WOULD YOU RATHER WISH YOU WORK HERE?
This is Corus Entertainment, a mass media and broadcasting company headquartered at Corus Quay in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As a Communication and Language Arts undergraduate at the University of Ibadan, I dreamt daily of working here. In March 2015 I began my journey to migrate to Canada.
First of all, knowing my economic status, I had to consider the most affordable means to travel. Then, I found out there was really no easy and cheap way to emigrate to Canada for someone of my economic standing. At that time, I earn just around 110,000 naira per month at an advertising agency in Lagos with no other major source of support, but I was determined to leave for Canada anyway. My persistence eventually paid off as I realized my Canada dream two years after.
The subsequent essay reflects the results of my findings within those two years and my experience here so far. The first thing I did once I made up my mind I was going to travel to Canada was to carry out thorough research. I spoke to everyone I know who resides in Canada; I spoke to some of my friends who are immigration lawyers.
What I discovered was that if you either need loads of cash or offer a unique specialized skill, Canada only welcomes young, intelligent and highly educated people. The problem was though I was still below 35 years of age, I was not sure my skill was that unique and I surely didn’t have loads of cash. Yet, I scaled through by being methodical in maximizing the little I had. In other words, knowledge played a major role in my journey to Canada.
You can click here to visit the official website to verify what you’ll need to begin your application. Don’t let anyone deceive you, this is where everyone from anywhere in the world begins their application. Spend some quality time on the questions here to verify what it will take you to apply, the category that is most suitable to your need and the amount of time you’ll have to spend to complete your visa application.
IF YOU’D EVER OPENED THE OFFICIAL SITE OF CANADIAN GOVERNMENT FOR EXPRESS ENTRY YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN THIS BOLDLY INSCRIBED
“We choose skilled workers based on their skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.”
This statement spelt out the whole essence of express entry. in other words, if you don’t have the required skills and ability, your prospect of scaling through the process is minimal.
YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE OR SIMPLY JUMP TO THE TOPIC THAT INTERESTS YOU MOST
Visa Entry and Other Ways to Migrate to Canada
Canada is no doubt one of the most fascinating havens for immigrants, as it provides a great avenue for immigration through its great schools, wonderful work environment, soaring GDP, unique weather and stable socio-economic environment. It not only provides exceptional facilities and perfect settings for prospective immigrants, but it also provides one of the most well-thought-out migration plans with adaptable rules for applicants.
To live in Canada you’ll have to choose from an array of options provided below based on your particular needs, profile and requirements. Here are some of the few pathways available to you.
- Migrate to Canada as Skilled Worker
- Federal Skilled Trades Program.
- Canadian Experience Class (A visa category for applicants who already have working or studying experience in Canada)
- Temporary Workers Visa
- Work on Study Permit
- Work as a Sponsored family member (include marriage to a Canadian citizen)
There are still other available means of migrating to Canada but many of them are not opened to Nigerians.
HOWEVER, FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS WRITE-UP, I will focus on Federal Skilled Worker Program for federal and Provincial also known as Canadian Express Entry.
What is Canadian Visa Entry?
Express Entry is a collection system for Canadian immigration, designed to choose skilled workers for immigration to Canada. Express Entry is an entirely electronic process involving the federal government, provincial governments, and Canadian employers of labor.
Stages in Express Entry:
- Potential candidates must complete an online Express Entry profile.
- The highest-ranking candidates in the pool will be invited to apply for permanent residence.
Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool using a point-based called the ‘Comprehensive Ranking System’. Points are awarded using the information in their profile.
Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an invitation to apply. Candidates will be awarded points for:
– a job offer, and/or
– a nomination from a province or territory, and/or
– skills and experience factors.
A candidate can get additional points for:
– a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA), or
– a recommendation by a province/territory
These additional points will make a candidate rank high enough to earn a call for an application at the next eligible round of invitations.
If someone is invited to apply, they have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC) will process the majority of complete applications in six months or less.
Applicants can stay in the pool for up to 12 months. If they do not get an invite to apply for permanent residence within 12 months of tendering an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile. If they still meet the conditions, they can re-enter the pool. This will ensure there are no backlogs and help with quick processing times.
With all this said and done, someone can work on his application to always improve their CRS scores by either improving on their IELTS Scores, Experience, Validated Job Offer, Nomination from Province which will help an individual in getting the ITA to proceed further.
The decision is now solely yours!
For further information, you could refer to Canada’s official migration website here
The first step for candidate is to complete an online form stating his/her skills,
Selection Factors For Federal Skilled Worker Programme
You are expected to undergo a selection factor assessment to determine your eligibility for the Federal Skill worker’s Programme. You’ll be graded based on the score factor of 100. When you score 67 points or higher you will be qualified to submit your profile to the Express Entry Pool where you are graded on the comprehensive ranking system.
If you don’t score up to 67 points, you will need to improve on the following to get a higher grade:
- Language skill
- Completing another degree/certificate programme
- Get an offer of arranged employment in Canada
The 5 parameters upon which you are graded for points are:
- Education points
- Language skills points
- Age points
- Work experience points
- Adaptability points
- For language skills (in English and French) points you can garner a maximum score of 28 points. Having a required score for those who are bilingual in both English and French greatly improve your total score. You must get a minimum score of CLB(Canadian Language Benchmarks) 7(6 for IELTS) for 1 official language in all 4 test areas. Find out more about language testing and how to get tested.
- For your education qualification, you can also score maximum points of 25. You have an advantage if you completed part of your studies in Canada. If you have a foreign education, you must present an Educational Credential Assessment report from an approved agency. You will be expected to include your Canadian or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment when you apply.
- Work experience has a maximum point score of 15.
- For age, there are 12 maximum points. This is counted from the day you submitted your application.
- Arranged employment in Canada grants a 10 maximum score. It only counts if you had an employment offer from a Canadian employer in the last 1 year.
- For adaptability, you get a maximum score of 10. Adaptability simply refers to your spouse language skill, your past education in Canada, your partner’s past education in Canada, your previous work experience in Canada and your partners previous working experience in Canada.
FOR MORE ENQUIRIES ABOUT THE SELECTION PROCESS PLEASE VISIT https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/federal-skilled-workers/six-selection-factors-federal-skilled-workers.html
Can my Age Affect my Express Entry Application?
Except you possess an extraordinary skill, age is surely a major factor in your application. The programme is outlined to primarily favor highly skilled people between the age of 18-35. As such, it is advisable you apply early.
It will be in your best interest you apply to move to Canada when you are in your 20s. This is the time that you’re most favored with the grading system in the CRS scoring framework. Notwithstanding, even when you are over that age, there are still different effective methods for moving to Canada. Read more on your CRS score here.
Principal Applicant (Maximum 12 points)
You get a maximum score of 12 points if you are within the preferential age of 18 to 35. Under the recommended point’s criteria, an applicant above 47 years gets zero points for age. However, in this case, one can still file a petition if he/she meets the minimum pass-mark requirements of 67 under other selection factors.
The grading is done the following way:
- 18 to 35 years – 12 points
After this age band, points are removed on basis of age in years
- 36 years – 11 points
- 37 years – 10 points
- 38 years – 9 points
- It continues that way till
- 46 years – 1 point
- 47 and above – 0 points
Express Entry, What if I’m not Educated Enough?
One frequent question usually asked by many Canadian immigration prospects is what if one’s education qualification doesn’t measure up to what is demanded by the Canadian Ministry on Immigration?
The truth is, trying to immigrate to Canada without a Bachelor degree may be a herculean task especially through the federal scheme. This is because the system is primarily designed to attract those with a high level of education that can contribute their technical know-how to the Canadian economy. So, any educational qualification from a Master’s degree upward is an added advantage.
To assess your level of education you must get your assessment from an organization or a professional body designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They will give you a report that tells you what your education is equal to in Canada.
Processing times and costs may vary by organization or professional body.
Once you choose a designated organization or a professional body, they will tell you how to submit your documents to get your assessment.
You must use one of these designated organizations:
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credential Evaluation Service
For more information on your education assessment, click here to visit the official immigration site.
Visa Entry Provincial Skilled Workers Program Alternative
How do I apply for Provincial Nominees Program (PNP)?
In one of earlier articles we discussed the fact that after you must have undergone a selection factor assessment to determine your eligibility for the Federal Skill worker’s Programme, you’ll be expected to garner a minimum score of 67 points or higher in order to be qualified to submit your profile to the Express Entry Pool where you are graded on the comprehensive ranking system (CRS). Read the article here.
However, it is still possible to apply through the PNP even if you’re found wanton in term of your CRS score. There are many projects that go under PNP and one can without much trouble document their application under the most appropriate programme. To do this, the applicant is expected to follow the following procedures:
- The candidate must apply to the region of choice for a designation. Each area has its own specific arrangement of standards that can be changed with no earlier notice.
