The new Express Entry system has been in operation since January 1, 2015. Until now, most Invitations to Apply (ITA) have been issued for candidates with validated job offers and provincial nominations, but the trend seem to be towards accepting more and more candidates that obtain a number of points under 600, which means that they do not have validated job offers or provincial nominations; however, to reach scores close to 600 they must display high level of education and high proficiency in one or both Canadian official languages.
According to the current instructions, the determination as to whether a foreign national who is included in the express entry pool of candidates occupies the rank required in order to be issued an ITA will be made using the total number of points assigned to him/her based on the information provided in their “expression of interest” and using the Comprehensive Ranking System that consists of the following components:
(a) core human capital factors;
(b) accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors;
(c) skill transferability factors; and
(d) factors relating to a provincial nomination or a qualifying offer of arranged employment.
The core human capital factors are the following:
(2) level of education;
(3) official language proficiency; and
(4) Canadian work experience.
The skill transferability factors are the following:
(1) level of education (again);
(2) foreign work experience; and
(3) Canadian certificate of qualification in a trade occupation.
The total number of points that may be assigned under the Comprehensive Ranking System is 1200 points, allocated as follows:
(a) for a foreign national who has no accompanying spouse or common-law partner
(i) a maximum of 500 points for the core human capital factors,
(ii) a maximum of 100 points for skill transferability factors, and
(iii) a maximum of 600 points for either a provincial nomination or a qualifying offer of arranged employment; and
(b) for a foreign national who has an accompanying spouse or common-law partner
(i) a maximum of 460 points for the core human capital factors,
(ii) a maximum of 40 points for accompanying spouse or common-law partner factors,
(iii) a maximum of 100 points for skill transferability factors, and
(iv) a maximum of 600 points for either a provincial nomination or a qualifying offer of arranged employment.
Candidates who do not benefit of such a job offer must register with the Job Bank of the Department of Employment and Social Development not later than 30 days after the day on which they submit their expression of interest, which can only be made using the Internet. If a foreign national is unable to submit an expression of interest by means of the electronic system because of a physical or mental disability, it may be submitted by another means made available by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration for that purpose that would enable the foreign national to submit the expression of interest, including a paper form.
The allocation of points is designed in such a way as to allow for combinations between various core human capital factors and skill transferability factors. Thus, the Ministerial Instructions indicate the number of points a candidate deserves for a combination of level of education (skill transferability factors) and official language proficiency (core human capital factor), then for a combination of level of education and Canadian work experience, for a combination of foreign work experience and official language proficiency, for a combination of Canadian work experience and foreign work experience, and so on.
It deserves to be noted that the Express Entry system does not replace the “traditional” immigration programs, such as Federal Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades. To be included in the Express Entry pool, candidates must first qualify for one of these programs. For instance, federal skilled workers must demonstrate a level of language skills equal or higher that the level 7 of the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).
As regards the number of points necessary for a candidate to be issued an Invitation to Apply, it l fluctuates from a draw to another based essentially on the number of candidates available in the pool. So, the sooner you enter the pool, the higher your chances to get an ITA.