The New Canada Express No-Entry Immigration System?
As many people know, the Canadian Government dramatically re-designed the skilled worker program for permanent resident applicants. The new program commenced operations this past January 1.
It is useful to compare the new program with the one previously in existence in order to get a sense of where the government is headed and what you now must now do in order to succeed with the new program.
Under the old program the government created a list of professions. In order to be eligible to apply for permanent residence as a skilled worker it was necessary to fall within one of these professions. In the past few years the list had up to 50 listed professions. Caps were also in place which limited the number of applicants per profession (generally around 500 per profession). It was, however, also possible to apply under the old skilled worker program if you had a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. In addition to having the work experience which coincides with one of the professions on the list, it was necessary to have a minimum number of points which were allotted on the basis of factors such as adaptability, education, work experience, language skills, among others. The minimum pass mark was 67.
The new system does not require that your profession falls within those a list of particular professions other than the requirement that your experience must fall within HRDC skills categories 0, A, or B. You are first evaluated to determine whether you can enter an eligible pool of applicants. The assessment entailed in getting into this first pool is based on factors such as language, education, work experience, age, whether you have a job offer, and adaptability. The current pass mark is 67 points. Until this point, therefore, the system resembles that of the old program.
It is at the next stage, however, that things begin to deviate away from the old program. If you are found eligible to enter into the pool, then you will next be assessed based on how you compare to other candidates within the pool. You will receive points based on numerous factors which can broadly be classified under the following four factors: skills and experience, spouse or common law factors, skills transferability, and a job offer.
As compared to the old program, the current program is far more selective. Previously, in order to qualify it was necessary to get 67 points. Currently, the same 67 points must be obtained but attainment of this number of points merely allows you to enter into the pool of candidates from which a small number will succeed. Overall, therefore, it is apparent that getting in through the new skilled worker program is more difficult than under the old system.
If you are an overseas candidate wishing to come to Canada what then do you do given that things are seemingly more difficult? Are there any opportunities within the new program which can be taken advantage of? The answer to this question requires us to realize one thing about the new program: of the above-mentioned factors that candidates already within the pool are assessed against, the most heavily weighted, by a very large margin, is the job offer component. In fact, the job offer component is weighted so heavily that a job offer basically guarantees that you get chosen from the pool and succeed in getting permanent residence status. As a result, candidates who are serious about getting Canadian permanent residence status and meet the minimum 67 points, should focus all of their efforts on getting a job offer.
The other barrier, however, is that the job offer must be from an employer that has received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Canadian Government. There is a limited number of employers who have applied for, and received, a positive LMIA. To find such employers is not the easiest of tasks. At Uniivaa we regulary post and send out to our members job postings from employers who have received a positive LMIA.
As a result, while the new program is, in many ways, a far more selective one, you can outmaneuver others who are competing against and who may have far more education and work experience than you by simply having a job offer.