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From January, the process of applying for Canadian residency will be a whole new experience, with the introduction of the Express Entry system.
The new system has been named the Express Entry, indicating the aim of the Canadian government to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants.
The list will function as a job bank, where the government, as well as employers, will be able to select the candidates that are most likely to succeed.
Earlier, those interested in migrating to Canada would select one of the many streams to submit an application; from January, there will be a single list.
Selected candidates will be invited to apply through three of Canada’s existing economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Some of the Provincial Nominee Programmes will also be open for selected candidates of the Express Entry list, while other provincial programmes will continue to exist on its own.
Recently more details about the steps to take have been revealed.
'Emirates 24|7' sums up the must-knows, so aspirant-migrants can be sure to have their applications ready when Canada opens the doors through its new gates.
How to be at the top of the list?
All applicants, regardless of the programme eligible for, will be added to the same pool.
Once on the list, candidates will be ranked against each other, depending on their potential success as an immigrant in Canada.
Competitive as this sounds, the system allows flexibility, as the applicant will be able to update his profile and increase points over time.
Once on the list, it is possible to go up or down in ranking.
This ranking is done according to a point-based system, called the Comprehensive Ranking System.
A total of 1,200 points can be earned by each candidate, of which up to 500 can be awarded for a candidate’s core human capital factors.
Core human capital is made up of four factors: age (110 points), level of education (150 points), first language ability (136 points), which should be either English or French, and the ability to speak a second of these languages (34 points).
However, when applying with an accompanying spouse or common-law partner, up to 460 points will be awarded for the core human capital of the principal applicant, with up to 40 points available for the core human capital of his or her spouse or common-law partner.
The job qualifications of an applicant are measured under the category ‘skill transferability’, which can be awarded 100 points.
These points can be gathered through the combination of certain qualifications, being Education and Language Ability, Education and Canadian Work experience, Language Ability and Non-Canadian Work Experience, Canadian and non-Canadian Work Experience and Certificate of Qualification in a Trade and Language Ability.
When having a job offer at hand, this will gain the applicant the bulk of the available points: 600.
This can either be a qualifying offer of arranged employment from a Canadian employer or a nomination certificate from a Canadian province.
When the applicant has a valid job offer the invitation to apply for permanent residency is guaranteed.
How to get on the list?
Before counting one’s chances of ranking the top of the list, it is important to determine how to get on the list first; eligibility is not a given.
First, the applicant must be eligible to apply under one of the three mentioned immigration programmes.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is currently the most popular one.
This programme selects qualified skilled applicants from across the world based on factors like their education, work experience, language proficiency.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) targets those applicants that are valuable for their practical skills rather than educational credentials.
The third programme that will remain available is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
This was created for individuals who already gained skilled work experience in Canada.
When the candidate is eligible to apply under one of these programmes, proficiency of one of the two languages (English or French) must be proven.
A language test with sufficient points to enter one of the programmes must be completed.
Furthermore, when applying through the FSWP, the applicant needs to present an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credentials before making an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada.
How does my occupation score?
Currently, many of the Canadian immigration programmes have an occupation list; a list of job fields that are in demand of new employees.
Applicants may only apply when their occupation is on the list.
This will no longer be the case under the new system.
Although the FSWP and CEC currently include a list of eligible occupations, applicants with any occupational background will be able to submit their file on the Express Entry list.
Instead, candidates will have to demonstrate that they have worked at least one year in a skilled occupation within the past 10 years.
I am on the list. What is next?
The first selection of applicants that are invited to apply is expected to be made before the end of January.
From that moment, more invitations will be issued, although it is not clear how often and how many applicants will be selected each time.
An invitation to apply enables the applicant to submit his/her file. However, this must be done within 60 days of the application, and no extension period will be granted.
If the applicant fails to apply within this timeframe, (s)he will no longer be on the Express Entry list.
Failure to apply does not only occur when the applicant has not submitted any documents within the 60-day period. An incomplete or inaccurate file will also be considered as such, leading to the same consequences.
It is, therefore, important to prepare a file well on time, as certain documents may take long to obtain.
If the applicant is not ready when receiving the invitation to apply, (s)he may decline the invitation, but must do so within 60 days.
In this case, the applicant will remain on the list.
All applicants are secured to be on the list for a period of one year. If no invitation to apply has been received, the applicant can submit his/her file again.
How to get a job offer?
Considering that 600 points and a guaranteed invitation to apply are allocated to applicant with a job offer, this is probably the best way to increase the chance of earning a residency in Canada.
However, from the shores of the UAE it might seem like a difficult task to find a job.
On January 1st, 2015, Canada will launch its Job Bank, and applicants without a job offer are required to register in order to enable the ‘matchmaking’ the Canadian government has promised to carry out between employers and applicants.
However, because the bank is not likely to reach full functionality in its early dates, it is recommended that applicants join the CanadaVisa portal, Canadavisa.com/assess/canada-immigration-assessment-form, where they can promote themselves and connect with employers.
Because employers will be able to select employees through one of the federal programmes, as well as the provincial programmes it is advisable to scroll though the different programmes the provinces have to offer, and see where the best chances lie in your industry.
Can I still apply in other ways?
Although the Express Entry system replaces the federal economic programmes, all Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNP) except that of Nunavut will continue to exist.
Moreover, Quebec will continue to run its programme independently.
The PNP will continue to exist alongside the Express Entry system.
This means that provinces will be able to select a portion of their applicants from the Express Entry list, while also receiving applications independently.
In practice, applicants with a provincial nomination certificate who also qualify in one of the federal economic immigration programmes may enter the Express Entry pool and, having been awarded an additional 600 points, will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
In Quebec this is different.
Quebec will not actively participate in the Express Entry system for Canadian immigration, and therefore candidates applying through an immigration programme in Quebec will be evaluated under the province-specific regulations.
There is one exception to this rule.
Candidates who indicate that they intend to live and work outside Quebec but have a job offer from a company based in Quebec will be able to participate in the Express Entry system.
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