Ontario selects Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 351

Ontario selects Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 351

Ontario selects Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 351

Ontario selects Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 351

Human Capital Priorities Stream invites 779 candidates with scores between 351 to 446

The province of Ontario announced two new invitation rounds where Express Entry candidates with Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as 351 were issued an invitation.

On March 26, candidates in Canada’s Express Entry pool were selected by Ontario and invited to apply for a nomination through its Human Capital Priorities Stream, or HCP.

A nomination through Ontario’s Human Capital Priority stream results in an Express Entry candidate obtaining 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS, points and an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence during a future draw from the Express Entry pool.

The two draws conducted on March 26 were unique because Ontario issued “Targeted Notifications of Interest” to candidates who met the HCP stream criteria and who either had a job offer in Ontario or French language skills of CLB 7 or above.

In the first draw, 480 candidates who met the Human Capital Priorities Stream criteria and who had a job offer in Ontario and a CRS score between 351 and 446 were selected. In a subsequent draw, an additional 299 candidates who met the stream’s criteria and demonstrated French language CLB of 7 as well as a CRS score between 351 and 446.

For both draws, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) invited candidates who submitted their Express Entry profiles between January 1, 2018, to March 26, 2018.

The HCP typically requires candidates to have a CRS score of 400 or above, although it has on occasion selected targeted candidates who had scores below. For example, Ontario issued NOIs to candidates with work experience in select ICT occupations with CRS scores less than 400 points.

In its announcement, the Government of Ontario explained that the two rounds of invitations were conducted to help Ontario “meet its labour market and economic development priorities, as well as to be more responsive to employer needs.”

In targeting Express Entry candidates with French language abilities, Ontario aims to reach its goal of five percent Francophone immigration under the Ontario Immigration Strategy.

OINP data show that a total of 1,808 NOIs were issued in 2018 for the HCP stream, to date.

These were the first HCP draws this year to only target candidates with job offers and French language ability. The four draws conducted in 2018 targeted candidates eligible for the HCP, with no restrictions with regard to a job offer or French language proficiency.

In addition to this HCP draw, French-speaking candidates may also be selected by Ontario through the French-Speaking Skilled Workers stream, which requires Candidates to possess both French and English language proficiency.

The OINP stated that it will continue to issue NOIs through the HCP on a regular basis to applicants, who at the minimum, have a CRS of 400 and meet all the program requirements.

Candidates interested in pursuing the HCP stream must submit a profile into the Federal Express Entry pool.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Ontario, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No.of International Workers being hired by Toronto tech firms

Number of international workers being hired by Toronto tech firms on the rise

No.of International Workers being hired by Toronto tech firms

No.of International Workers being hired by Toronto tech firms

Global Skills Strategy, political uncertainty in the U.S. contribute to rise in foreign worker applications and hires

More international workers are being hired by technology companies in the Toronto region thanks to a fast-track work visa program introduced by Canada’s government last year, a new study reports.

Of the 53 high-growth tech companies who responded to the MaRS Discovery District survey, 45 percent reported hiring international candidates in 2017 and 53 percent experienced a jump in international applications in 2017 over 2016.

The survey did not say how much of an increase in international hires that represents, but spokesperson Danielle Klassen said it’s clear they are on the rise within the MaRS ecosystem, billed as the world’s largest urban innovation hub.

“Feedback consistently shows that companies are hiring more international candidates,” she told CIC News.

A majority of survey respondents credited Canada’s Global Skills Strategy and its Global Talent Stream for the increase in international hires. Introduced in June 2017, the Global Talent Stream fast-tracks the visa approval process for skilled foreign workers who meet specific employment needs.

Thirty-five percent of the companies who responded to the MaRS survey reported using the Global Skills Strategy program to hire international workers.

“Talent is tight in Toronto, having the ability to attract a foreign national in as little as two weeks is beneficial, particularly with how fast-paced technology and the industry overall is moving,” Ben Zifkin, Chief Executive Officer at Hubba, told the MaRS survey.

Companies surveyed reported the vast majority of international hires hailing from the United States, and substantial numbers also coming from India, China, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Top countries for international hires by Toronto-area tech firms:

  • United States
  • India
  • China
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom

Engineering was the top position among international hires, followed by sales, marketing, data scientists, operations and C-suite executives.

International political climate contributing to rising in international applications

One company that responded to the survey reported rising interest from junior and mid-level engineers currently working in California’s Silicon Valley on temporary work visas.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s talk of ending the popular H-1B visa program that many foreign workers rely on is widely seen as one reason why many are looking north to Canada.

Klassen said that view is supported by the survey’s findings.

“We’ve heard from companies that when they interview international candidates, it’s pretty consistent that people are mentioning the change in the political situation [in the U.S.],” she said.

And the results are dramatic. According to the survey, many of the companies that experienced an increase in international applications reported that it ranged from 50 to 100 percent more than 2016 levels, with a few reporting increases of up to 300 percent.

“What the survey really shows is that Canada’s brand and reputation as a country that embraces diversity and its strategic immigration reforms go in contrast to what other countries are doing and that is really paying off for tech companies in terms of being competitive,” Klassen said.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Immigration, Ontario, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Express Entry Draw sees 10 points drop

Second Express Entry draw in less than two weeks sees 10-point drop in cut-off score

Second Express Entry draw in less than two weeks sees 10-point drop in cut-off score

Second Express Entry draw in less than two weeks sees 10-point drop in cut-off score

Second Express Entry draw in less than two weeks sees 10-point drop in cut-off score

3,000 candidates with a minimum score of 446 invited in latest invitation round

The Government of Canada has invited 3,000 Express Entry candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a draw that took place Monday, March 26. The cut-off Comprehensive Ranking System score was 446.

Today’s score is 10 points lower than the previous draw, which took place on March 14. This is first time in 2018 that back-to-back draws have taken place in less than two weeks, and is also a rare Monday morning draw. Recently, Express Entry draws have for the most part taken place on Wednesdays.

The size of this invitation round, 3,000 continues the trend seen through the last three draws, all of which also issued Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, to 3,000 Express Entry candidates.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) once again employed its tie-break rule in this latest draw. In this case, the time and date of the tie-break was February 23, 2018 at 08:06:19 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 446, as well as those candidates with scores of 446 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this time, received an ITA.

This latest draw was the sixth of 2018, which is the first year of the Canadian government’s new multi-year immigration levels plan. For 2018, Canada has increased its target to 74,900 admissions through the three economic immigration classes administered through the Express Entry system — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.

In 2017, IRCC had an admissions target of 71,700 and finished the year having issued a total of 86,023 ITAs.

It remains to be seen if this rare Monday morning draw less than two weeks after the previous Express Entry draw is an indication of how IRCC will conduct future draws. Last year, April proved to be one of the Express Entry system’s busiest months with three draws and a total of 11,341 ITAs issued. Last April also saw the CRS minimum cut-off score drop to 415.

“A draw less than two weeks after the last one, and a drop of 10 points in the CRS cut-off score is a great way to finish March,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen immigration law firm in Montreal. “Last April and May were exciting months for the Express Entry system, with multiple draws that ultimately brought the CRS cut-off to its all-time low of 413. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Express Entry this spring.”

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment