by Catherine Sas
Canada's new immigrant selection system for economic immigrants, Express Entry came into effect on January 1, 2015 and has dramatically changed our immigration program. What used to be an immigrant driven self selection model is now a government driven selection model.
The government will only choose the very best applicants and offer them an "invitation to apply" - an ITA.
The higher the score an applicant receives on the ranking of their profile, the more likely they will receive an ITA.
Obviously, the temptation to enhance one's profile is very real. Resist that temptation! Inaccurate information that is provided in your profile could result in a finding of misrepresentation and a five year bar to ANY application to Canada - permanent or temporary.
Express Entry covers four of Canada's economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTW) and some portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). It is highly recommended that before you start the application process, you determine that you meet the selection criteria for one of these programs.
The next and pivotal step is to register your profile with CIC. Based upon the information that you provide in your profile, you will be ranked on CIC's "Comprehensive Ranking System" (CRS) and given a score.
Your CRS score is based upon such things as your education, work experience, language proficiency, work or educational history in Canada, the work and educational history or language proficiency of your spouse or whether you or your spouse have close relatives in Canada.
You need a high enough CRS score in order for CIC to give you an ITA.
This is NOT determined by you - it is determined by CIC based upon the information that you provide in your profile.
The temptation to embellish or enhance your profile is significant. The penalty for a finding of misrepresentation has recently increased to a five year ban on any future application to Canada.
Only provide accurate information that can be verified with supporting documentation. What does this mean? Your education must be confirmed by your diplomas or degrees. Your work experience should be confirmed by letters of reference from previous employers. Your language proficiency is assessed based upon scores of a CIC recognized language testing service. Be precise in providing the information in your profile.
In the early days of the New Year, many were sceptical about the scores that would be necessary to earn an ITA. Many felt that good applicants, including students or persons already working in Canada, would be shut out of the process.
Let's look at the Express Entry history in making offers to potential immigrant applicants. Canada's Minister of Immigration makes periodic announcements on the ITA's issued under Express Entry called Ministerial Instructions. So far there have been five sets of Ministerial Instructions issued regarding the Express Entry program:
1. January 31, 2015 - 779 applicants with CRS scores of 886 or higher;
2. February 7, 2015 - 779 applicants with CRS scores of 818 or higher;
3. February 20, 2015 - 849 applicants with CRS scores of 808 or higher;
4. February 27, 2015 - 1187 applicants with CRS scores of 735 or higher
5. March 20, 2015 - 1620 applicants with CRS scores of 481 or higher.
These figures are very telling of the ongoing trend in the EE process. There is a progressive increase in the number of invitations provided to applicants and there is a progressive decrease in the necessary CRS scores to receive an ITA. This supports having patience with the process as well as no need to enhance or embellish the information that you provide in your profile.
Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Partner in the Immigration group. With over 20 years of experience, she provides a full range of immigration services and is a leading immigration practitioner (Lexpert, Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers in Canada). Go to www.canadian-visa-lawyer.comor email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republished with permission from the Asian Pacific Post.