It has been a year since the Canadian government's "Express Entry" (EE) immigration system was implemented in January 2015. It made a blast for some applicants but a great deal of disappointment for thousands of temporary foreign workers, especially Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) holders, due to the difficulties to get the extra 600 points. However, many PGWP holders should have better chances to be invited to apply for permanent residence in 2016 given how the EE points system works.
EE applicants have only 5 ways to improve their scores and increase the chances of being drawn from the EE pool:
- Find an employer who is willing to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) procedure;
- obtain a provincial nominee certificate;
- get a higher level education;
- improve language score; or
- gain more work experience.
A large number of the PGWP holders do not have foreign work experiences. They mostly have only Canadian work experience. Since they cannot get any points on their foreign work experience, the only way to gain more points on work experience is to work longer in Canada. Those who have had only 1 year work experience in 2015 would be able to gain more points in 2016 when they reach their 2 year work experience anniversary. Compare to the points awarded to 1-year Canadian work experience, an extra 25 to 38 points can be awarded to 2-year Canadian work experience. Further, if their first official language abilities can be improved from CLB 7 to CLB 9, they can get another 12 to 25 more points.
The liberal government has pledged to give more points to foreign students who have Canadian siblings in Canada. Some of the lucky applicants may benefit from that as well. With all these extra points, PGWP holders will have a greater chance to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in 2016.
There has been an outcry for changing the points system in favor of post graduation work permit holders. These foreign workers have lived, studied, and worked in Canada for at least two years. They have already proven themselves competent enough to keep their jobs in the Canadian labour market. It is unfair to require them to get a LMIA confirmation in order to gain the extra 600 points. As to the provincial nominee program, the limited quota and stringent requirements on employers make it very difficult for PGWP holders to obtain a provincial nominee certificate from a participating province. It is not a surprise to see that so far, out of the 22 rounds of invitations, only 5 rounds with score of lowest-ranked candidate invited exceeded 600 points. PGWP holders wish more to be done on the EE points system in favor of their situation in the coming year.
If you are struggling with your EE profile or getting enough points, contact Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Mary Zhang at our office in Markham.