 maximum) Number of points (110 maximum)
17 years of age or less 0 0
18 years of age 90 99
19 years of age 95 105
20 to 29 years of age 100 110
30 years of age 95 105
31 years of age 90 99
32 years of age 85 94
33 years of age 80 88
34 years of age 75 83
35 years of age 70 77
36 years of age 65 72
37 years of age 60 66
38 years of age 55 61
39 years of age 50 55
40 years of age 45 50
41 years of age 35 39
42 years of age 25 28
43 years of age 15 17
44 years of age 5 6
45 years of age or more 0 0
Level of Education With a spouse or common-law partner – Number of points (140 maximum) Without a spouse or common-law partner – Number of points (150 maximum)
Less than Secondary school (high school) credential 0 0
Secondary school (high school) credential 28 30
One-year post-secondary program credential 84 90
Two-year post-secondary program credential 91 98
Post-secondary program credential of three years or longer 112 120
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 119 128
University-level credential at the Master’s level OR an entry-to-practice professional degree. CIC only accepts as an entry-to-practice professional degree, those degrees issued in relation to an occupation listed at NOC Skill level A and for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required. 126 135
University-level credential at the Doctoral level 140 150
Official languages proficiency – first official language
Reading, writing, speaking and listening total points for each ability:

  • 32 with a spouse or common-law partner
  • 34 without a spouse or common-law partner
With a spouse or common-law partnerMaximum 128 points Without a spouse or common-law partner Maximum 136 points
For each ability 32 34
Less than CLB 4 0 0
CLB 4 or 5 6 6
CLB 6 8 9
CLB 7 16 17
CLB 8 22 23
CLB 9 29 31
CLB 10 or more 32 34
Official languages proficiency – second official language
Reading, writing, speaking and listening total points for each ability:

  • 5.5 with a spouse or common-law partner
  • 6 without a spouse or common-law partner
With a spouse or common-law partnerMaximum 22 points Without a spouse or common-law partner Maximum 24 points
For each ability 6 6
CLB 4 or less 0 0
CLB 5 or 6 1 1
CLB 7 or 8 3 3
CLB 9 or more 6 6
Canadian work experience With a spouse or common-law partnerMaximum 70 points Without a spouse or common-law partner Maximum 80 points
None or less than a year 0 0
1 year 35 40
2 years 46 53
3 years 56 64
4 years 63 72
5 years or more 70 80
Subtotal – Core / human capital factors Out of 460 points Out of 500 points

CRS – Spouse or common-law partner factors (if applicable)

Spouse or common-law partner factors With spouse or common-law partner – number of points per factor Without spouse or common-law partner (0 points – does not apply)
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s level of education 10 0
Less than secondary school (high school) credential 0
Secondary school (high school) credential 2
One-year post-secondary program credential 6
Two-year post-secondary program credential 7
Post-secondary program credential of three years or longer 8
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer 9
University-level credential at the Master’s level OR an entry-to-practice professional degree. CIC only accepts as an entry-to-practice professional degree, those degrees issued in relation to an occupation listed at NOC Skill level A and for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required. 10
University-level credential at the Doctoral level 10
Spouse’s or common-law partner’s official languages proficiency – first official languageReading, writing, speaking and listening– total points for each ability Maximum 20 points 0 (does not apply)
For each ability 5
CLB 4 or less 0
CLB 5 or 6 1
CLB 7 or 8 3
CLB 9 or more 5
Canadian work experience Maximum 10 points 0 (does not apply)
None or less than a year 0
1 year 5
2 years 7
3 years 8
4 years 9
5 years or more 10
Subtotal – Core / human capital + Spouse or common-law partner factors 500 500

