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Qualifying for Express Entry

Posted on September 28, 2015
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There has been much discussion about the likelihood of students being able to qualify for permanent residence to Canada given the new Express Entry selection model.

Prior to Express Entry, most students counted on the three year post graduate work permit in order to get the necessary combination of two years of study and one year of work experience to meet the Canadian Experience Class requirements for permanent residence to Canada. Now that Express Entry has been in operation for over half a year, let’s examine how this new program will effect students.

Express Entry is a selection process that is comprised of four separate permanent resident processing streams: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).
Even before registering in the Express Entry pool, it is necessary to determine that you meet the requirements for one of these programs. For students the most frequent program they turned to was the CEC.

The requirements for the CEC were straightforward – at least two years of study earning a diploma or degree, one year of full time work experience and language proficiency of CLB 5 or higher.
In the new Express Entry realm, you will only be given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) based upon your Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) points score.

You need to meet both the necessary CRS points score to be invited to apply as well as the qualifying criteria that you are applying under – a front end and back end qualification process, if you will.
While many students may be able to satisfy the CEC criteria, the challenge will be to score enough CRS points.
The CRS scoring process is based upon four categories as follows:

1. Human Capital: age, education, official language proficiency, spouse Canadian work experience. Maximum Points 500 or 460 with spouse.
2. Spouse (40 points)
3. Skill Transferability Points: education and language proficiency, education and Canadian work experience, foreign work experience and language proficiency, and foreign work experience (up to max 100 points)
4. Additional Points: LMIA or PNP Nomination Certificate (600 points)

The total maximum for points is 1200.
As of September 8, 2015, there have been sixteen draws for applicants. Each set of Ministerial Instructions (MI) sets out the number of invitations to applicants (ITA’s) and the necessary CRS points score.
The highest number of ITA’s to applicants has been 1637 invitations and the lowest 715 invitations.
The highest CRS point score required was 886 and the lowest 451.
In CIC’s Express Entry (EE) mid-year report the total number of applicants registered in the EE pool seeking an ITA were 41,218.
A very telling figure were the number of applicants at various CRS point score levels:
CRS 450-499 points – 1,786 EE Registered Applicants
CRS 400-449 points – 8,770 EE Registered Applicants
CRS 350-399 points – 14,597 EE Registered Applicants
CRS 300-349 points – 12,517 EE Registered Applicants
CRS 250-299 points – 2,247 EE Registered Applicants

As noted above, so far the invitations to apply have been for applicants with CRS scores of 451 or higher which is too high a score for the vast majority of individuals registered in the pool.
What kind of student profile will score enough points to get an ITA?
We will review the CRS scoring process in detail in our next issue.

By Catherine Sas,

Special to The Post

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