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Express Entry candidates with scores as low as 302 selected by Alberta this month

Alberta invited Express Entry candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as 302 in one of two draws held so far this month. 

Details of the draws held September 11 and September 18 through the Alberta Express Entry Stream were made public Thursday.

The stream allows the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) to search the Express Entry system for eligible federal candidates who demonstrate strong ties to Alberta or are working in an occupation that supports the province’s economic development and diversification priorities.

Candidates are not required to have a job offer in Alberta, but the AINP says having one may increase the likelihood of a candidate being invited.

Selected candidates are issued a Notification of Interest, or NOI, from the AINP and are invited to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence.

A provincial nomination results in an additional 600 points towards an Express Entry candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, effectively assuring an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a subsequent Express Entry invitation round.

Then on September 18, Alberta invited 139 people to apply with scores at 350 and above.

A second draw held September 18 issued 139 NOIs issued to Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 350.

The Alberta Express Entry Stream is a popular provincial option because it selects Express Entry candidates with scores that are usually well below federal cut-off scores.

The lowest Alberta draws this year invited candidates with scores of 300, whereas the lowest all-program federal Express Entry draw this year required candidates to have scores of 438 and up.

So far, in 2019, the AINP has issued 4,378 nomination certificates.

About Canada’s Express Entry system

Canada’s federal Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates who enter a profile in the Express Entry pool are given a score under the CRS, which considers factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws held by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

PEI issues new invitations to Express Entry, Labour Impact and Business Work Permit candidates in latest draw

Prince Edward Island issued new invitations to apply for a provincial nomination to candidates in its Express Entry, Labour Impact and Business Impact immigration categories in a draw held September 19. 

A total of 122 invitations were issued to candidates in the Express Entry and Labour Impact categories and the Business Impact: Work Permit Stream.

The Prince Edward Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) reported that 109 invitations were divided between the Express Entry and Labour Impact streams. They did not provide a breakdown of how many Express Entry candidates were invited or the minimum score.

Another 13 invitations went to Business Impact: Work Permit Stream candidates.

Express Entry, Labour Impact invitations

PEI’s Express Entry Category is for candidates with a profile in the federal Express Entry system.

Express Entry manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three Federal High Skilled immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker ClassFederal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Express Entry candidates who would like to be considered for a provincial nomination from PEI must create a separate Expression of Interest (EOI) profile with the PEI PNP.

These profiles are given an EOI score out of 100 based on factors such as education, work experience and proficiency in English or French and the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for a provincial nomination through monthly draws.

The PEI PNP says it prioritizes Express Entry candidates who are living and working in PEI.

Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

PEI’s Labour Impact Category is not aligned with the Express Entry system and is divided into three EOI-based streams — Skilled Workers (in PEI and outside Canada), International Graduates and Critical Workers.

Candidates for these streams must be working in PEI or have an eligible full-time, long-term job offer from an employer in the province, among other criteria.

The PEI PNP has now issued 1,031 invitations to candidates in both the Express Entry and Labour Market Impact categories since the start of 2019.

The next draw is scheduled for October 17, 2019.

Entrepreneur invitations

PEI’s Business Impact: Work Permit Stream is for eligible foreign entrepreneurs with business ownership or eligible management experience who would like to invest in and run a business in PEI.

The Work Permit stream also operates on a points-based EOI system and the lowest-ranked candidate in the September 19 draw had a score of 115.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program: Live in The Land of Living Skies

Immigration plays a key role in Saskatchewan’s growing economy and population.

Since 2007, the province located in the heart of the Canadian Prairies has welcomed more than 108,000 immigrants from 170 countries.

Known as the Land of the Living Skies for its vast horizons and regular appearances by the Northern Lights, Saskatchewan is home to modern cities like Regina and Saskatoon, as well as many smaller rural communities. The population is approximately 1.1 million people.

The province’s major industries include:

  • agriculture (especially wheat);
  • mining (the province is the world’s leader in the export of uranium and potash);
  • oil and gas exploration;
  • technology (especially in Regina and Saskatoon)

Many of the recent immigrants to Saskatchewan come from Asia, especially the Philippines.

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program

Saskatchewan currently receives nearly five per cent of all newcomers to Canada, up from one per cent in 2001, and the province’s government has a retention target of 80 per cent for 2019/2020.

In 2018, 72 per cent of the 15,510 new permanent residents to Canada who claimed Saskatchewan as their intended destination were admitted through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).

The SINP is part of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program, an economic-class immigration program that allows participating Canadian provinces and territories to nominate a set number of foreign workers, entrepreneurs and international graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions for Canadian permanent residence.

The SINP is divided into four immigration categories:

International Skilled Workers

The International Skilled Workers category is for foreign workers looking to immigrate to Saskatchewan.

Eligible candidates can be nominated under three sub-categories:

Saskatchewan’s Express Entry sub-category is for candidates with a profile in Canada’s federal Express Entry system and work experience in one of 19 occupations listed as in-demand in the province. A job offer from a Saskatchewan employer is not required.

Express Entry candidates nominated by the SINP receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

In order to be considered for a provincial nomination from Saskatchewan, Express Entry candidates are required to have both a valid Express Entry profile and a separate Expression of Interest (EOI) profile registered with the SINP.

The Occupation In-Demand sub-category is similar to the Express Entry sub-category but issues nominations outside the Express Entry system. It also requires work experience in one of the 19 occupations listed as in-demand by the SINP, has no job offer requirement and involves the creation of an EOI profile.

