Posted on - Jun 06, 2017

By Victor Ing

Victor Ing

Canada’s Express Entry Immigration program is a selection system for economic immigrants comprising four distinct immigration streams – the Federal Skilled Worker stream, the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Provincial Nominee Program. Each of these Immigration categories has their own distinct criteria both federally for the first three programs and provincially or territorially for the PNP programs. You must first determine whether you satisfy the criteria for one of these four immigration categories, and if you do, then you register a profile on the CIC portal. CIC will then provide you with a Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) that will determine whether you will be provided with an Invitation to Apply (ITA). While these have been the steps in the Express Entry process since January 2015, IRCC continues to modify aspects of CRS scoring system, as recently as June 6, 2017, which can affect your likelihood of receiving an ITA. You can maximize your opportunity to qualify for an ITA and succeed with your immigration application for Canada.

Express Entry was introduced to both speed up Canada’s immigration application process from a matter of several years to only a few months. That means that applicants have to be prepared with all required documents at the outset including language test results, educational credential assessments, reference letters confirming past work experience and criminal clearance checks. While many applicants have their language tests and educational assessments in order to register their profiles, they don’t have adequate reference letters or criminal clearances at the time they receive an ITA and often their applications are refused for failing to provide these documents in a timely manner.

Without question the single most important factor for success in the Express Entry process is language proficiency. As of this week, greater CRS points are allocated for French language proficiency in combination with English language proficiency. You will need to have language test results from IRCC approved testing providers. The CRS ranking system provides considerable points for language alone, as well as language proficiency in combination with education and foreign or Canadian work experience. Take your language tests as early as possible in the process so that you can improve your scores if necessary. There are courses both in Canada and overseas to assist with improving your language test scores. If you are already working or studying in Canada, resist the temptation to speak your own language with family and friends as this will impede improving your language proficiency while in Canada.

Additional CRS points are also now provided for applicants with siblings in Canada. You will receive an additional 15 points for demonstrating that you have a brother or sister in Canada who is either a permanent resident or citizen that is 18 years or older. You must show that you and your sibling share a mother or father, or their spouse or common-law partner. This relationship can be through blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption.

IRCC continues to modify and revise the Express Entry program. The criteria for assessing CRS points continues to evolve as does the selection process through Ministerial Instructions. You can maximize your chances for success with Express Entry by being prepared with all the necessary tests, evaluations and supporting documentation that you will need for the application process. Express Entry has been designed to fast track the Canadian immigration application process and applicants need to keep up!


Victor Ing is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada, and provides a full range of immigration services.

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

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