Changes to Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)
November 11, 2016
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The changes will affect those individuals who have submitted their candidacy for immigrating to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. The changes will take effect on November 19, 2016.
What are the changes?
1. Job Offers
Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) were worth 600 points under the CRS. Now, a qualifying job offer is worth either 200 points or 50 points. 200 points are awarded to qualifying job offers for a Senior Managerial Level Position (National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code starting with 00) OR 50 points are awarded to qualifying job offers in any other occupation with a skill level of 0, A or B.
Another significant change is that the following individuals will now be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:
Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-Company Transfers.
In both cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one (1) year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit in order to get the 200 or 50 points.
2. Canadian Study
The points that are to be awarded for Canadian educational credentials are as follows:
0 points if the candidate has only a secondary school educational credential;
15 points if the candidate has an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program; and
30 points if the candidate has either:
a. an eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three years or more,
b. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required,
c. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the doctoral level.
Points are only assigned for Canadian study experience if, for the purpose of obtaining the credential, the candidate
a. studied in Canada at a Canadian educational institution;
b. was enrolled in full-time study or training for at least eight (8) months; and
c. was physically present in Canada for at least eight (8) months.
Before these changes, Immigration candidates who had completed a study program in Canada were not awarded additional CRS points. Through these changes, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its desire to find simpler ways for foreign students in Canada to obtain Permanent Residence.
3. Invitations to Apply
Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence will now have ninety (90) days (as opposed to the old sixty (60) days) to submit a complete Application to IRCC.
4. Impact of These Changes
When these changes take effect on November 19, many candidates in the Express Entry pool may notice no change to their individual CRS score; however, the upside to the changes is that these same individuals will now be more competitive when compared to candidates with qualifying job offers, who will see their scores drop up to 550 points. This is advantageous because the Express Entry system ranks candidates against each other and those with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.
Illegal in U.S. and Wish to Immigrate to Canada?
November 10, 2016
Abrams & Krochak receives a significant number of inquiries from individuals, who have no legal status in the country in which they are residing and who wish to immigrate to Canada. The vast majority of these inquiries are from individuals in the United States and the number has increased substantially since the recent U.S. election and talk of mass deportations. The two (2) primary concerns for these individuals, when considering Canada, are:
1. Whether their illegal status in the United States will render them ineligible to immigrate to Canada; and
2. Whether the Immigration process can take place while they continue to reside in the United States, albeit illegally.
Insofar as eligibility is concerned, illegal status in a third country will not render an individual ineligible to immigrate to Canada unless issues of criminality are involved. Even then, there is not an automatic disqualification and Abrams & Krochak advises on a case-by-case basis.
Insofar as the Canadian Immigration process is concerned, all applicants in the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades categories are processed under a system called “Express Entry”. With the assistance of Abrams & Krochak, applicants create an Express Entry Online Profile and if they are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the majority of the Application process takes place online. Therefore, if no interview is deemed necessary by Immigration officials (which applies to the majority of cases filed by Abrams & Krochak, to date), the applicant’s place of residence is irrelevant. Place of residence only becomes relevant if the applicant’s file must be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview.
The general rule is this: if a file needs to be transferred to a Canadian visa office for further processing and/or the scheduling of an Immigration interview, it will be transferred to the Canadian visa office in the country in which the applicant is currently residing if (i) the applicant has at any point in the past lawfully resided in that country for a period of one (1) year or more OR (ii) the applicant is in possession of a valid visa, authorizing him/her to remain in that country for a period of at least one (1) year (such as an H1-B, J-1 or F-1 visa in the United States). Otherwise, the file must be transferred to the Canadian visa office which normally serves the applicant’s home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship.
As long as you are accurate about your qualifications when you complete Abrams & Krochak’s Online Eligibility Assessment Questionnaire at https://www.akcanada.com/assessment1.php, should you receive a favourable assessment from Abrams & Krochak, then it is worthwhile creating an Express Entry Online Profile since, as was stated earlier, if you are invited by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada, the vast majority of Abrams & Krochak’s cases are approved without the need for a personal interview and you will have the chance to begin a new life with legal status in Canada instead of continuing to live in fear of deportation from the United States.
Should an interview be deemed necessary in your case and should you be required to attend it in your home country/country of habitual residence/country of citizenship or a third country whose Canadian visa office serves your jurisdiction, you can evaluate your personal circumstances at that moment in time and then decide whether you are willing to take the risk of leaving the United States and travelling to attend your interview or abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans altogether. Keep in mind, however, the fact that abandoning your Canadian Immigration plans does not necessarily mean that you can apply at a future date, should your personal circumstances change. Canadian Immigration laws, regulations and policies are always subject to change at any time without advance notice.
Number of 2017 New Arrivals to Canada to Remain the Same; Greater Percentage Economic and Family Class Immigrants
November 1, 2016
On October 31, 2016, the Government of Canada announced in the Canadian House of Commons that it will bring in 300,000 new arrivals in 2017. That is the same number that was established in 2016 to accommodate an influx of Syrian refugees.
While Canada will not increase the number of new immigrants being welcomed to the country next year, the Government claims that it is laying the foundation for a bigger boost in levels in the coming years.
Within this plan, the number of permanent residents selected in economic programs (i.e. Express Entry/Business Class/Provincial Nominee Programs, etc.) will increase. The Government also intends to increase Family Class (i.e. family sponsorship) levels to reduce processing times and reunite more families.