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Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker Program 2018

Like many countries with skilled migration categories, Canada selects permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and contribute positively to their economy. Permanent residents may live, work and study in Canada permanently and enjoy the additional benefits of access to government-subsidized education, healthcare and the insurance and pension benefits if employed. And as a permanent resident, you may enjoy an opportunity to sponsor eligible family members to join you in Canada.


CanadaVisa CategorySkilled Immigration
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Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker Program 2018
Updated August 25, 2016 | Canada

Express Entry is Canada’s current economic immigrant selection system through four key immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.

To qualify for inclusion in the pool of potential candidates for permanent residency an applicant must first express interest in immigrating to Canada by completing an online profile. The profile is electronically screened to determine if the candidate meets the criteria of at least 1 of the 3 federal immigration programs mentioned above.

Candidates are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their profile in the pool. They compete with others for selection each time a draw is conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

A candidate’s ranking in the pool can change when one of the following events occur:

  1. Every time other candidates join or leave the pool.
  2. When the ranking criteria are adjusted according to ministerial instructions.
  3. Whenever a candidate’s circumstances change. (For example, a candidate gains more work experience or is nominated by a province or territory.

In any event, only top-ranked candidates are invited to apply for permanent residence.

CRS Points and Components

Under the rules, a candidate’s CRS score is divided into 2 components: the “core” CRS component and the additional points component. The core CRS score can reach a maximum of 600 points and is based on a combination of the candidate’s age, education, official language proficiency and work experience. These factors are strongly correlated to higher earning potential.

Additional points have been a component of Express Entry since launch. The original 2 types of additional points were given for a qualifying offer of arranged employment, and a provincial or territorial nomination to ensure candidates receive an invitation in the next ITA round.

Fine tuning Express Entry.

November 19, 2016. To improve selection targets, improvements were implemented awarding additional points to candidates with Canadian post-secondary education credentials. Arranged Employment additional points were reduced to rebalance the CRS towards candidates working in higher skilled fields. Conditions for obtaining Arranged Employment additional points were also relaxed.

June 6, 2017. Two new ways of earning additional points were included:

French-language proficiency points are granted to candidates who score 7 or higher on Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens for all 4 of their French language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). These candidates receive: o Fifteen additional points if they scored 4 or lower on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for all 4 of their English language skills.

o Thirty additional points if they scored 5 or higher on their CLB for all 4 of their English language skills.

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Sibling in Canada points are granted: o If the candidate, or if the candidate’s accompanying spouse or common-law partner, has a sibling l at least 18 years old, iving in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident. The sibling must berelated by blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption, and  have a parent in common with the applicant.

Other improvements to Express Entry under current rules:

• Job bank registration became voluntary for all candidates. Candidates who meet minimum entry criteria for Express Entry are automatically placed into the pool and immediately eligible for invitations rounds. Candidates still have the option to create a Job Match account with Job Bank to look for employment in Canada. Canadian employers are still able to find high-skilled Express Entry candidates in Job Bank.

• IRCC introduced a new tie-breaking rule. At the time of invitation, candidates in the pool are ranked by their CRS score. When there is a tie between candidates at the targeted invited-to-apply (ITA) cut-off score, all tied candidates are ranked again based on the date and time of their profile submission. The tie-breaking rule was first implemented in November 2017, and only the top-ranked candidates based on the planned number of invitations issued were invited. Breaking CRS ties using profile submission date and time resulted in a more precise alignment between monthly invitations sent and IRCC’s multi-year immigration levels plan.

Express Entry results to date

The Express Entry pool is now the main source of permanent residence applications for the economic immigration category of IRCC’s multi-year immigration levels plan. In 2017, 86,022 invitations were sent, 109,497 applications were received, 93,596 visas were issued and 65,401 permanent residents and their families were admitted into Canada.

Profiles submitted to the Express Entry pool

As of January 3, 2018:

  • There were 71,087 active candidates in the Express Entry pool.
  • ITA candidates who had not yet applied for permanent residence totalled 9,569.

Prior to Express Entry the most popular migrant selectidon was through the Federal Skilled Workers Program or FSWP.  

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for individuals who may become permanent residents of the country on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada.  FSWP applicants may reside in any province of Canada, other than Quebec. 

