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Do I have enough points to qualify under Express Entry? - Russ Weninger Immigration Lawyer in Calgary, AB :: Russ Weninger Immigration Lawyer in Calgary, AB
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Written By: admin
02/25/16

The Express Entry system is an “expression of interest” system of economic immigration. Previously, Canada had a first-come-first-serve system. If you met the requirements under a given program and applied for permanent residence, you would eventually be accepted for permanent residence, assuming the application submitted was complete.

Under the new system, qualifying under a program is not good enough. Assuming you in fact qualify, you are then placed in a pool with all other qualifying applicants. Think of it as a slightly more degrading version of the TV show, The Bachelor. In this case, the prize at the end is Canadian permanent residence rather than a marriage proposal from a self-absorbed frat boy who considers himself the world’s greatest hunk. So the prize is good even if the contest itself leaves something to be desired. As in The Bachelor, an Express Entry contestant is ranked according to a set of somewhat arbitrary measures. Unlikely in The Bachelor, the Express Entry candidate is not ranked on how well one gets along with the other contestants or how bubbly one’s personality can get after a couple of glasses of wine. Express Entry candidates are ranked on things such as education, language proficiency as measured by certain approved proficiency exams, work experience, and age. The age part is in fact kind of like The Bachelor – if you’re over thirty, you may still be in the game, but you’re definitely losing points with each passing year.

You can also get points for having an employer with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or by receiving a nomination certificate under select Provincial Nominee Programs. The first thing to do when considering whether to do an Express Entry application is to try to estimate what your current points might be. Every few weeks or so, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada does a draw from the Express Entry pool. The points have ranged from the 900s to just a little bit above 450. Lately, the point draws have tended to be between 450 and 500.

I’m not sure if there are any official statistics on this, but from I’ve heard, the vast majority of Express Entry applicants have points in the range of 350 to 450. If your points are between 400 and 450, you may have a shot, but if your points are lower than 400, your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply are extremely limited, unless you can do something to increase your points.

Finding an employer with an LMIA in a skilled occupation will give you an extra 600 points. Receiving a provincial nomination may also give you 600 points. In some cases, it may be worth your while to create a profile even if your points score is quite low. If you receive a nod from a provincial government participating in Express Entry, the extra 600 points should automatically qualify you for an invitation to apply. That being said, the provinces have limited quotas that they can use towards Express Entry applications. Given this, provinces may be less likely to give nominations to people who (a) live outside of the province, or (b) have no connections to the province. But if you have experience in an occupation that is in high demand in a province that participates in Express Entry (Alberta is not one of them), you may do well to consider creating an Express Entry profile.

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