Express Entry report showing Federal Skilled invitations jumped by 400%

New Express Entry report shows Federal Skilled Worker invitations jumped by 400% in 2017

New Express Entry report shows Federal Skilled Worker invitations jumped by 400% in 2017

New Express Entry report shows Federal Skilled Worker invitations jumped by 400% in 2017

IRCC releases anticipated the year-end review of Express Entry system’s 2017 performance

Candidates in Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Class and Canadian Experience Class benefited the most from changes to the way candidates in the federal economic immigration system’s pool are awarded points, says a new report published Thursday.

The anticipated year-end report says Invitations to Apply, or ITAs, issued to candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program rose from 8,332 in 2016 to 41,364 in 2017 while invitations issued to Canadian Experience Class candidates rose from 15,102 in 2016 to 35,020 in 2017.

Federal Skilled Workers were also the beneficiaries of faster processing times. In 2017, 80% of Federal Skilled Worker Applications were finalized in 4 months or less, down from 6 months or less in 2016.

Express Entry had its biggest year to date in 2017, issuing 86,023 Invitations to Apply, or ITAs. This total dwarfed the combined totals of 2016 and 2015, when 33,782 and 31,063 invitations were issued, respectively.

The unprecedented number of ITAs issued in 2017 also corresponded with the lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off score yet seen – 413 – on May 31, 2017.

“The Express Entry pool is now the main source of permanent residence applications for the economic immigration category of IRCC’s multi-year immigration levels plan,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says in the report.

“In 2017, 86,022 invitations were sent, 109,497 applications were received, 93,596 visas were issued and 65,401 permanent residents and their families were admitted into Canada.”

While the 2017 results were the highest ever reported, the immigration levels plans for 2018, 2019 and 2020 call for increases in the number of admissions through Express Entry.

CRS changes have the big impact

IRCC’s year-end report reflects observations published in December 2017, namely that 90 percent of Express Entry candidates who received an ITA for permanent residence in the first half of 2017 did not have a Canadian job offer. This was up from 62 percent in the 11 months prior to November 19, 2016, when IRCC introduced targeted improvements to the way candidates are ranked.

Chief among these improvements was a reduction in the number of points awarded for a job offer from 600 to either 50 or 200, depending on the position. IRCC found that this improvement significantly shifted the number of ITAs for Canadian permanent residence in favor of candidates with higher human capital scores, namely candidates in Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Human capital factors include age, proficiency in English and French, education, and work experience. Combined, they provide what is known as a candidate’s core Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which can reach a maximum of 600 points.

Additional factors are also considered and award bonus CRS points. They are:

  • Provincial Nomination (600 points)
  • Arranged Employment (maximum 200 points)
  • Canadian Educational Credentials (maximum 30 points)
  • French-language Proficiency (maximum 30 points)
  • Sibling in Canada (15 points)

Fifty percent of Express Entry candidates invited in 2017 did not claim additional points. Of the 50 percent that did claim additional points, 22 percent had a provincial nomination.

Most Canadian provinces and territories admitted a higher number of newcomers through Express Entry in 2017 than in 2016, with the total admissions increasing from 33,411 to 65,401.

Changes alter occupation mix of candidates

IRCC said the targeted changes have had a major impact on the occupations represented by candidates who received an invitation in 2017.

Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, Software Engineers and Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers remained unchanged as the top three occupations between 2016 and 2017, but the number invited in each category increased substantially. Meanwhile, occupations like cooks, food service supervisors and retail sales supervisors dropped noticeably in the occupational rankings between 2016 and 2017.

TOP 10 OCCUPATIONS INVITED CANDIDATES — 2017
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants – NOC 2171 5214 6%
Software Engineers – NOC 2173 4,782 6%
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers – NOC 2173 3,479 4%
Financial Auditors and Accountants – NOC 1111 2386 3%
Administrative assistants – NOC 1241 1969 2%
Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations – NOC 1123 1884 2%
University Professionals and Lecturers – NOC 4011 1830 2%
Financial and Investment Analysts – NOC 1112 1783 2%
Professional occupations in business management consulting  – NOC 1122 1621 2%
Advertising, marketing and public relations managers – NOC 0124 1497 2%
Total 26445 31%

IRCC said reducing the points for a job offer has worked to favour candidates with higher core human capital scores.

