Some candidates for immigration to Canada have already taken an important first step and submitted an Express Entry profile.
Only candidates who are eligible for one of Canada’s federal economic immigration programs are able to submit their profile into the Express Entry pool.
Eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System, which ranks eligible candidates for immigration to Canada through Express Entry under the following components:
- core human capital factors;
- accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors;
- skill transferability factors; and
- factors relating to a provincial nomination, qualifying offer of arranged employment, Canadian study experience, a sibling in Canada, and/or French language ability.
The highest-ranked candidates are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence when the government of Canada performs regular draws from the pool. Therefore, it is in candidates’ best interests to strive to improve their scores in order to increase their chances of receiving an invitation to apply.
Obtain 600 CRS Points through a PNP
The most beneficial single thing that a candidate may do to improve his or her Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is obtain an enhanced nomination certificate from a Canadian province through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) category aligned with Express Entry.
While candidates who do not have a nomination from a Canadian province may also receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence, the 600 points available under the Comprehensive Ranking System for this factors means that candidates a provincial nomination will receive an ITA at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
Provincial Nominee Programs: A Fast-Track To Permanent Residence Through Express Entry
In Canada, the federal government and the provinces and territories share jurisdiction over the selection of immigrants. Geographically and politically, Canada is divided into 10 provinces and three territories. Apart from the territory of Nunavut and the province of Quebec, all other provinces and territories have immigration programs that allow them to nominate individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada and who are interested in settling in a particular province. These are the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Provincial and territorial governments have been using these programs to welcome new permanent residents to Canada. Each PNP is tailored to the specific needs of the provinces and territories, which aim to select new immigrants who will be able to settle into life and work in the region and effectively contribute to the community, both socially and economically.
Most PNPs contain a stream aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. Candidates in the Express Entry pool who obtain an enhanced nomination from a province are awarded 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, out of a possible total of 1,200. When these additional points are added to a candidate’s human capital and skills transferability points, it will result in an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
Read about specific PNPs that contain enhanced Express Entry streams:
- British Columbia PNP (BC PNP)
- Manitoba PNP (MPNP)
- Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
- Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
- New Brunswick PNP (NBPNP)
- Prince Edward Island PNP (PEI PNP)
- Newfoundland and Labrador PNP (NLPNP)
- Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
- Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
- Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
At this time, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) does not contain any enhanced Express Entry streams.
A Qualifying Job Offer From A Canadian Employer
One of the stated aims of the Express Entry immigration selection system is for Canada to select newcomers who will be able to integrate successfully into life in Canada. As a result, the system places an increased emphasis on a candidate’s ability to find gainful employment in Canada. It’s never too early to begin your Canada job search.
Under the Comprehensive Ranking System, candidates with arranged employment (as proven by having obtained a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer are awarded either 200 or 50 points, depending on the position.
- A qualifying job offer is worth 200 points if the offer is in an occupation contained in Major Group 00 of the National Occupational Classification.
- A qualifying job offer is worth 50 points if the offer is any other qualifying offer of arranged employment.
Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment were worth 600 points under the CRS. As of November 19, 2016, there are new ways of being awarded either 50 or 200 points without the need to obtain a LMIA (though points will continue to be awarded to individuals with a new or existing LMIA). The new regulations also allow individuals in one of the following situations to be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:
- Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-company Transfers.
In both above cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit.
Candidates outside Canada may feel that obtaining a qualifying job offer from an employer in Canada is an arduous task, but, with the right tools and resources, they may promote themselves to employers in their field in Canada.
- Various free Job Search tools where candidates can research open job positions across Canada and contact potential employers.
- Candidates may build a Canadian-style resume/CV using various Resume Builder online.
- Other career coaching tools and resources will help candidates to establish connections with Canadian employers.
Improving Core Human Capital Factors
Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), up to 600 points are awarded for core human capital factors and skills transferability, which take into account factors such as a candidate’s age, education, language proficiency, and work experience.
If a candidate takes steps to improve certain human capital factors, he or she may be awarded additional points under the CRS. Steps that may be taken include:
- Completing an educational degree, diploma or certificate
- Having the spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant complete an educational degree, diploma, or certificate
- Improving ability in English and/or French and taking (or re-taking) a standardized language test recognized by the government of Canada
- Having the spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant improve ability in English and/or French and having him or her take (or re-take) a standardized language test recognized by the government of Canada
- Gaining additional work experience
- Having the spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant gain additional work experience
By taking one or more of these steps, candidates in the Express Entry pool may see their ranking improve under the CRS.