Posted on - Sep 15, 2015

By Catherine Sas, Q.C.

Catherine Sas Q.C.

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:

a) Human Capital:
Age, Education, Official Language Proficiency
Canadian Work Experience
Maximum Points
500/460 with spouse
b) Spouse/Common Law Partner /40
c) Skill Transferability Points
1a) Education and Language Proficiency
1b) Education and Canadian Work Experience
1c) Foreign Work Experience and Language Proficiency
1d) Foreign Work Experience
/100 Max
d) Additional Points
LMIA or PNP Nomination Certificate
Total Maximum /1200

A CRS evaluation is based upon a person’s age, foreign and/or Canadian education, English or French language proficiency and foreign and/or Canadian work experience.

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 (ITAs) and the necessary CRS points score. The highest number of ITAs 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 Point Scores EE Registered Applicants
450-499 points 1,786 applicants
400-449 points 8,770 applicants
350-399 points 14,597 applicants
300-349 points 12,517 applicants
250-299 points 2,247 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.

Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. Catherine has been practicing law for over 25 years, and has been voted Vancouver’s Best Immigration Lawyer by the Georgia Straight newspaper for 6 consecutive years.

To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Catherine Sas or call her at 1-604-689-5444.

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