Settlement funds can make or break your application for Canada PR

Settlement funds can make or break your application for Canada PR

Settlement funds can make or break your application for Canda PR

Settlement funds can make or break your application for Canada PR

Settlement funds can make or break your application for Canada PR

IRCC introduced a 1.4% increase in required funds January 5

Candidates in all three Express Entry economic immigration classes should take special note of recently announced revisions to the amount of settlement funds required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

A 1.42 percent increase was implemented January 5, 2018, that raised the minimum amounts required as follows:

NUMBER OF FAMILY MEMBERS 2017 AMOUNT (IN CANADIAN DOLLARS) 2018 AMOUNT INCREASE
1 $12,300 $12,474 $174
2 $15,312 $15,530 $218
3 $18,825 $19,092 $267
4 $22,856 $23,181 $325
5 $25,923 $26,652 $368
6 $29,236 $29,652 $416
7 $32,550 $33,013 $463
Each Additional Family Member $3,314 $3,361 $47

IRCC deems these amounts necessary in order for successful applicants for permanent residence to support themselves and their family while they settle in Canada. Family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children and the dependent children of a spouse or partner. IRCC considers a dependent child to be any family member under the age of 22.

When determining the size of your family, applicants must include those who will be accompanying them to Canada as well as those who may be remaining behind.

Small change, big impact

While relatively small, the revised amounts can mean the difference between an eligible and an ineligible profile in the Express Entry pool, or your application for permanent residence being approved or refused.

Furthermore, while only Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades candidates are asked to confirm that they have access to the required funds when determining their eligibility for the Express Entry pool, candidates in the Canadian Experience Class who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the Federal Skilled Worker Class must also prove they have the necessary funds.

It is therefore important that all candidates in the Express Entry pool ensure their Express Entry profile is updated and that they have the required amount of funds at all times in order to act on an ITA quickly should they receive one. Why? Because in order apply for permanent residence, a candidate must provide recognized proof that such funds are readily available to them.

Such funds can be in the following forms:

  • Cash.
  • Documents that show property or capital payable to the applicant, such as stocks, bonds, debentures and treasury bills.
  • Documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money, which are payable to the applicant, such as banker’s drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques and money orders.

For proof, IRCC says an applicant must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where they are keeping money. These letters must attest to details including any outstanding debts such as credit cards and loans and the current balance of their account(s) and the average balance for the past six months.

IRCC stipulates that the funds cannot be borrowed from another person and the applicant will be asked to explain any large, lump sum transfers into an account.

If a candidate is accompanied by a spouse or partner, funds held in a joint account or funds held in an account in their spouse’s name only can be applied to the required amount. In the latter case, proof must be provided that the applicant has access to these funds.

The only exemptions to the proof of funds requirement are granted to Express Entry candidates who are already working in Canada and have a valid job offer.

“Ensuring that your Express Entry profile or application for permanent residence reflects that you have the required settlement funds for the size of your family is vital,” says Attorney David Cohen, senior partner at the Canadian immigration law firm Cohen, Campbell. “It’s little details like this that can result in big headaches if you’re not careful. Being diligent with regards to settlement funds is the best way to avoid this kind of trouble.”

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IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

IRCC starts 2018 with record low cut-off score for a first draw of the year

Cut-off CRS score of 446 is 22 points lower than first Express Entry draw of 2017

Canada has invited 2,750 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a draw that took place January 10, 2018. The cut-off Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for this draw was 446.

Today’s score of 446 is the same cut-off CRS score as the previous draw that took place on December 20. It represents the lowest CRS cut-off for a first draw of the year since the Express Entry system came into effect in January 2015.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) again made use of the tie-break rule in this draw. The tie-break time and date was November 18, 2017, at 6:30:42 UTC.

The draw was the first of what is expected to be a busy opening half of 2018 for Canada’s Express Entry system. That same period in 2017 saw 16 draws and CRS cut-off scores that dropped from 468 in the first draw of the year all the way down to an unprecedented 413 in May.

Given Canada’s larger Express Entry targets for 2018 — not to mention its expanded Family Class and Provincial Nominee Program targets — it’s expected to be a busy year for Canadian immigration. In the three Express Entry economic immigration categories alone, Canada has increased its target admissions by 3,200 over 2017, which saw a number of Express Entry records set.

Not only did it post the lowest cut-off CRS scores to date,  but 2017 saw 30 draws take place and a record total of 86,023 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued. That number represents 56 percent of the 153,618 ITAs issued since Canada’s Express Entry system came into effect in January 2015.

With IRCC’s higher ITA targets for 2018, it’s expected that this will translate into larger or more frequent draws from Express Entry pool in the coming year, or possibly even both. That could mean even lower cut-off CRS scores in the weeks and months to come.

Here are some examples of fictional candidates who would have met the CRS cut-off threshold in this latest draw:

Anika and Arjun are married. They are both 30 years old with bachelor’s degrees and are working as web programmers. They have also each written the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While neither Anika nor Arjun have worked or studied in Canada, Anika has a brother who is a permanent resident residing in the Canadian province of Ontario. Their CRS scores of 450 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA during the most recent draw.

Haider is 32 years old and has been working as an accountant for three years. He has Initial Advanced English language proficiency and has completed a bachelor’s degree as well as an additional one-year post-secondary certificate. Though Haider has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS score of 446 would have been sufficient to obtain an ITA in the January 10 draw.

“The previous year started with a CRS cut-off score of 468 and scores went down to a record low of 413 at one point. This year is starting nearly 22 points lower than that first draw of 2017, which could mean even lower CRS records in 2018,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Canadian immigration law firm Campbell, Cohen.

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Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level since 1976

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, pushing jobless rate to lowest level

Canada added 79,000 jobs last month, blowing past expectations and pushing the jobless rate to its lowest level since 1976.

The jobless rate was pushed down two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

That’s the lowest on record since comparable data became available 42 years ago.

Economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting a flat showing, with about 2,000 jobs added. Every province added jobs during the month, but more than half of the new jobs came in Alberta and Quebec, with each adding more than 26,000 jobs.

“Quebec was probably the most compelling story throughout the year, with job growth running strong and the unemployment rate plunging to a record low [of 4.9 percent],” Bank of Montreal economist Robert Kavcic noted in a report to clients.

The loonie jumped on Friday’s news, gaining almost three-quarters of a cent to change hands at 80.74 cents US shortly after the numbers came out at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The strength of the report also prompted investors to peg the odds of a rate hike from the Bank of Canada this month at about 70 percent. Before the jobs report, a hike was being given less than 50/50 odds.

December’s numbers bring a close to the data for 2017 as a whole, which ended up being Canada’s best year for jobs since 2002, with 423,000 jobs added.

Most of the jobs added in December were part time, but for the year as a whole, the vast majority — 394,000 — were full time.

Scotiabank economist Derek Holt called the numbers “another ridiculously strong employment report that is marked by over 150,000 new jobs in two months,” singling out strength in both full-time work and also private sector jobs.

“The job market is absolutely booming north of the border,” Holt told his American readers.

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