Growing Canada’s future economy an impossibility with out immigration

Growing Canada’s future economy an ‘impossibility’ without immigration

Growing Canada's future economy an impossibility with out immigration

Growing Canada’s future economy an impossibility without immigration

Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen touts ‘profound impact’ of Express Entry changes

When it comes to the future of immigration to Canada, it’s no longer a question of “why immigration” but “how much,” says federal Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen.

“That’s where the debate is now,” he told his audience at the 2018 Canadian Immigration Summit in Ottawa.

“Without immigration, our ability to grow our economy would become impossibility,” Hussen said, referencing a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada.

The report makes the case that an immigration rate of one percent of Canada’s population by the year 2030 would help offset the challenges caused by an aging population and contribute one-third of Canada’s projected average annual real GDP growth rate of 1.9 percent that year.

“In a multi-trillion dollar economy, that’s substantial,” Hussen said.

In 1971, Hussen said there were six working Canadians for each retiree, a ratio that had dropped to 4:1 in 2012 and could drop to 2:1 by 2036 if immigration levels aren’t increased.

“How would we maintain what we have with a ratio of 2:1,” Hussen asked, pointing to social programs like public health care and pensions as well as infrastructure.

Canada’s multi-year levels immigration plan, introduced last year, is responding to this mounting demographic challenge, he said, and will increase Canada’s immigration rate to 0.9 percent of the Canadian population by 2020.

“Sixty percent of this immigration will be in the economic category to fill labour market gaps as well as skills gaps,” Hussen said.

Express Entry inviting more highly skilled workers

He also touted the “profound impact” brought about by changes to the federal government’s Express Entry economic immigration system introduced in late 2016 that saw the number of bonus points for a job offer reduced, among other changes.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has said the changes significantly shifted the number of invitations for Canadian permanent residence issued through Express Entry in favour of candidates with higher so-called human capital scores, namely candidates in Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Immigrants now represent a significant portion of highly skilled labour in Canada, Hussen said, filling 50 percent of all Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related jobs in Canada.

Immigrant entrepreneurs, he added, are also helping create jobs – and the jobs of the future – in Canada.

“Some of our most creative and innovative entrepreneurs are immigrants,” he observed.

He told the story of a Cuban immigrant he met in Edmonton who had started a software company that is now one of the leading software companies in Western Canada and employs 150 people.

On the topic of entrepreneurs, Hussen said recent immigrants now surpass Canadians when it comes to self-employment and business.

“These businesses are more likely to sell their products to other countries, helping Canada to open markets for all of us beyond the United States,” he said.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The perils of population decline and labour shortages are on full display in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, Hussen said, and the government is working with the region’s provincial governments to address them through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP).

“In Newfoundland, for every 100 people you have joining the workforce, you have 125 leaving the workforce,” Hussen said. “That gap has to be addressed.”

Hussen said the employer-driven AIP allows employers to recruit foreign workers without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment in return for a settlement plan that encourages workers and their families to stay in the Atlantic Canada region.

“The problem in Atlantic Canada isn’t so much attraction of workers, it’s retention,” he said. “In Ontario and Alberta, the retention rate is 90 percent. In Atlantic Canada, it’s 60 percent.”

Hussen said until Atlantic Provinces start meeting their quotas under the AIP, there are no plans to revisit their annual Provincial Nominee Program allocations. Furthermore, if a province doesn’t use its quota, the other Atlantic Provinces can use it.

“We gave Atlantic Canada thousands of more applicants on top of their PNP numbers, and we allow those applicants to bring their family members,” he said. “Finish those numbers and then we can talk PNPs.”

A key focus in Atlantic Canada, and the rest of the country needs to be on settlement plans that among other priorities help find schooling for kids and jobs for spouses, Hussen said.

“When the family has roots in Atlantic Canada, it is very difficult for the skilled immigrant to then move away from Atlantic Canada.”

Lessons from Atlantic pilot for other regions, including Northern Ontario

Ensuring newcomers are effectively integrated is vital not only in Atlantic Canada but across the country and Hussen said the AlP will hold valuable lessons for other regions of Canada that are also experiencing population challenges and need workers, like Northern Ontario and rural areas of the country.

“The success of our immigration will largely depend that the hundreds of thousands of newcomers who arrive each year, regardless of the program they enter under, are welcomed and integrated and absorbed and embraced by the Canadian family,” he said.

“The faster that a newcomer can be assisted to start their lives and succeed in Canada, the faster they can contribute to our society.”

Hussen concluded his remarks by calling on his audience to play their part in challenging anti-immigrant sentiments that are on the rise worldwide.

“It’s incumbent on those who are leaders and opinion leaders to not take what we have in Canada for granted, because we are not immune to this rhetoric,” he said.

“Whatever you can do in your own private spaces to push back against that narrative by fighting fear with facts would be very helpful. I’m not asking on behalf of the Government of Canada, I’m asking as a Canadian.”

Posted in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada Express Entry CRS score will drop further

Canada Express Entry CRS score will drop further

Canada Express Entry CRS score will drop further

Canada Express Entry CRS score will drop further

If you’re in the Express Entry pool, you probably are keeping a close eye on recent Express Entry draws and the CRS score required to get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. In 2018 so far, the lowest CRS score required to receive an ITA has been 441 points. Now the question on everyone’s mind is: will the CRS score drop lower in 2018? We’ve taken a look at the facts and figures to come up with an answer.