- Once the province designates you after appropriate assessment, the applicant can apply to CIC for a Permanent Resident visa.
- The applicant can apply for PNP Express Entry, SINP, Quebec PNP, Ontario PNP class and so forth for a successful Immigration
Below are the various provincial programmes you can apply for:
- Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
- Saskatchewan PNP
- Quebec Skilled Workers Program
- Nova Scotia PNP
For this to happen, a province or territory must nominate you through an Express Entry stream, it will be listed on your nomination certificate. You can confirm this with the province or territory.
There are two ways you can apply:
- You contact the province or territory and apply for a nomination under their Express Entry stream.
- If the province or territory agrees to nominate you, you create an Express Entry profile (or update your profile if you already have one) and show you have been nominated.
- You get a nomination through your account, which you accept electronically.
On the alternative,
- You can create an Express Entry profile and show the provinces and territories you are interested in.
- If a province or territory sends you a “notification of interest” to your account, you contact them directly.
- You apply to their Express Entry stream.
- If you are nominated, they will offer it to you through your account, and you accept it electronically.
In both cases, you will need to create an Express Entry profile during the process, so it’s advised you should do it right from the start.
Express Entry, How to Calculate Your CRS?
To migrate to Canada through the Express Entry system, your odds of being chosen are almost totally dependent on how well you graded in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). You are graded based on the 5 factors of education, English and/or French language proficiency, age and work experience.
Note that factors such as Canadian degrees, certificates, job offer, diplomas and a recommendation from a Canadian province can considerably increase your score. The applicants ranked the highest, on the basis on their scores, are given Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence in Canada.
To discover your score check the Canadian Office website Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) – tool.
You can read more about CRS ranking Express Entry – Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Criteria
There are a host of other websites offering point calculation free of charge but have at the back of your mind that they are not official despite the fact that some of them are quite popular.
You can Improve your CRS score by Doing the Following:
- Increase your language scores
- You can apply through a Provincial Nominee Program
- Leverage on an LMIA-approved job opportunity
- You may use your spouse as the primary applicant
Typically, your CRS should be over 450 to improve your chances of getting a direct ITA. Although CRS score often change for each draw anything short of 450 reduces your chances. With a lower score, you can still apply for provincial nomination.
For example, the majority of candidates in this pool have scores under 400 points, but as shown here you can’t participate in a draw if you don’t score up to 400. In fact, there hasn’t been a cut-off score lower than 430 points in an open draw since May of 2017.
Often time the draws usually cap out at a maximum of 3,000 candidates though it sometimes draws higher. Sometimes this autumn the draw was capped at 3,900 candidates, just a few candidates below the all-time high. If you really want to play safe, you should try to get more than 450 points.
CRS Score Range Number of Candidates
601-1200 435 (+179 candidates since October 16)
451-600 1,773 (+124 candidates since October 16)
401-450 total 30,370 total (+1,073 candidates since October 16)
441-450 736 (-219 candidates since October 16)
431-440 9,177 (-227 candidates since October 16)
421-430 6,217 (+28 candidates since October 16)
411-420 6,885 (+27 candidates since October 16)
Applicants with scores below this threshold have only ever been invited for the Federal Skilled Trades-only draws in May and November 2017 and May and September 2018 only.
401-410 7,355 (+222 candidates since October 16)
351-400 total 36,880 total (+1,756 candidates since October 16)
391-400 6,841 (+91 candidates since October 16)
381-390 7,721 (+92 candidates since October 16)
371-380 7,661 (+105 candidates since October 16)
361-370 7,407 (+83 candidates since October 16)
351-360 7,250 (+40 candidates since October 16)
301-350 20,311 (+738 since October 16)
0-300 3,272 (+38 since October 16)
Total 92,578 (+1,239 since October 16)
The last draw was for 3,900 candidates. The cut-off score was at least 442 points. Given that there are over 36,000 candidates in the pool with scores higher than 400, it’s likely the score will not be dropping down into the low 400s any time soon. Try to do everything you can to make sure your score is 450 or higher for draws going forward. (Culled from www.immigroup.com)
Express Entry Selection System Vs Comprehensive Ranking System
Many applicants are often confused by the two staged points system each applicant has to scale through when applying for Express Entry. For instance, you hear 67 points is required points for applying for Permanent residency visa while you often need 450+ over 1200 points to score well in your CRS.
So how do you first calculate your points in 67 points system than in 1200 points express entry system? Express Entry rounds of invitations.
Let’s find out about both these stages of Express Entry System separately.