CRS – Skill transferability factors

Skill Transferability factors Maximum 100 points for this section
Education Maximum 50 points for Education
With good official language proficiency and a post-secondary degree Maximum 50 points
Points for CLB 7 or more on all first official language abilities, one or more under 9 Points for CLB 9 or more on all four first official language abilities
Secondary school (high school) credential or less (levels 1 & 2) 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer (levels 3,4 & 5) 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer (levels 6,7 & 8) 25 50
With Canadian work experience and a post-secondary degree Maximum 50 points
Points for education + 1 year of Canadian work experience Points for education + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
Secondary school (high school) credential or less (levels 1 & 2) 0 0
Post-secondary program credential of one year or longer (levels 3,4 & 5) 13 25
Two or more post-secondary program credentials AND at least one of these credentials was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or longer (levels 6,7 & 8) 25 50
Foreign work experience Maximum 50 points for Foreign work experience
With good official language proficiency and foreign work experience 50 points
Points for foreign work experience + CLB 7 or more on all first OL abilities, one or more under 9 Points for foreign work experience + CLB 9 or more on all four first OL abilities
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50
With Canadian work experience and foreign work experience Maximum 50 points
Points for foreign work experience + 1 year of Canadian work experience Points for foreign work experience + 2 years or more of Canadian work experience
No foreign work experience 0 0
1 or 2 years of foreign work experience 13 25
3 years or more of foreign work experience 25 50
Certificate of qualification (trade occupations) Maximum 50 points for this section
With good official language proficiency and a certificate of qualification Maximum 50 points
Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 5 or more on all first OL abilities, one or more under 7 Points for certificate of qualification + CLB 7 or more on all four first OL abilities
With a certificate of qualification 25 50
Subtotal:
A. Core + B. Spouse or common-law partner + C. Skill transferability factors
600
Additional points Maximum 600 points
1) Arranged employment OR 600
2) Provincial or territorial nomination 600
Grand total Maximum 1,200 points

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Express Entry: What Prospective Candidates Need to Know

Canada is changing its economic immigration programs to give more opportunities to prospective skilled immigrants. Starting January 2015, skilled foreign workers will have access to Express Entry, which will cover Canada’s key economic immigration programs:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
  • the Federal Skilled Trades Program,
  • the Canadian Experience Class, and
  • a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.

Candidates who are invited to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system will benefit from fast processing times of six months or less.

Express Entry will also provide a pathway for skilled workers to connect with potential job opportunities in Canada prior to arrival.

Express Entry will ensure that the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically – not simply those first in line – are able to immigrate to Canada.

How Express Entry Works

Image described below

Step 1

Potential candidates create an online Express Entry profile

Express your interest in coming to Canada as a skilled foreign worker. Starting in January 2015, create an online Express Entry profile and tell us about your skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details.

Before doing this, you will need to take a language test in English or French. If you were educated outside of Canada, you may also need to have your education assessed against Canadian standards. More information on language and education assessments is available online.

If you meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry, you will be placed in a pool of pre-screened candidates.

If you do not already have a Canadian job offer or a nomination from a province/territory, you must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. Job Bank is an easy, online search tool that will help you get matched with jobs in Canada based on your skills, knowledge and experience.

Express Entry Pool

You will be given a score to determine your place in the Express Entry pool using a Comprehensive Ranking System that includes factors known to contribute to economic success (such as language, education, and work experience).

There will be regular draws of candidates from the Express Entry pool, inviting them to apply for permanent residence. Candidates with the highest scores, including those who have a valid job offer or a provincial/territorial nomination, will be invited to apply.

Your Express Entry profile will be valid for 12 months. During that time, you will need to update your profile if circumstances change, such as your level of education or language test results.

Important: Filling out an online Express Entry profile is not a guarantee that you will qualify for permanent residence. If you are invited to apply for permanent residence, information provided in your Express Entry profile will be verified at that time.

Step 2

Selected candidates are invited to submit an electronic application for permanent residence

You will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if you:

  • have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time);
  • have been nominated by a province or territory; or
  • are among the top ranked in the pool based on your skills and experience.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete permanent residence applications received within six months or less.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months can resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria.

