Int'l students well placed for success in Express Entry programme

Int'l students well placed for success in Express Entry programme

Jamaica To Canada

Antonn Brown

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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Dear Mr Brown:

How is the new Express Entry programme progressing? I have not heard of anyone getting through as yet. Have they selected applicants for permanent residence as yet?

-- BF

Dear BF:

The Express Entry programme started on January 1, 2015. The electronic application management system will apply to four existing economic programmes: the Federal Skilled Worker programme, Federal Skilled Trades programme, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee programme.

There is no longer any obligation to review all applications in the order they are received. Instead, candidates would be selectively identified on the basis of relevant qualifications and experience to address regional labour shortages. Not everyone will be qualified or invited to apply for permanent residence. However, for those who are qualified there will be shorter processing times which reduces the frustration of long waits and ensures that Canadian labour market demands are actually met, rather than an immigrant getting through after several years when the particular job may or may not remain in demand.

The First Stage entails prospective immigrants submitting their interest in migrating to Canada. Individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria will have their expressions of interest placed in a pool and ranked against others in the pool, based on official language proficiency, level of education, occupation, work experience, age and other measures of adaptability.

The second stage entails Canada issuing of an 'Invitation to Apply' for permanent residence. The need for an approved job offer to earn sufficient points was a concern for most, as these are very difficult to obtain. But invitations have been extended to those who do not have approved job offers, ie, based solely on one's profile, which is extremely fortunate. However, the process will still be very competitive. In any case, those with approved jobs offers are expected to be successful if their applications are done correctly.

Advantage for international students

In a recent press release from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), it was revealed that 6,851 candidates have received invitations to apply for permanent residence.

The release stated that: "International students are well placed for success under the Express Entry system because of their high education, Canadian work experience, strong official language skills and youth. They can transition to permanent residence through any of the programmes under Express Entry for which they meet the requirements, including the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker programme, the Federal Skilled Trades programme or the Provincial Nominee programmes."

The viability of the study and work option has now been affirmed by CIC. I have consistently promoted this approach as it is more obvious as an ideal strategy for permanent residence now that candidates have been selected without approved job offers. Students may earn additional points for Canadian experience, and will enjoy increased marketability in Canada, as compared to applicants outside of Canada.

Please visit for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence Programmes, including Express Entry, the Study and Work progamme, visitor's visas or appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of -- a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to

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