Appendix A – The Language Requirements for Skilled Immigrants (Express Entry)
Applicants would need to prove their abilities in English or in French. In particular, they would need to demonstrate their abilities in the following areas:
- Listening and,
Minimum language levels tend to vary with each program. Therefore, applicants would need to ensure that they meet the prescribed minimum language levels specified for their programs.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
Applicants would need to meet the minimum level of:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or,
- Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in French
This is applicable for the first official language selected by the applicants in all the four language abilities.
Similarly, applicants also have the ability to score points for their second official languages. For this, they would need to meet the minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in all the four language abilities.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The skills that applicants need under this program depend on the group the job remains classified under in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. Therefore, applicants would need to meet the minimum levels prescribed for all the four language abilities.
If the applicant’s skilled work experience in Canada is in a:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0 or A job
- The minimum level is:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or,
- Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 7 in French
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) B job
- The minimum level is:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or,
- Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 5 in French
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Applicants would need to meet the minimum levels of:
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 5 in French for speaking and listening and,
- Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 4 in French for reading and writing
Applicants under this program would also need to take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Thereafter, they would need to include the results when they complete their Express Entry profiles. This is especially applicable when the applicants receive invitations to apply for permanent residence. In case applicants do not include the results of the language test, they will not be eligible for Express Entry.
In addition, applicants would need to ensure that their test results are less than two years old, when the authorities receive their Applications for Permanent Residence (APRs).
Applicants would be able to ascertain their Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels. For this, they would need to use their test results.
Following the launch of the Federal Express Entry Immigration system many Canadian provinces have announced their individual immigration routes that integrate with the federal program.
Starting January this year, Canada launched the Express Entry system as a new way of attracting skilled immigrants into the country. Interested applicants have been invited to create their online profiles, expressing their interest in migrating to Canada. A point-based system then ranks the applicants, after which the government sends the top scorers an invitation to apply.
The Express Entry system allows provinces to establish their individual selection criteria and procedures, clearing which permanent residency is granted to applicants by the Canadian government. The provincial immigration schemes have integrated with the federal application procedure so the application usually needs to be made at only one place, though there are exceptions. Applicants receiving a provincial nomination earn an extra 600 points which greatly increases their chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
The immigration route offered by Nova Scotia allows applicants to either apply directly through the provincial program or through the federal Express Entry system.
Nova Scotia will accept a total of 350 applications. Applicants are required to score a minimum of 67 points (out of 100) under their point-based scoring system in order to be eligible for application. Points are awarded under factors including language skills, age, education and work experience.
In addition, to qualify an applicant must have a minimum of one year work experience in one of the 29 occupations listed under the provincial program. Most occupations fall in the healthcare, finance, engineering and computer industries.
British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) now has another new stream known as Express Entry British Columbia (EEBC), under which 1,350 additional applicants can be nominated by the province for permanent residence in Canada.
Applicants interested in settling down in British Columbia will have to apply under both federal Express Entry as well as the provincial program EEBC. To qualify under Express Entry, the candidate must be eligible under one the following immigration streams: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
After clearing the Express Entry eligibility criteria, the candidate can apply under EEBC under one of the following streams: International Postgraduates, International Graduates, and Skilled Workers.
Candidates holding a Masters degree or a doctorate in the sciences (received within past two years) from one of the eligible programs at a British Columbia post-secondary institution can apply using the Individual Post Graduate stream. Whereas the International graduates stream is for those who have graduated from a Canadian college or university in the past two years.
Finally, the Skilled Worker stream allows candidates to submit an application who have work experience in a skilled occupation along with post-secondary education or training. Applications under this stream are only received from those candidates who have a permanent and full-time permanent employment offer in a skilled occupation from an employer in British Columbia. Applicants with a job offer from employers in occupations requiring compulsory licensing or certification must prove that they meet the provincial requirements for their specific occupation.
Interested candidates who currently do not have a job offer can also submit an application under EEBC provided they have completed their education in the province.