As an economic program, the FSWP is points-based and candidates must meet the minimum threshold of 67 points out of 100 to be considered for the program. The selection factors used to forecast your success in Canada are your:

  • Age.
    • The upper range for this factor is 46 and you will not receive points if you are 47 or older.
  • Education.
    • You must prove that you have earned the equivalent of a Canadian diploma or certificate. The higher the equivalent, the more points for you.
  • Language Skills. 
    • You must meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) by taking an English or French  language test approved by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Work experience. 
    • You must have the equivalent of at least one year continuous full-time or the equivalent in part-time paid work within the last 10 years.
    • Your work must be at skill type "A," "B," or "O" of the 2011 National Occupational Classification or NOC
    • Periods of employment outside and within Canada will be considered.
  • Adaptability. 
    • This factor is predictive and refers to how well you are likely to settle in Canada.
    • If you have a spouse or common‑law partner who will immigrate with you to Canada, they can earn points as well for their own education, work experience, language proficiency.
    • You may also receive additional points if you have close family members who are permanent residents or Canadian Citizens.
  • Arranged employment.
    • You can get point if the permanent, full-time job being offered to you
    • This employment should have been arranged before you applied as a federal skilled worker.
    • The job must be in an occupation listed as skill type "A," "B," or "O" of the 2011 National Occupational Classification or NOC.

The NOC is a systematic classification of occupations in the Canadian labour market and is divided into five bands:

Skill Type "O"

Management Occupations

Skill Type "A"

Primarily comprised of professional occupations

Skill Type "B"

Consists of technical, skilled trades and paraprofessional occupations

Skill Type "C"

Comprises of occupations of intermediate level, clerical or support functions

Skill Type "D"

Elemental Sales or service and primary laborer occupations

Want to check whether your occupations meets the standards for the Federal Skilled Worker Program?

>> Check the National Occupational Classification HERE <<

Language

To check the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) of your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score, check the table below:

CLB Level

Ability: Speaking

Ability: Listening

Ability: Reading

Ability: Writing

5 and above

5.0

5.0

4.0

5.0

6

5.5

5.5

5.0

5.5

7

6.0

6.0 – 7.0

6.0

6.0

8

6.5

7.5

6.5

6.5

9

7.0

8.0

7.0

7.0

10 and above

7.5 – 9.0

8.5 – 9.0

8.0 – 9.0

7.5 – 9.0

To check the NCLC (Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens) equivalent of your scores in the Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF), check the table below:

NCLC Level

Ability: Speaking (expression orale)

Ability: Listening (compréhension de l’orale)

Ability: Reading (compréhension de l’écrit)

Ability: Writing (expression écrite)

7

310 – 348

249 – 279

207 – 232

310 – 348

8

349 – 370

280 – 297

233 – 247

349 – 370

9 and above

371+

298+

248+

371+

Education

Being able to demonstrate that your international degree is the equivalent of one from a Canada academic institution DOES NOT guarantee you a job in your profession or even licensure if your occupation is regulated in Canada. To practice in a regulated profession, you must also be registered by the regulatory authority in the province where you intend to live.

Common-Law Partners

if you are married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as a principal applicant.  A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Other Important Notes

Other requirements for a successful application for permanent residence:

  • You will also need Proof of Funds (maintenance funds) to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself (and your family) after you arrive in Canada.  The amount that you must have will depend on the number of family members who are included in your application.
  • You must be admissible to Canada.
  • You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. Quebec has its own selection system and protocol.  Applicants who intend to go to Quebec are known as "Quebec-selected" skilled workers.
  • If you have skilled work experience and want to live in Canada permanently, you must rack up high enough points using the Comprehensive Ranking System (or CRS) to be selected from the Express Entry Pool.

>> CLICK HERE to read up on the Provincial Nominee Programs <<

What happens if you score lower than the pass mark of 67 points?  You will not qualify to immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker. While it would be better not to apply if you are not yet qualified, you can try to improve your score and increase your chances of being invited in the future.

>> CLICK HERE to read up on studying in Canada as an international student <<

Our advice to candidates is that they ensure they get a more accurate assessment of their credentials before spending additional time and resources on an application where they may be ineligible to continue further.  And while a preliminary, free assessment can be provided by a Migration Associate of our firm, we would prefer that you get a more thorough assessment and legal briefing on your options to apply for immigration to Canada.

>> CLICK HERE for an Online Assessment <<

Maintenance Funds

You don't have to provide evidence of funds under the following circumstances:

  • You are currently authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer from a Canada-based employer OR
  • You have been invited to apply under the Canadian Experience Class.