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Canada to make both Irish and UK temporary skilled workers a priority in 2014 through the IEC program

Ireland Canada IECIreland has had a difficult last six years. The Celtic Tiger Economy refers to the economy of the Republic of Ireland between 1995 and 2000, a period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment, and a subsequent property price bubble which rendered the real economy uncompetitive. The Irish economy expanded at an average rate of 9.4% between 1995 and 2000 and continued to grow at an average rate of 5.9% during the following decade until 2008, when it fell into recession. Since 2008, many Irish youth have been looking for opportunities abroad.

Irish national youth speak good English, are well educated by world renowned universities, come highly skilled and can easily assimilate into developed economies in countries such as Canada. Traditionally, Irish Nationals have come to Canada via the IEC (International Experience Canada) Program, which has been continuously upping their quota of Irish visas extended every year. The working holiday visa under IEC has worked well in the past. The Program has served as a two year work experience open permit for foreign nationals between the ages of 18 and 30. It is understood that at the end of a working holiday visa, that the foreign national return to their home country, and be in possession of a departure ticket as well as the needed travel funds and medical insurance to ensure their stay is fully covered. A participation fee of CDN$150 is also payable at time of application.

The IEC Program – History and growth

The highly anticipated opening of the IEC Program on March 13, 2014 was capped at its maximum quota (3,850 applicants) within 7 minutes. We anticipate a second round shortly; however, it is proving challenging for applicants to successfully obtain their visa through this program as demand for the program outweighs current resource levels to run the program.

This year’s IEC Program made a further 2,500 work permits available to Irish Nationals who already have a secured job offer in Canada, and an additional 500 work permits were issued to Irish foreign nationals who were willing to do a cooperative educational program as part of their Post-Secondary studies to gain international work experience in their field. And these current quotas of work permits are expected to grow.

Canada needs highly skilled workers and wants to attract them to fill temporary skilled labour shortages specifically in the western provinces. Canada has recently renewed a commitment to Ireland to extend the open permit after several visits to Ireland by Minister of Citizenship & Immigration in 2012 and praised Irish apprenticeship programs for their certification standards. The Calgary Economic Development has just sent a delegation of 6 companies to Dublin’s Working Abroad Expo Recruitment Fair (March 22-March 30, 2014) in order to recruit skilled labour to fill Alberta’s current shortages.

Trade agreement set-up between Canada and the UK and Ireland

Canada wants to do even more to attract skilled labour from Ireland and the United Kingdom. On March 14, 2014, it was announced by CIC that a new international study will be launched, in an effort to help British and Irish tradespeople assess their skills against Canadian trades criteria, fully supported by CIC. In other words, streamlining the foreign credential recognition process for people coming from these countries is a high priority for the Canadian Government. The ACCC (Association of Canadian Community Colleges) and the UK NARIC (United Kingdom National Recognition Information Centre) have signed an agreement to work together for mutual recognition of skills, competencies and certifications. Both organizations will work with employers as part of the CIC-funded Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, which provides settlement and integration services to newcomers in Canada. Specifically, the organizations will be concentrating on the following areas of international competency which are in high demand across Canada:

  1. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
  2. Construction Electrician
  3. Welder
  4. Carpenter
  5. Steamfitter/Pipefitter
  6. Plumber
  7. Machinist
  8. Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
  9. Powerline Technician

As well, electronic tools are currently being developed, and UK NARIC expects to have an electronic guide published that will feature all the provincial and territorial apprenticeship authorities, which will be a “textbook” to be used by employers, workers, and trade associations in order to assess credentials quickly and fast-track the process for a foreign national to obtain their trade certification. This program intends to assist the Federal Skilled Trades Program applicants under the Federal Stream, in creating an international partnership and streamlined process of integration into the Canadian economy.

