First of all, it is important to note that Express Entry is not an immigration program, rather, it is a system for accepting and processing applications for Canadian permanent residence. This system was implemented in January 2015 and while it took some time for Canadian immigration authorities to get used to it, they are now processing applications faster than ever!
The Express Entry system manages three different immigration programs. Each of these programs is merit-based, meaning that only the applicants with the best credentials will be invited to come to Canada.
To be considered for these programs, first a foreign national must submit an Express Entry profile. This acts as an Expression of Interest, indicating that they want to be considered for Canadian permanent residence. Then, approximately every 2 weeks, the Canadian government will issue a round of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to those in the pool of candidates with the most competitive profile.
Receiving an ITA opens the door to a life in Canada – once you have an ITA you are eligible to submit your final application for Canadian permanent residence.
Over the course of 2017, there were more Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Permanent Residence given than the total amount issued in 2015 and 2016 combined. What does this mean for Canadian immigration? Simply put, Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is prioritizing Express Entry as the main source of welcoming economic migrants to Canada and, as such, they’ve increased intake amounts.
This also means that the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) has become more lenient. This may continue to happen in 2018 as the Express Entry program has once again increased intake numbers. The Canadian government has pledged to accept over 1 million immigrants in the next 3 years with nearly 600,000 of those coming through economic programs!
In 2017, the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA dropped to a record-low of 413 points in a draw in late May. This is approximately 50 points lower than the average score required to receive an ITA the previous year. It appears that, as the government is finally becoming comfortable with the Express Entry system, they are able to process applications much faster and issue a larger quantity of ITAs with lower requirements.
In 2018, if the trend continues, an optimistic view of Express Entry would see the CRS score fall even lower. While a CRS score drop cannot be guaranteed, it is an ideal time to submit a profile to the Express Entry pool.
What are PNPs, anyway? In short, they’re province specific programs that prioritize economic migrants based on how much their skills are needed in the given province’s employment market.
For example, if the province of Alberta is in need of information technology (IT) specialists, they could hypothetically open a PNP intake for this occupation for a predetermined period of time. There are two types of PNPs: enhanced and base. What’s the difference?
The enhanced PNPs are under the umbrella of the Express Entry system. Applicants earn additional CRS points as well as an Invitation To Apply (ITA) if they’re nominated in this way. It’s the equivalent of winning the CRS lottery.
The base PNPs work separately from the Express Entry system—so successful nominees simply submit a final permanent residence application in hard copy to IRCC.
What does this mean for 2018? Economic immigrants should be on the lookout for enhanced PNP nomination streams.
Alberta, Canada’s 4th most populated province and Canada’s oil and gas production hotbed, joins many other provinces and territories in the opening of one such Express Entry aligned stream as of 2018. The criteria for the Alberta PNP stream will be announced at a later date. As well, the province of Manitoba has also announced it will be renewing and updating its enhanced PNP program in 2018.
With the current trends in Canadian immigration, 2018 looks like it could a great year for Canadian immigration! Submit your Express Entry profile today in order to be considered.
Do you want to submit an Express Entry profile? Fill out one of our free online assessments today. Let us help you keep it simple!
The Canadim Team!
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