Applicants are especially encouraged from health care professionals, with there being an increasing demand for nurses, specialists, physicians, and allied health professionals like physiotherapists, clinical pharmacists, diagnostic medical sonographers, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, and medical radiation technologists in British Columbia.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The provincial program of Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to accept applications from candidates with an existing job offer in the province. The application process will be integrated with the Express Entry, and more details about the provincial program will be announced shortly.
The two streams offered by Newfoundland and Labrador are: Skilled Workers and International Graduate. To make an application using the Skilled Worker category, the candidate should hold an offer of employment from an employer in Newfoundland and Labrador. Candidates already holding jobs or offers of employment that offer adequate compensation in salary and benefits as required by the provincial employment standards can also apply under this category.
Candidates can also apply under the International Graduates stream if they have completed at least half of their total education in Canadian schools and have a graduate degree from a qualifying publicly-funded university or college in Canada.
Interested applicants must first submit their application under one of the three federal immigration programs, and thereafter an application to the provincial program can be made. A nomination from the province will add 600 points to the candidate’s score, greatly increasing the chances for an invitation to apply.
Saskatchewan’s provincial program is accepting up to 775 applications from candidates who do not have an existing offer of employment. As with other provincial programs, interested candidates must first register through the Express Entry application system under one of the three federal immigration programs.
The provincial program of Saskatchewan requires candidates to earn at least 60 points in their point-based assessment where applicants are scored on work experience, education and training, age, language skills, and connections in the province’s labor market. If an applicant is nominated by the province, s/he earns a bonus 600 points, leading to an invitation to apply.
Newfoundland and Labrador has been witnessing a steady increase in inflow of skilled immigrants with the inflow rates doubling the past eight years. From 450 per year in 2007, the number of skilled immigrants coming to the province is expected to cross 1000 in 2015. While more and more skilled immigrants are coming, it remains to be seen whether they can be convinced to stay put in the province.
The Minister for Advanced Education and Skills of the provincial government opined that Newfoundland and Labrador is now being seen as a good place to live for not just its employment opportunities and high wages, but also for its culture and the safe lifestyle that it offers to immigrants.
The Minister highlighted that the fact that the province is one of the better-performing economies in Canada has been a huge factor in attracting immigrants. Currently, majority of the immigrants sponsored under the Provincial Nominee Program reside in the St. John’s Metropolitan Area. Around 46% of the immigrants have moved to other parts of the province.
This concentration of immigrants in the St. John area is a challenge for employers in other regions who are desperately seeking skilled workers for positions that don’t attract a lot of applications. As on date, 80% of all the immigrants in this province have come under skilled worker category. The remaining 20% have been nominated under the international graduate category.
The Minister pointed out that immigrant has helped employers meet evolving needs of the labor market. He emphasized that the government was committed to promotion of workforce development through retention of experienced and skilled workers and their families in the province.
The Provincial Government has been active in immigration job fairs in Ireland and France and has been attracting workers with skill and experience in mining and oil and gas industries. Despite businesses in these sectors witnessing a prolonged downswing, the Minister is not worried and is certain that inflow of skilled workers coming from outside will be enough to replace the aging population of the province.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the Province of Manitoba will be allocated 500 additional immigrants to nominate from the new Express Entry Pool of skilled workers who have expressed interest in immigrating to Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s “Express Entry” system, which intends to match the education and experience of people interested in immigrating with the qualifications needed by Canadian employers.
Manitoba’s Express Entry allocation is separate from and in addition to the allocation of 5,000 immigrants that Manitoba can nominate each year under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).
The MPNP nominee program is the main source of Manitoba’s immigration, making up 70 per cent of all newcomers to the province.
In April 2014, federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced a new federal recruitment model for economic immigration dubbed Express Entry. Starting in January, it will be a “major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs,” the federal minister said.
Applicants are ranked using a point system age, education, experience, training and language skills. A qualifying job offer will provide extra points. Applicants with the highest scores will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence and will be processed within six months.
Approved employers will be able to select directly from the national Express Entry pool if they secure an approved labour market impact assessment from Service Canada. Workers in the Express Entry pool will make their qualifications directly available online to employers. Service Canada will provide employers with worker profiles but employers will not have direct access to the pool.
