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Canada resumes invitations to FSWP candidates in Express Entry draws

Posted on July 18, 2020
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Federal Skilled Worker Program

Canada’s decision to include Federal Skilled Worker’s program (FSWP) candidates in the Express Entry draws after a brief lull due to the travel restrictions posed by the Coronavirus pandemic is good news for immigration candidates.

Canada had stopped including FSWP candidates in its Express Entry draws, however in its recent all program Express Entry draw held on July 8 FSWP candidates were included in the draw.

This was Canada’s first all-program Express Entry draw since March 4 which had issued 3,900 invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. Candidates needed a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of at least 478 to be invited in the July 8 invitation round.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out, Express Entry draws have been limited to Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. The reasoning was most CEC candidates are already in Canada and will not be affected by Canada’s current travel restrictions. PNP candidates continued to be invited because they are required to meet the labor market needs of provinces. This left out FSWP candidates in these draws. The July 8 draw has changed the trend.

The inclusion of FSWP candidates in the latest EE draw indicates the government’s initiative to include the program which accounts for more than half of the total invitations issued every year through the Express Entry system.

For instance, candidates under the FSWP accounted for nearly 45 percent of the ITAs issued by the IRCC in 2019. This was followed by the CEC, PNP and the FSTP in the order of percentage of invitations that were issued.

 Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

Candidates wishing to apply under the FSWP for immigration to Canada must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by creating their online Express Entry profile.

The selection factors for the FSWP include the following criteria:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Language ability- this includes English and/or French language skills
  • Adaptability
  • Having a valid job offer

Eligibility factors

To be eligible for the FSWP, candidates must score at least 67 points in all the above criteria.

Apart from this, candidates must fulfil the following conditions to qualify for the FSWP:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labor Market Impact Assessment and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer
  • Have completed a Ph.D. in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a Ph.D. in a recognized institution
  • A foreign educational credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) by an agency approved by CIC to show it is equal to a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential.
  • Pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French)

The inclusion of FSWP candidates in the latest draw is an indication for FSWP candidates to enter the Express Entry pool as soon as possible so that their chances of being selected improves. These candidates can now complete their IELTS or CELPIP test to obtain an ECA.

Return to normalcy

The recent all program draw is an indication that the IRCC is striving to bring back normalcy to the immigration system in the coming months. It is also an indication that the IRCC is confident of processing PR applications in reasonable time and FSWP candidates may be able to travel to Canada in the next few months.

All these factors point to the IRCC’s efforts to get Canada’s immigration system back to normal. It is a sign for immigration candidates to start processing their applications now.

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