Immigration candidates who already have a job offer from an employer registered with the SINP may qualify for the Employment Offer sub-category. There is no list of specific jobs, but the offer must be for an occupation that is classified as Skill type 0 or Skill Level A or B by Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) or is in a designated trade.

Saskatchewan Work Experience

Candidates with Saskatchewan work experience and an eligible job offer may be able to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence through one of five Saskatchewan Experience sub-categories.

Each of these sub-categories requires at least six months of eligible work experience as a temporary foreign worker in Saskatchewan and a full-time, permanent job offer from an approved employer in the targeted sector, among other criteria.

Entrepreneurs

The SINP’s Entrepreneur Category is for those who want to own and operate a business in Saskatchewan. This category operates on an Expression of Interest basis that scores candidates on business experience, their business establishment plan and other factors. Successful candidates are first approved for a two-year temporary work permit and can apply for a nomination for permanent residence if they satisfy the conditions of their Business Performance Agreement.

Farm Owners and Operators

Experienced farmers with considerable capital and proven farming experience may qualify for this SINP category if they wish to buy and run a farm in the province.

This category also includes a Young Farmer Stream that is open to eligible applicants under the age of 40. This stream encourages young farm families to establish farming operations in rural areas of Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan has really emerged as one of Canada’s more dynamic PNPs,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

“Switching its Express Entry and Occupation In-Demand sub-categories to an Expression of Interest system last year was a good example of this, one that is now translating into monthly invitation rounds.”

Settlement approved in class-action lawsuit against Quebec Immigration Ministry

A settlement has been approved in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of former Quebec Skilled Worker Program candidates against Quebec’s Immigration Ministry.

The class action sought compensation for Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) candidates who paid the application fee for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) but were later disqualified by changes to the province’s selection criteria that came into effect on August 1, 2013, and March 8, 2017.

The lawsuit alleged that the Immigration Ministry and the Government of Quebec were “unjustly enriched, committed a fault and acted in bad faith by refusing to offer to reimburse the application fees,” a notice published on the ministry’s website reads.

The class action was authorized by the Superior Court of Quebec in February 2018 and a settlement was approved last month.

Who’s eligible?
Former QSWP candidates who fall in one of the following groups may now be eligible for compensation:

Group 1: Individuals whose CSQ applications were filed between February 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013; whose CSQ application contained an immigration form A-1520-AA or A-1520-AF indicating that their CSQ application would be processed in accordance with the regulations in force at the time of filing with Quebec’s Immigration Ministry or the language “Your application for a selection certificate will be processed based on the regulations in effect when it was submitted”; and whose CSQ application was refused subsequent to the entry into force of the selection grid on August 1, 2013.

Group 2: Individuals whose application for a CSQ was filed before February 1, 2012, or between June 1, 2013, and July 7, 2013, and whose CSQ application was refused subsequent to the entry into force of the selection grid on August 1, 2013.

Group 3: Individuals whose application for a CSQ was filed between July 8, 2013, and March 8, 2017, and whose CSQ application was refused subsequent to the entry into force of the selection grid on March 8, 2017.

Settlement terms
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, partial compensation would be issued as follows:

Group 1: 50 per cent of the fees paid to submit his or her CSQ application;

Group 2: 25 per cent of the fees paid to submit his or her CSQ application;

Group 3: 25 per cent of the fees paid to submit his or her CSQ application.

Eligible members of the class action now have until October 17, 2019, to fill out the Individual claim form pertaining to class action settlement 500-06-000669-193 .

Alberta invites 180 Express Entry candidates to apply for provincial nomination in latest draw

Alberta has released the details of the latest draw through its Express Entry-linked provincial nomination stream, which took place July 5. 

A total of 180 Notifications of Interest (NOIs) were issued to Express Entry candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores as low as 425.

The Alberta Express Entry Stream allows the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) to search the federal Express Entry pool for candidates who meet the stream’s eligibility criteria. For more on the federal government’s Express Entry system, see below or visit this dedicated page.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score and are effectively guaranteed an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITA) from the Government of Canada.

A job offer or previous work experience in Alberta is not required in order to be eligible for the Alberta Express Entry Stream, but candidates must demonstrate “strong ties to Alberta” and be working in an occupation that supports the province’s economic development and diversification priorities. Alberta does not provide a list of eligible occupations.

The AINP also says it may give priority to candidates with:

  • a job offer and/or work experience in Alberta;
  • a degree from a Canadian post-secondary institution and a valid job offer; or
  • a parent, child or sibling already living in Alberta.

The AINP has held 17 draws through the Alberta Express Entry Stream so far this year and issued a total of 3,996 NOIs.

The minimum score of 425 was the highest so far for an Alberta Express Entry Stream draw. However, it was well below the most recent cut-off score for a federal Express Entry draw, which was 460.

The lowest cut-off score in the 13 all-program federal Express Entry draw so far in 2019 was 438.

Alberta has selected Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 300 through the Alberta Express Entry Stream on four occasions in 2019. Three draws had a minimum CRS score of 301 and one other had a cut-off CRS score of 302.

What is the federal Express Entry system?

The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for three of Canada’s main economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Worker Class and Canadian Experience Class.

Eligible candidates for these programs are entered into the Express Entry pool and assigned a score based on factors that include age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French.

A set number of the highest-scoring candidates are issued an invitation to apply for permanent residence (ITA) from the Government of Canada through regular draws from the pool.

To be considered for a provincial nomination through the Alberta Express Entry Stream, the first step is to enter a profile in the Express Entry pool.