The new Express Entry Immigration system is expected to significantly reduce wait times for the bulk of Canada’s annual skilled workers.
Source: Manitoba Government
A new express entry canada immigration system will give skilled immigrants express entry into Canada. Under the new system, those immigrants with a higher demand will be inside Canada within six months. Beginning on Jan. 1, skilled immigrants will be matched with vacant jobs where no Canadian workers are available. Only the candidates with the most points will be offered permanent residency. A maximum of 600 points will be given to skilled immigrants who receive a permanent job offer from a Canadian employer or who have been nominated for immigration by a province or territory.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said these are the ones that will be “picked first”. He also noted the “first draw” for permanent residency applications is scheduled for the last week of January.
Skilled immigrants will receive up to 1,200 points based on factors in two major categories with no minimum level of points is needed to qualify:
- A maximum of 500 points will be allotted for “core human capital factors” such as age, education level, language proficiency and work experience in Canada.
- A maximum of 100 points will be assigned for “skill transferability factors,” such as education level, foreign work experience and a certificate in the trades.
Candidates who have a permanent job offer from a Canadian employer or those who have been nominated for immigration by a ministry or province will qualify for a maximum of 600 points, and would likely have an advantage of being “picked first” over other applicants.
Under express entry the government will control applications instead of processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis — as is the case now. Critics are concerned with the lack of openness, transparency, oversight or accountability.
Employers appear supportive of the new system, but are not clear on how skilled immigrants will be matched with available jobs in Canada.
According to the government, approximately 65,000 to 75,000 skilled workers will be offered permanent residency in 2015 under one of three categories:
- 47,000 to 51,000 will come through the federal skilled worker class and the federal skilled trade’s class.
- 21,000 to 23,000 skilled workers through the Canadian experience class.
- An additional 46,000 to 48,000 skilled workers will receive permanent residency through the provincial nominee program under express entry.
Successful applicants must also undergo health exams and security checks and will be required to show proof of funds available to support themselves and their family.
A few examples of how prospective candidates might be ranked under the new express entry system are given below:
Case 1: 32-year-old IT programmer without a spouse
Age: 94 points
Full proficiency in English: up to 136 points
Proficiency in French: 0 points
Post-secondary program credential of three years or longer: 120 points
Transferable skills: up to 100 points
Canadian work experience: 0 points
Sub-total: up to 450 out of 600 points
Additional 600 points for a nomination from a ministry or province or for a permanent job offer
Total: up to 1,050 points.
Case 2: 27-year-old IT engineer and designer without a spouse
Age: 110 points
Proficiency in either English or French: up to 136 points
Proficiency in a second official language: up to 24 points
Equivalent of a Master’s degree: 135 points
Transferable skills: up to 100 points
Canadian work experience: up to 80 points
Sub-total: up to 585 out of 600 points.
No permanent job offer or a nomination from a province or territory: 0 points.
Total: up to 585 points.
Case 3: 45-year-old financial analyst with a spouse
Age: 0 points.
Proficiency in either English or French: up to 128 points.
Proficiency in a second official language: up to 22 points.
Equivalent of an undergraduate university degree: 120 points
Transferable skills: up to 100 points.
Canadian work experience: up to 70 points.
Spouse factors: up to 40 points.
Sub-total: up to 480 points out of 600 points.
Additional 600 points for a permanent job offer or a nomination from a province or territory.
Total: up to 1,080 points.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
The Federal Skilled Worker Program will continue to represent the largest number of Economic Class immigrants to Canada with most being selected under the human capital contribution assessment approach.
Employers with pressing hiring needs will unlikely wait a period of 6 months or longer for a candidate to begin employment. The Canada Job Bank under the new Express Entry system may become a marginal or secondary source of potential candidates for recruiters. At best, this could account for a modest number of applicants selected by employers under the new system.
Express Entry will succeed to the extent that the inventory of potential candidates and the processing of applications for permanent residence by the Canadian government will be easier to manage than previously.