Canada has long been a coveted destination for immigrants from across the globe. Renowned for its exceptional quality of life, diverse culture, and robust economy, Canada consistently beckons thousands of individuals aspiring to make it their new home. If you’re contemplating immigration to Canada, the Express Entry system might just be the smoothest pathway to realize your dream.
As of 2023, an impressive 211,356 individuals have successfully gained entry to Canada through the Express Entry system, a testament to its popularity and effectiveness in facilitating immigration.
Tailored for skilled workers with foreign work experience, this stream assesses candidates based on factors such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) forms a pivotal component of Express Entry. It assigns points to applicants based on factors such as age, education, work experience, language skills, and adaptability. Your CRS score plays a critical role in determining your eligibility and rank among other applicants in the Express Entry pool. A higher CRS score substantially enhances your likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
While the Express Entry (EE) system remains one of the most sought-after pathways for immigration to Canada, it’s important to note that alternative options exist. Canada boasts a diverse array of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) that provide alternative and equally accessible routes to achieving permanent residency. These programs cater to specific provinces and territories, each with its unique prerequisites and benefits. In this article, we’ll delve into some of these lesser-known yet equally rewarding pathways to Canada.
Situated in Canada’s prairie region, Saskatchewan has gained popularity among immigrants due to its robust economic growth and employment prospects. Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker PNP offers two streams – Occupations In-Demand and Express Entry – both designed to attract workers with experience in the province’s high-demand occupations.
To express interest, applicants must have at least one year of experience in an occupation not listed on SINP’s Excluded Occupations List. Prospective candidates must also hold a post-secondary educational credential of at least one year and exhibit proficiency in English or French. Any candidate meeting Saskatchewan’s minimum eligibility criteria, which includes obtaining a minimum of 60 points on their Points Assessment Grid, may submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) profile. These profiles are then considered in SINP’s EOI draws, with only the most competitive candidates in high-demand occupations receiving invitations.
Candidates eligible for Express Entry can expedite their permanent residence application through the Saskatchewan Express Entry stream. However, the Saskatchewan Occupations In-Demand stream is also available to those who do not qualify to submit an Express Entry profile.
Alberta, situated in Canada’s western region and home to vibrant cities like Calgary and Edmonton, offers a burgeoning job market and a stellar education system, making it an attractive province for newcomers. Alberta’s Express Entry stream selects candidates from the federal Express Entry pool to apply for provincial nomination.
A significant advantage of this stream is its consideration of Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 300, providing more candidates in the pool an opportunity to receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the province. However, it’s important to note that a CRS score above 300 does not guarantee an invitation from Alberta’s Express Entry stream.
Factors such as having a qualifying relative in Alberta, a job offer or work experience in the province, and a completed credential from a Canadian post-secondary institution can enhance a candidate’s chances. Once nominated by Alberta, applicants receive an additional 600 CRS points within the Express Entry system, virtually ensuring an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.
Due to Alberta’s relatively low CRS requirement, it is often considered one of the easiest provinces to secure permanent residency in Canada.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province and home to bustling cities like Toronto, boasts a thriving tech job sector, making it a magnet for immigrants. Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream prioritizes skilled workers residing outside of Canada, with a focus on those who can fill employment positions in the province.
This stream operates within the federal Express Entry system, necessitating prospective candidates to maintain an active Express Entry profile with a CRS scores of 400 points or higher. Ontario routinely reviews all Express Entry profiles and extends invitations to apply for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) based on specific National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes and CRS score ranges.
In total, Ontario nominated 3,513 candidates under its Human Capital Priorities stream, with approximately half invited through OINP’s targeted tech draws. Ontario’s substantial immigration quotas translate to frequent draws, rendering it one of the most accessible provinces for qualified candidates to secure permanent residency in Canada.
Nestled on Canada’s east coast, Nova Scotia offers a unique lifestyle characterized by ocean proximity, low living costs, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Nova Scotia’s Labor Market Priorities stream selects candidates directly from the Express Entry pool, even if they lack prior connections to the province.
Nova Scotia does not disclose the specific occupations or criteria it targets in advance of its intake rounds, but it frequently extends invitations to candidates with no province-specific affiliations. Prospective nominees must maintain an active Express Entry profile and indicate their interest in Nova Scotia.
Successful nominees receive an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, virtually guaranteeing an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in a federal Express Entry draw.
Introduced as a pilot program in 2017 and made permanent on December 17, 2021, under the name Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), this employer-driven initiative aims to match the right individuals with job positions in Atlantic Canada provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
AIP comprises three categories: Intermediate Skilled Worker, High-Skilled Worker, and International Graduate program, each featuring distinct eligibility criteria. Most AIP applications are processed within six months, and given its employer-driven nature, the program strives to expedite the migration of skilled workers to Canada.
Candidates also retain the option to relocate to another province after a certain period from the region that initially granted them AIP status. However, before making such a move, it’s essential to evaluate the viability of employment opportunities in the new province.
It’s noteworthy that while AIP requires a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), it does not mandate complex LMIA applications exceeding CAD 10,000.
The ease or difficulty of each immigration program is influenced by various factors, including eligibility requirements, quota limitations, and competition among applicants. Programs with lower CRS score requirements or specific eligibility criteria that align with an applicant’s profile can be perceived as easier pathways. Additionally, programs that prioritize candidates with job offers, work experience in the province, or connections to the region tend to be more accessible to certain individuals.
Ultimately, the accessibility of an immigration program depends on an applicant’s unique qualifications, goals, and circumstances. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully assess your qualifications, research available programs, and prepare your application meticulously to increase your chances of securing permanent residency in Canada, the Great White North you aspire to call home.