WHAT IS THE CRS SCORE?

Most of Canada’s economic immigrants are processed through an immigration system called Express Entry, which operates three immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). In order to be considered for any of these programs, first, a candidate must create an Express Entry profile, which includes information about their age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and family members. Creating an Express Entry profile acts as an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the immigration program.

Based on the information included in a candidate’s Express Entry profile, the person is assigned a score out of 1200 points. This score is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and is used to rank every person in the Express Entry pool of candidates. Approximately every two weeks Canadian immigration officials conduct an Express Entry draw, where they issued a round of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to the candidates in the pool who have the highest CRS score. An ITA is like a golden ticket for Canadian immigration, allowing its holder to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence.

Since ITAs are in such high demand, understanding the CRS score is crucial to understand your chances of successfully immigrating to Canada. In 2018, the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA has been 441 points, and in the history of Express Entry, the lowest CRS score required has been 413 points.

CAN WE PREDICT THE FUTURE CRS SCORE?

Predicting future CRS scores can be challenging, as the issuance of ITAs is entirely at the discretion of Canadian immigration officials. A number of factors are at play when considering how the CRS score will change:

How much time takes place between draws?

How many new Express Entry profiles are submitted within this time?

How many ITAs are issued in each draw?

Each of these questions is a variable with a significant impact on the way in which the CRS score will change in future draws. We can never be sure about how each of these variables will shift; therefore there is always an element of risk in predicting the CRS score. However, by analyzing current and historical trends in Express Entry draws, we can make a few predictions.

BASED ON THE NUMBERS, WHAT CAN WE PREDICT?

To begin our prediction, let’s first take a look at Canada’s immigration targets for Express Entry. In 2017, Canada aimed to accept 160,000 new permanent residents through economic classes. In 2018, this number was increased to 172,000 new permanent residents. These economic immigrants include those immigrating through Express Entry pathways, as well as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) and business classes of immigration. It is also important to note that these targets include the principal applicant on economic classes plus any accompanying family members (spouse, common-law partners, and dependent children).

Based on the immigration targets alone, we can expect Express Entry to issue more ITAs in 2018 than in the previous year in order to meet the increased immigration targets. Bearing this in mind, we can compare the total number of ITAs up to this point in 2017 versus 2018.

Comparatively, 2018 has seen more than 10,000 fewer ITAs issued than 2017 during the first four months of the year. Considering that the annual immigration targets indicate that 2018 will see a higher number of economic immigrants than the previous year, it is a reasonable estimate that at some point in 2018, the number of ITAs issued will catch up with, and quite possibly surpass, the number of ITAs issued in 2017.

In the future, as 2018’s ITA levels catch up to that of 2017, it is reasonable to estimate that the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA would drop. However, remember that there are variables in this situation which we cannot predict. For example, how many new Express Entry profiles will be submitted in 2018? If 2018 sees a significant surge in the number of Express Entry profiles submitted to the pool, this may counteract the increased number of ITAs issued and could cause the CRS score to remain higher.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict with 100% accuracy the fluctuations of the CRS score, but for those seeking an optimistic look towards the future – there is a definite, reasonable possibility that the CRS score will drop as 2018 continues.

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

Canada has issued 500 invitations under the federal skilled trades class

Canada has issued 500 invitations under the federal skilled trades class

Canada has issued 500 invitations under the federal skilled trades class

Canada has issued 500 invitations under the federal skilled trades class

The program-specific draw is first of its kind since November 2017

Second Express Entry draw in a week invites candidates with scores as low as 288

The Government of Canada has issued 700 Invitations to Apply to Express Entry candidates through a program-specific draw held May 30.

A total of 500 Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, were issued to Express Entry candidates under the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score for these candidates was 288.

It is important to note that only FSTC candidates with scores as low as 288 were invited to apply.

Another 200 ITAs were issued to Express Entry candidates nominated through the Provincial Nominee Program. The minimum CRS score for these candidates was 902.

Express Entry candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, which explains the high cut-off score. For example, a candidate who enters the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 300 and then obtains a nomination from a Canadian province would see their CRS score increase to 900.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada employed its tie-break procedure in both instances. For FSTC and PNP candidates, the date and time of the tie-break was May 30, 2018 at 14:52:06 UTC. This means that all FSTC and PNP candidates with a CRS score above 288 and 902 respectively, as well as those candidates with scores of 288 and 902 who submitted their profile before this date and time, received an ITA in this invitation round.

Today’s draw brings the total ITAs issued in 2018 to 32,200.

The graph below shows a comparison of ITAs issued and target admissions for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Program-specific draws are rare

Program-specific invitation rounds are the exception to the norm for Express Entry draws, the vast majority of which include candidates from all programs managed under the Express Entry system.

The last time a program-specific draw was held was November 1, 2017. That draw, which also focused on PNP and Federal Skilled Trades candidates, saw the minimum CRS score drop to 241.

In May 2017, a program-specific draw that was held May 26 was followed five days later by a draw on May 31 that had the lowest minimum CRS score ever recorded for an all-program draw under the Express Entry system – 413.

“It’s always exciting to see more frequent draws, especially ones that bring the CRS score down as low as it went today, even if it was program specific,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal. “It’s a good reminder of Express Entry’s dynamic qualities, not to mention the value of a provincial nomination for Express Entry candidates.”

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