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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Express Entry lowers selection numbers
Human potential does count

by Michael Scott


The immigration world is always changing. Canada is being challenged by the number of refugee claimants streaming across the border from the United States. The Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States is under serious challenge as is the question of our very porous borders. We are finding out more about Russian influence in the American elections as well in the destabilizing of the European Union. On a provincial level we are awaiting the changes in the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, which appear ominous and threatening. In the face of uncertain times there is always a silver lining in life and this we can report is the federal immigration initiative to recruit foreign skilled workers. Our focus should turn to Express Entry as an application option for friends and family alike who want to come to Manitoba or Canada, as the case may be.

The latest selection for Express Entry, as reported in the Canada Immigration Newsletter, is consistent with trends in their selection. The number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points required in order for a candidate to be invited to apply (ITA) has decreased. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just announced that persons who submitted their profiles (EOI or Expression of Interest) and score 434 or more CRS points were issued an ITA in the March 1, 2017 draw.

This decrease in the CRS minimum means that a wider array of applicants is now being selected. The change means a greater emphasis on age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability points. The human potential of all applicants is receiving more attention. The March CRS number was seven points less than that noted for the February 22, 2017 draw. An examination of the chart provided in the newsletter (title: CRA Requirement) displays a steady decrease in the minimum CRS score from 786 on November 30, 2016 through to the record low numbers for February and March 2017.

The decrease in the CRS minimum has seen an inverse increase in the numbers of persons invited to apply for their permanent residence status, as seen in the chart (title: ITAs Issued) taken from the newsletter. If we use November 30, 2016 as a reference point we can see that only 559 persons were invited to apply from the existing pool. This can be compared with the 3,611 invited on February 22, 2017 and further increase to 3,844 on March 17, 2017. It would appear that IRCC is returning to selecting applicants on the basis of their potential to succeed in Canada and not just on whether or not they have confirmed job offers.

The Express Entry selection model, in the words of the department, has “gone into overdrive over the first nine weeks or so of 2017.” Yes, it is good news for potential applicants and Canadian employers. The changes are welcome to all concerned and show how far the Express Entry selection model has changed over the years. At the beginning, the chance of selection was essentially limited to those who had confirmed Canadian job offers (such as Labour Market Impact Assessment) or provincial nomination, which received bonus points. It is refreshing to see the federal immigration department respond in a positive way to keep the model alive. The lowering of their numeric standard stands in sharp contrast to MPNP, which has raised the minimum selection points for the EOI drastically since August. Premier Pallister should take a long look at the actions of the senior government and understand that work permits are not the only option to attracting the best skilled worker applicants from abroad. There is a great deal of good to be said about bringing in skilled workers with the potential to succeed. It has actually worked for the MPNP since 1998.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

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