You will be hearing a lot of talk about the new Express Entry door that has just opened in the Canadian immigration horizon. It IS good news, and just in time too. There are many exciting changes and new opportunities, for the ones who know how to best take advantage of this unique program. And what a breath of fresh air to not have a restricted occupations list for the first time in a decade! And if Citizenship and Immigration Canada get this one right, no more lineups for years, only months. Imagine that, an express checkout to immigrate to Canada!
With all of the recent changes over the past years in Canadian Immigration policy, the last decade made it seem like Canada had all but pulled in the welcome mat. In many ways, that was true. Recent policy changes were unwelcoming for the vast majority of international skilled workers that used to be the backbone of the immigration department. Skilled Workers with one year of work experience were restricted to a short list of 50 occupations may qualify to apply now, up until December 31st 2014 only, when new program changes have been launched. People waited in a lineup that extended to hundreds of thousands, only to see their hopes dashed by having their application fees refunded, and their applications destroyed under a ‘backlog elimination’. Appeals to the courts were lost.
Many new immigrants still come under the Family Class, as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their spouse or life partner, dependent child under the age of 21, parent or grandparent. Recently Canada Immigration has announced only a brief annual opening for parent and grandparent sponsorship. There are also changes introduced recently for sponsored spouses, common-law partners and conjugal partners, where a 2 year conditional visa has been issued to protect sponsors against being duped into marriages of convenience and being abandoned by their newly landed partners.
The most significant growth in Canadian Immigration was under the Canadian Experience Class category. This program eased the way for those who have come to Canada as International students or temporary foreign workers to be allowed to stay, provided they meet the criteria for this category. But some of the benefits of having salary and advertising requirements waived were eliminated, and the new change now sees these deserving candidates require getting into the Express Entry lineup as well.
On December 31, 2014, the old Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class programs closed as they were known, and a direct application cannot be made. The new Express Entry program launched, where a short application to indicate your eligibility is submitted, and you may be invited to apply for permanent residence based on the selection criteria just released. Those who qualify for either the Skilled Worker Program or Canadian Experience Class must now all apply first for consideration in the Express Entry program, where the human capital model has a detailed and complex score ranking system. With a total maximum score of 600 for individuals on their own, or 1200 for those who have a job offer confirmed by an LMIA, or a provincial nomination, those who know how can influence, and improve upon their scores by taking specific strategic action. Employers who previously did not play a major role in the immigration process can now review potential candidates in a Job Matching program, and candidates can make themselves marketable by registering with ESDC’s Job Bank. This is exciting news for the select few who take the trouble to get the inside scoop on how this process works, and how it can be made to work for you.
Immigration law is complex, and is not a Do It Yourself project. The CIC website says that you do not need an Immigration consultant or immigration lawyer, that you can do it all by yourself. When you don’t understand the complexity of the matter, and make a simple mistake that will see you disqualified, the Visa Officers will not offer to counsel you to correct, change, or amend your application. They will simply refuse it, dashing your dreams of immigrating to Canada. The Appeals courts are full of such cases. And now a simple error in the Express Entry program can see you barred for a full five years!
Having expert guidance and honest counsel is more important than ever in any successful application for immigration. Make sure that your Canadian Immigration Consultant is legally authorized to work for you. Our senior counsellors are Immigration consultants in Toronto Canada, and are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants RCIC – ICCRC, members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. Only RCIC’s are legally authorized to represent you in all Canadian Immigration matters.
We invite you to contact us for an in-depth assessment and consultation to review your opportunities in these exciting new programs. We look forward to hearing from you, and being of service to you soon!
David LeBlanc RCIC – ICCRC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant