How To Move To Canada As A Skilled Worker | Newcomers Canada
 

How To Move To Canada As A Skilled Worker

Added  June 7, 2017

Article by Andy J Semotiuk 

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2017/06/05/how-to-move-to-canada-as-a-skilled-worker/#5fb51e28292c

Moving to another country permanently is usually a difficult decision to make.  It seems simple, but the moment you start looking at your options, it tends to become very complicated.  In the past year or so moving to Canada has become a more popular topic than ever before.  So for those people who may be interested, I would like to explain one program under which people can move to Canada - the Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry program.

What the Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry program does is allow people that are considered sufficiently skilled and experienced in certain occupations to come and settle in Canada.  It relies primarily on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) developed by Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

The CRS is a point system that gives immigration candidates a certain amount of points for their age, education, language ability and work experience.  The scale ranges from 0-1200 points, but in reality most people that apply are somewhere between 300 and 450.

Every application to the Express Entry system gets put into a pool.  In 2016, 33,782 people from that pool were invited to immigrate to Canada.  The way they were chosen is by being ranked against one another. The candidates with the most points were given an invitation.

In the most recent draw by Immigration and Citizenship Canada, the cut-off point above which people got an invitation was 413 points (If you are curious what this means in actual criteria, there is a handy tool here to let you plug in information and come up with a number). Most people in the pool did not meet this number.

So, how does one improve their score and qualify to come to Canada?

One way is improving in one of the official languages (English and French).  Better test scores on language tests like IELTS (International English Language Testing System) lead directly to a higher score.  But the gains you can make in just your language score usually do not put people over the top.

Another is to have a good job offer in Canada.  This gives you an extra 50 points (and in some cases, if it’s an extremely good job, 200 points).  But if you’re qualifying for that good of a job already, you probably don’t need help getting over the 413 point hump anyways.

Another way is to go through a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP), in addition to the Express Entry system.  If you qualify for one, you get a whopping 600 points, immediately putting you over the top.  So, what are these PNPs?

Each of Canada’s provinces gets to set its own criteria on what it’s looking for in a potential immigrant.  This makes sense, as the needs of each province are different when it comes to skilled worker immigration.

The biggest differences between the programs are usually centered on three different questions – do you live in the province in question already, do you have family or somebody you know there and do you have a job offer from the province?  Sometimes, the provinces are looking for specific occupations and will specify them.

Some programs are open year-round.  But they are usually the ones that require you to have a job offer already, have enough money to live comfortably for a while, or have friends or family already in the province.

Other programs aren’t open all the time.  What often happens is that a province will open a provincial nomination program, for example when it is only looking for 600 people (or some number like that).  The moment those 600 spots are filled, first come first serve, the program closes.  This often results in a scramble of people sending off applications the moment they hear that a program has opened.  The result is much like what happens when tickets go on sale for sporting or entertainment events.  At least they don’t have immigration spot scalpers (and the provinces and federal government work hard to keep it that way).

The Express Entry program was introduced in 2015 and replaced some of the previous skilled worker programs.  It is a program that also being continuously tweaked.  For example, on June 6, 2017, the CRS criteria are being tweaked to give more points to people that have siblings in Canada.

The provincial nomination programs also get tweaked all the time, most notably when they change the occupations they are looking for.  Still, if all of these obstacles can be overcome, with a provincial nomination a person jumps to the head of the queue to get an invitation to immigrate to Canada in the Express Entry skilled worker program.  They get a Permanent Resident card and a clear path to citizenship within 5 years.  What more could one want?

Andy J. Semotiuk is a U.S. and Canadian immigration lawyer, published author and former UN Correspondent with offices in New York and Toronto. Sign up for his newsletter at My Work Visa.

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