What to do if you want to immigrate to Canada

If you are currently a tradesperson from Ireland or the United Kingdom, you want to ensure that you know which program you wish to apply for to immigrate to Canada. As mentioned before, there is the IEC Program but it quickly reaches its cap, preventing further applicants from applying. If you have a job offer, you can apply for a work permit to come to Canada. If you meet the area of skills needed across Canada in the Trades, then the Federal Skilled Trades Program may be a good fit. There are other Federal Programs and Provincial Programs which also may be considered such as the Canadian Experience Class Program, the Provincial Nominee Programs, as well as special projects (Pilot Projects). Before applying, consider talking to either a trusted advisor or an immigration expert that can advise you on the best program for you. It is vital to do your research into Canadian culture, to look at foreign credential recognition as the first order of business, and to consider the expense of immigrating to a new country as a temporary worker. For skilled workers already in Canada, you will want to ensure that you have started additional applications working towards permanent residency status should you wish to stay in Canada.

Some final considerations

As the Federal Government continues to develop strategies to attract temporary foreign workers and to meet the economic demands of Canadian industry, it is abundantly clear that good sources of workers are coming from Ireland and the UK due to their adaptability and skills. As the IEC Program has reached its quota since launching in March 2014, many Canadian employers may not successfully recruit their temporary workers this year. Demand is high and is only expected to grow. But again, there are other options available to these employers and workers, should they wish to avail of other immigration programs on offer in either of the Federal or Provincial programs. And CICS Immigration can certainly help in assessing your eligibility in looking at other immigration avenues to pursue.

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Immigration applications from victims of typhoon Haiyan in Philippines to be fast-tracked

A satellite shot of hurricane Haiyan

Canada’s immigration department says it is giving special consideration to Filipinos affected by typhoon Haiyan.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s office says it will give priority to applications from Filipinos who are “significantly and personally affected” by the typhoon that left thousands dead last weekend.

The note also says that Filipino citizens temporarily in Canada who want to remain will be assessed in a “compassionate and flexible manner.”

The announcement comes as the Canadian military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, heads for the hard-hit Philippine city of Iloilo.

The Canadian Forces are also helping with the deployment of a separate 12-member Canadian Red Cross field hospital.

Philippine authorities say Iloilo, one of two major cities on the island of Panay, was in the direct path of the typhoon and suffered 162 deaths and the destruction of 68,543 houses as a result.

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Canada’s skills gap continues to widen, according to study

According to a new study from global recruiting firm Hays PLC, which surveyed the skills gap in 30 developed countries around the world, Canada ranks ninth for the severity of its skills shortage, and its score deteriorated in the past year.

Countries such as Japan, the United States, Germany and Sweden top the list in skilled worker shortage.

Study shows that Canada ranks 9th in the developed world in shortage of skilled workers

The report highlights two key findings

First, the state and the efficiency of a labour market in any particular country is not necessarily driven by the state of the economy in that point in time. Rather, the data suggests through the index that the efficiency of the labour market is driven by more structural factors. That said, the governments can introduce reforms to improve those structural factors, regardless of where they are in the economic cycle.

The second key finding that the index illustrates is that there is a very strong link between the efficiency of an educational system and the ability of that economy to produce the talent that the nation’s industries require both today and in the future. Making sure that business and the educational systems are in sync to produce sufficient numbers of the right quality graduates in the right areas for future talent. That’s the fundamental part of what drives the efficiency in any particular market.

As the global economy recovers and as the Canadian work force continues to age, without a change in policy, the situation in Canada and other developed countries will likely get worse. Canada is falling behind in implementing enough changes to meet the demand for highly skilled migration.

How to improve the skilled worker shortage and avoid disaster in the future

As according to Alistair Cox, the chief executive of Hays PLC, there are three areas where business and the governments can work together to strengthen these labour markets and reduce these inefficiencies that we see in some of these economies:

The first is for the government to foster a business environment of flexibilities, where businesses can build the work force they need for the future. This can be achieved through flexible working arrangements and skilled immigration.

The second method is to make sure that the educational system in an economy are really tuned into what businesses are going to need in the future in terms of the number of right skills.

The third is for businesses to look at their own policy in terms of attracting and retaining staff. Not just younger staff but also retaining and retraining older staff within their own work force.

Immigration Canada making changes

It’s not yet known how effective it will be, however, Canada is working on some changes in the system that are expected to be implemented in late 2014. Last year, Immigration Canada and the provinces, reached an agreement on the future of Canadian immigration system. The system will give the provinces a central role in immigrant selection. This new system will be based on a model called Expression of Interest (EOI).