67 Point System
This is the first stage of applying in the system. As a foreign skilled worker, you need to obtain a minimum of 67 points out of 100 determined by the six selection factors, i.e. age, work experience, education, language proficiency, adaptability, and arranged employment. CHECK YOUR OWN THROUGH THIS LINK.
Once you have scaled through the eligibility criteria, you get to the 2nd round where you will be awarded points based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) out of total 1200 points. In which case your score points must measure up to the current cut off points set by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Click HERE to check your CRS score.
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score distribution of candidates in the Express Entry pool as of January 17, 2019
|CRS Score Range||Number of Candidates|
The numbers in this table reflect the total number of people in the pool overall, a few days before an invitation round. The score distribution may change as people submit new profiles and other profiles expire.
The table numbers in italics are a detailed breakdown of the bold number immediately above.
Let’s assume the minimum CRS score requirement from IRCC for the latest draw was 451 points. If your score was up to or exceed the required score, you will get the Invitation to apply for Canadian PR from IRCC.
Consequently, the 67 point system is the first phase to check the eligibility of the applicant to register in Express Entry System while the CRS system is used to choose applicants who are eventually issued Canada Permanent Residence invitation.
Express Entry Other Salient Questions
How Long Does Express Entry Application Process Take?
One of the most common questions posed by potential Canadian immigrants is “How long will it take? How long will my immigration application take to be treated?” The truth is there is often no quick fix for this.
A typical EE application takes between 1-5 years depending on your profile. You’ll need to be patient and act conscientiously. Sometimes, you may need to seek expert opinion relevant information needed to fast track the process.
Although in 80% of cases, an application submitted through Express Entry is processed within 6 months from the date it is received. You should, however, take note that these processing times do not include the time it takes to submit an Express Entry profile, receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and prepare the final application for submission.
HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND?
The visa procedure for Express Entry will cost about CAD 1,000. You also need to prove, when you get the visa, that you have at least CAD 12,500 in your home bank. That has to be your money and cannot be borrowed money. The Immigration department often does a very thorough credit check on this.
ARE THERE ANY SHORTCUTS?
There are no known shortcuts for Express Entry process as of today. No agency, lawyer or person can speed up the process. The whole modus operandi is clearly spelt out on the website. So save your money and focus on the actual procedures.
Take your IELTS test with a minimum total score of 7.0 and above with no grading less than 6.5 in each module, ensure you are sound healthwise (i.e. no communicable disease), secure a good job and develop experience in your area of specialization (for at least 3 yrs).
Ensure you save depending on your family size ($13,000+), prepare for additional expenses like medical testing, IELTS test, WES, visa fee, cost of travel, police report and DHL cost to post your passport to designated centers and so on.
Your New Life Now… Settling in Canada after Express Entry Application
How difficult is it to live in Canada as an immigrant?
On a final note, you have to realize that unless you have people already living in Canada or have some Canadian working experience, you will find it difficult. I will suggest you carry out a thorough financial projection of the living standard of the area you are moving to in Canada. How long will it take you to secure decent employment considering the fact that you’re new in the environment? Typically, you should be looking at a year before you get your footing.
To be candid, what you need most when you move to a new country is connections. You also are willing to take up menial job options no matter your level of professional qualifications.
Note that this has nothing to do with the province you settled. The fact is no province is easy to immigrate in Canada.
You should also note that Canada is one of the countries with the highest level of literacy in the world; hence your bachelor degree may not give you an advantage. In fact, Canada is ranked by OECD as only second to Russia in term of countries with highly educated people. There is at least a university/college in virtually every town in Canada. No matter how qualified you are, you may have to stand in line to look for a job. This is so because there is no shortage of highly qualified, very intelligent Canadian native/educated to take those positions.
Yes, Canada provides free health care, school education, and university education. But the truth is nothing is free as people had to pay for all these through direct and some hidden taxes. About 50 cent from every dollar earned by citizens goes to maintain, service and pay for this comfort.
Virtually almost all profession in Canada is seriously controlled which makes it difficult for someone not in the system to easily break in. As a result, new immigrants can only find jobs in the low end of the service industry, as security guards, someone who flips hamburgers, pour coffee, and probably pump gas.
In summary, Canada is a fantastic country for immigrants, but you must be prepared for the psychological and socio-economic challenges ahead. I have seen people who came to Canada with the hope of settling but had to leave because they couldn’t cope with initial challenges. The good news is these people are rarely Nigerians. As Nigerians, it is believed we can survive anywhere no matter the circumstances.
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