For 2018, the amounts required are as follows: Compare the funds needed from 2016:

Number of
Family Members

Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)

1

$12,475

2

$15,531

3

$19,093

4

$23,181

5

$26,292

6

$29,652

7

$33,014

For each additional family member

$3,361

Evidence of funds availability

Funds must be readily available to you. As an example, you can't use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds.

The funds - and evidence of legal access upon arrival - must be available both when you apply and a permanent resident visa is issued 

For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where the money is kept.

Letter(s) must:

  • be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
  • include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
  • include your name
  • list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
  • include, for each current bank and investment account:
    • account numbers
    • the date each account was opened
    • the current balance of each account
    • the average balance for the past six months

Updates to fund requirements

The settlement funds are updated every year based on 50 per cent of the low income cut-off totals published by the Canadian government. Be sure you are using the latest fund requirements.

Number of Family Members

Funds Required in CAD in 2016

1

$12,164

2

$15,143

3

$18,617

4

$22,603

5

$25,636

6

$28,913

7 or more

$32,191

It is always good to research the cost of living (expenses and wages) in each province before you decide on where you plan to settle in Canada. We've compiled some expenses in key cities throughout Canada so you'll have a clearer picture on how much you'll be spending should you decide to settle in these cities.

Expense *

Vancouver

Toronto

Winnipeg

Quebec

Apartment, 1BR in City Centre

1,300-1,850

1,200-1,750

800-1,100

600 - 900

Apartment, 1BR outside of City Centre

900-1,450

900-1,400

685 - 950

500 - 710

Basic utilities e.g. electricity, heating, water, garbage for an 85 sq.m. apartment

40 - 120

75-212.50

100 - 250

75 - 300

Internet, 10Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL

40 - 75

40 - 72

48 - 65

45 - 65

Transportation, Monthly Pass not unlimited

91 - 124

130 - 142

80 - 89

75 - 85.60

Gasoline, 1 liter

1.15 - 1.30

0.98 - 1.15

0.84 - 1.10

1 - 1.19

Regular Milk, 1 liter

1.32 - 3.69

1.13 - 3.30

1.25 - 2.5

1.75 - 2.25

White Rice, 1 kg.

3 - 6

2 - 5

2 - 5

3 - 5

Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 500g

2.50 - 4

2 - 3

1.80 - 3

3 - 3.89

Eggs, 1 dozen

3 - 5

2.81 - 4

2.50 - 4

3 - 4

Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

12 - 20

8.82 - 9.82

10 - 16

8.8 - 15

Beef round, 1kg,

10 - 22.02

9 - 20

8.82 - 15

8.8 - 15

Potato, 1 kg.

1.5 - 4.12

1 - 3

2.20 - 4.22

2.18 - 4.41

Tomato, 1 kg.

3 - 5.51

2.5 - 5

1.95 - 5.05

4.41 - 6.61

Banana, 1kg.

1.5 - 2.65

1.35 - 2

1.50 - 2.18

1.54 - 2

Water, 1.5 liter bottle

1.5 - 3

1.5 - 3

1 - 3

1.99 - 2

Domestic Beer, .5 liter bottle

2.5 - 6

2 - 3

2 - 3.99

1.50 - 3

Meal, inexpensive restaurant

12 - 20

12 - 20

11 - 18

10 - 20

McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent Combo Meal)

7 - 10

8 - 10

8 - 11

8 - 11

Cappuccino, regular

3.50 - 4.55

2.75 - 4.25

3 - 5

3 - 4.50

Cinema, International Release

12 - 15

12 - 15

10 - 14.50

10 - 14

Pair of Levi jeans or similar

50 - 85

45 - 80

40 - 70

40 - 100

1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store e.g. Zara, H&M

39.99 - 75

30 - 60

30 - 80

25 - 40

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)

19,000 - 28,500

18,300 - 26,600

19,500 - 25,000

20,000 - 24,995

Inadmissibility

Even if you meet all of requirements and have been issued an Invitation to Apply, your application may still be unsuccessful. There are many reasons that you may not be admitted to Canada.  These include the following:

  • You lied in your application or during an interview
  • One of your family members is not allowed into Canada
  • You have a serious health problem
  • You have a serious financial problem
  • You have been convicted of a crime or have committed an act outside Canada that would be considered a crime
  • You have ties to organized crime
  • You have committed human or international rights violations
  • You are a security risk
  • You do not meet the conditions in Canada’s immigration law

About the Authors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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