The EOI model is an immigrant selection process which requires those seeking to immigrate to first file a simplified application, with immigration authorities. From that pool of applicants, the most promising candidates, based on the immigration department’s selection criteria, are then selected, and invited to submit a full application which includes documentation to prove their claimed qualifications.

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Men Outnumber Women 2-1 Among Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Many temporary foreign workers are employed by immigrant-run businesses like the above, and data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada shows that the majority are men (CICS News)

The gender makeup of Canada’s foreign worker population is like that of foreign workers around the world, with men outnumbering women by a large margin.

The data, collected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), shows that over 143,000 men entered the country in 2012 as temporary foreign workers (TFWs), over double the approximately 70,000 TFWs who were women.

Men, who are the primary breadwinner in most households around the world, are often driven to work abroad by pressure to provide for their families, when wages in their own country are inadequate.

A recent MacLean’s story on outgoing foreign remittance from individuals in Canada reports that the country has the highest foreign remittance rate in the world, at $667.57 per capita, suggesting that many of these TFWs are in fact sending the money they earn in Canada to family living in their country of origin.

Differences between genders in temporary foreign worker occupations

The CIC data also points to male and female TFWs tending to work in different types of occupations. While 75 percent of male TFWs worked in occupations that have well defined skill levels (e.g. managerial, professional, skilled and technical), only 40 percent of female TFWs did the same.

Six out of ten female TFWs were categorized as working in occupations where the skill level was not stated, which usually either means an individual is a family member of a foreign worker, or they are working in an unskilled occupation.

More women becoming permanent residents than men

Despite men outnumbering women in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), slightly more women become permanent residents in Canada than men every year.

TFWs with skilled work experience in Canada can qualify for permanent residence through economic class immigration programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), however the number of men who become permanent residents through economic class programs is only slightly higher than the number of women.

This could suggest that more women apply for permanent residency from outside the country than men, making up for the larger number of men whose path to permanent residency was through the TFWP.

What puts women over the top in the total permanent residency numbers is the family class immigration programs, which grant 37 percent more women permanent residency than men, mostly as a result of more foreign women being sponsored for immigration by their Canadian spouse than foreign men.

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Canada Top Country for Immigrant Businesses – Financial Post

Canada tops the list of countries to start a business according to a new article in the Financial Post (Martin Cajzer)

An article featured in last Friday’s Financial Post makes the case for Canada being one of the best countries in the world for immigrants to start a business.

Among the factors that make Canada such a welcoming place for immigrant entrepreneurs are its business friendly environment and immigration program, says author Chris Riddell:

The World Bank labelled Canada the best place in the G-7 to start a business, and thanks to an open immigration policy, a comparatively easy one to enter. Add a strong banking system, growing job market, and high standard of living, and it’s no wonder it tops immigrant entrepreneurs’ list.

For many, the government’s Start-Up Visa launched in April is making Canada an even more appealing place.

For business people considering Canada as a destination for immigration, there are three points to consider:

  • The per capita income of new immigrants is well below the Canadian average, with the gap growing since the early 1970s despite the average level of education of recent immigrants increasing in the intervening time. The longer an immigrant is in Canada, the closer their income tends to be to the Canadian average.

  • Immigrants and first-generation Canadians make up a sizeable percentage of Canada’s millionaires, at 48 percent.

  • The average income of immigrants who are admitted into Canada through the business class immigration programs is slightly below that of immigrants admitted through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), despite the former group having had to meet stringent capital and business experience requirements.

Taken together, it suggests that:

1) immigrants who arrive through economic class non-business immigration programs, like the FSWP, are likely not at a significant disadvantage compared to their business class counterparts in their chance of creating a successful business, that

2) immigrants are likely more entrepreneurial than the general population, and that

3) many immigrant business people fail for the few that succeed.