“The Arranged Employment additional points are now balanced with the core CRS (that is, human capital), which means that candidates with a qualifying arranged employment need a sufficiently high core CRS to receive an invitation,” IRCC said.

The report also noted that 43 percent of the 8,195 invited candidates in 2017 with Arranged Employment points benefited from a Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption.

Country of residence – Smaller Percentage of Invited Candidates Residing in Canada

Looking at the top 10 countries of residence of invited candidates in 2016 and 2017, India and the United States remained the top two foreign countries of residence. China, which was third in 2016, was replaced by Nigeria and dropped to eighth place in 2017. Canada was ranked first overall both years, but the percentage of people living in Canada who received ITAs dropped from 64 percent in 2016 to 49 percent in 2017.

“The much anticipated 2017 yearend report provides many additional details as to who Canada is inviting to apply for residence and how the Express Entry system is improving.”

“The report also adds to the anticipation around Express Entry this year: With increased immigration targets, the elimination of the pre-express entry backlog, and changes from mid-2017 having an entire year to play out, 2018 should also be a very interesting year. ”

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

Why more employers are bringing skilled migrants to New Zealand

Why more employers are bringing skilled migrants to New Zealand

Why more employers are bringing skilled migrants to NZ

Why more employers are bringing skilled migrants to NZ

More employers are getting the green light to bring in skilled migrants, bypassing previous requirements to seek New Zealanders first.

In the 2016-2017 financial year, 716 were given clearance to do so but that’s increased more than 25 percent to 899 so far this financial year. With a building boom in full swing and skilled workers in hot demand, many companies in the construction sector are taking up the chance.

The Look-see Build programme has helped organisations like Auckland Transport and Downer find upper-level and highly skilled talent offshore and its director Hamish Price said businesses were being left with no choice but to look abroad.

“The demand to deliver the work in the public and private sector has outstripped the supply and then on top of that, there’s work that hasn’t been done in this country before,” Mr. Price said.

“The experience to deliver that work requires talent from overseas that actually has the experience to do it.”

The construction industry expects it’ll need an extra 50,000 workers over the next four years to keep up with demand.

Mr. Price said employers saw the offshore option as a “really viable path” to get through the backlog of work.

Employers who regularly recruit skilled overseas staff can apply to become accredited – allowing them to employ migrants on talent visas. To do this they must meet criteria around their financial position, workplace practices, and have demonstrated a commitment to training and employing New Zealanders.

Association of Migration and Investment chair June Ranson said it was a thorough process which had benefits for employers.

“They don’t have to keep repeating the strenuous requirements for when they offer purely an essential skills visa because Immigration has in fact already established this is a legitimate employer.”

Some were turning to accreditation after frustration with the considerable time it took to go through the visa process, she said.

Increasing migration good for industries that need workers

While the Labour government promised to cut down on net migration by targeting student and post-study working visas, the number of highly-skilled workers increased more than 10 percent.

Between April last year and March this year 40,293 Essential Skills and Accredited Employer visas were granted, up from 35,775 the year before.

Employers and Manufacturers Association in Auckland head Kim Campbell said this was good news for industries screaming out for workers.

Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said the accreditation system needed to be more thorough.

“We’re concerned that many employers could be taking a shortcut which prevents them from employing New Zealanders and up-skilling them.

“It’s just too easy to get migrant labour when there are thousands of New Zealanders who want work.”

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the government was focused on making sure the system was fit for purpose.

Proposals around the accredited employer scheme would be brought before for public for consultation, he said.

“Those will be designed to ensure they’re working well, that they put New Zealanders at the front of the queue and that they are designed to ensure employers can get the people that they need.”

Posted in Business / Investor Visa, Immigration, New Zealand, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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