By Rhonda Williams, Former Visa Officer
Here are some important points tips for those hoping to gain Express Entry to Canada.
How do candidates get points?
Each of the candidates chosen this year already had a valid Provincial Nomination Certificate or a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). That gave them 600 points. The rest of their points were calculated based on their language proficiency in English or French, age, education, work experience, whether they were married or not and if their spouse has English or French proficiency and higher education.
The scores are dropping
The first four draws, including the latest one, have seen lower minimum points scores each time as candidates with a positive LMIA or a nomination certificate are cleared out of the pool.
Is there hope for candidates without a LMIA or nomination certificate?
Yes! The Canadian government has stated several times that their target for new immigrants from the EE system this year is quite high, so there are still many spaces left.
Can you get a positive LMIA?
Many employers are unwilling to go through the complicated process to get a positive LMIA when there is no guarantee that the candidate will want to work in that job once they get to Canada, and no apparent way to ensure that they will do so. Employers must do extensive national advertising and recruitment to prove that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job, so few employers are likely to use this program for general workers. My prediction is that the Temporary Foreign Worker program will eventually be used only for very specialized workers and/or very short-term workers.
Can you get a Provincial Nomination Certificate?
The provinces have a very limited number of spaces for nominations under the Express Entry system. Most of their programs are also limited to international students who have completed their studies in the province or workers already in the province. This means that there will be very few spots under the EE system taken by candidates with nomination certificates. If you have completed your studies in a participating province or you are currently working in Canada, you might be eligible to obtain a provincial nomination certificate.
Good news for candidates!
This is all good news for candidates! There are still a lot of spots open, the government of Canada wants to select a lot of people who qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades or the Canadian Experience Class programs. If you qualify, there are no processing fees for the initial Expression of Interest under Express Entry.