Matt Man, a successful immigrant businessman profiled for Riddell’s article, advises immigrants who are starting their business to try to get as much face-time as possible to improve their chance of success:

“Face to face can always make up for some of what I lost due to my accent or the way I’m communicating.”

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Federal Skilled Worker Program Opens to Immigration Applicants

New Canadians taking their Citizenship Oath. After nearly one year, the Federal Skilled Worker Program opened to new applications on May 4 with a set of changes to the applicant assessment process (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

The federal government began accepting Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications on Saturday, marking an end to a nearly one year moratorium on the skilled worker program.

The annual reset of the program’s quota was scheduled for July 1 2012, but was postponed due to a backlog of FSW applications that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) said it needed to work through, and to give CIC time to make changes it said were needed to make the program better meet Canada’s economic needs.

The new annual quota for the FSWP is set at 5,000 applications, which is less than the 10,000 application cap of 2012, and is expected to be filled quickly as immigration hopefuls rush to apply after a years-long wait. The 5,000 applications accepted are expected to represent about 12,500 people as they will include spouses and dependents of principal applicants.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney promoted the goals of the program changes on Friday, saying they would benefit Canada:

“The government’s number one priority remains jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our changes ensure not only that Canada can select the immigrants most needed by our economy, but that they are best positioned for success.”

These changes include a greater weight placed on English or French language ability, applicants of a younger age, and Canadian work experience, in assessments of FSW applicants. The changes were made after research and consultations to find the factors that most often accompanied successful economic integration and employment by immigrants.

The program has also introduced a requirement for applicants to provide Educational Credential Assessements (ECAs) for credentials earned outside of Canada, provided from one of three organizations designated to provide ECAs.

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Federal Court Rules Against Immigration Hopefuls in Skilled Worker Backlog

Justice Donald Rennie ruled that the federal government was within its rights to eliminate Federal Skilled Worker Program applications affecting approximately 280,000 people last year (StockMonkeys.com)

A federal court on Thursday ruled that the Canadian government was within its rights when it threw out the backlog of applications for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) that were filed before February 27, 2008.

Presiding judge, Justice Donald Rennie, said that “section 87.4 [of Bill C-38] is valid legislation, compliant with the rule of law, the Bill of Rights and the Charter.”

He addressed the fact that the legislation had caused would-be immigrants in the queue anguish:

“The applicants have waited in the queue for many years only to find the entrance door closed. They see the termination of their hope for a new life in Canada to be an unfair, arbitrary and unnecessary measure.”

But maintained that the applications were “terminated by operation of law” and that the court did not have the jurisdiction to overturn the legislation.

Lorne Waldman, a lawyer who represents the 1,400 people who are suing the federal government to force it to process their applications, said he would recommend to his clients to appeal Justice Rennie’s decision, which they have 15 days to do.

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Federal Skilled Worker Occupation List Released

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced 24 occupations that will eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) today released the list of 24 occupations that will be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) when it launches next month on May 4th.

Furthermore, four organizations designated to provide Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) for applicants who studied outside of Canada.

The eligible occupations are:

  • Engineering managers
  • Financial and investment analysts
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Mining engineers
  • Geological engineers
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Aerospace engineers
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers)
  • Land surveyors
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Medical sonographers
  • Cardiology technicians and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

The organizations designated to provide ECAs are:

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • World Education Services
  • Medical Council of Canada

Moreover, CIC announced a 5,000 cap for new FSWP applications, and a sub-cap of 300 applications for each eligible occupation.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the new applications would take one year to process:

“As a result of the actions taken by the Government to deal with the massive backlogs and unacceptably long wait times, FSW applications will be processed in approximately one year.”

“We will not be able to remain competitive and attract the skilled immigrants we need if we allow backlogs and wait times to grow again. That’s why we are capping application intake and focusing on specific occupations that are experiencing labour shortages in Canada. This will also help us transition nicely into the just-in-time immigration system of the future,” Kenney added.

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One of our licensed immigration consultants can speak with you in person, online or on the phone about your unique immigration situation and give you a breakdown of your options.bookappointment