10 Myths and Misconceptions About the Express Entry System Debunked
The Express Entry system is now in place and has completely revolutionized the management of Canada’s immigration system. New practices have been adopted to deal with incoming applications, which means much faster processing times.
However, not everyone is as clued-up about Express Entry as they claim to be, and here at VisaPlace, we’ve noticed there are several misconceptions about the express entry program.
We’re going to tackle some of the biggest myths and misconceptions that currently exist about Express Entry program.
Myth 1. Anyone can enter the Express Express Entry Pool
Fact: You can only enter the Express Entry pool if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration via a federal economic immigration program.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that anyone who wishes to immigrate to Canada – regardless of age or skill level – may enter the pool for Express Entry. This simply isn’t true, and candidates have to be eligible for one of the existing federal economic immigration programs:
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- The Canadian Experience Class
To find out whether you’re eligible for Canadian immigration, fill out our free immigration assessment.
Myth 2. You must have a job offer to qualify for Express Entry
Fact: A job offer isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will help improve your chances
It’s true that Canadian employers will be allowed to have a more direct impact via Express Entry, but you won’t need a job offer to immigrate to Canada under the new system.
If you’re a candidate in the Express Entry pool, you’ll be given points and ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Under this system, you could be awarded up to 1,200 points – 600 of which will be allocated if you’ve been awarded with either a qualifying job offer or provincial nomination certificate.
Myth 3. The eligible occupation list under the Federal Skilled Worker Program still applies
Fact: As of January 1, there is no eligible occupation list
There has been much confusion from potential candidates around the subject of the older eligible occupation list for the FSWP, and whether it still remains in place or will be updated. In fact, there is now no eligible occupation list at all.
Candidates must instead simply be able to demonstrate they’ve had at least a year’s work experience in a skilled occupation at some point within the last 10 years. In terms of eligibility, this is particularly good news for potential candidates who previously might not have been included in the previous list of eligible occupations.
Canadian jobs fall under National Occupational Classifcation (NOC) codes, which are split up by skill type and level, so you will be able to check whether your occupation is classified as skilled.
It’s also wise to note that the list of ineligible occupations for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) will also not apply to Express Entry.
Myth 4. Express Entry is the only way you can become a Canadian economic immigrant
Fact: Express Entry will cover most economic immigration programs, however provinces will still be able pick immigrants from outside of the Express Entry system within a certain allocation
Canada’s provinces and territories have an added advantage in that they are able to select a certain number of immigrants based on their provincial labor market needs. This means that although most economic immigrants will have to use the Express Entry route from 2015 onwards – including a certain allocation of provincial nominees – each province and territory will still have a ‘base’ Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which they can use to select immigrants who do not have to be eligible under Express Entry.
One example is Quebec, which is not taking part in the federal Express Entry System – instead, immigrants will have a Skilled Worker channel and a Quebec Experience program (both scheduled to restart on April 1, 2015).
Myth 5. When you’re invited to apply for permanent residence as an Express Entry candidate, you’ll have plenty of time to gather all the documents you need and get your application submitted within 60 days
Fact: If you wait until you are issued an invitation to apply, you may find it a struggle to gather all the documentation you need to submit your application within the deadline of 60 days
Truthfully, gathering up enough documentation to complete your application to a satisfactory standard (as far as CIC is concerned) isn’t easy. It will require collecting many personal documents, qualifications/education credentials, employment references, letters, and the many forms which must be completed accurately and to the letter.
Myth 6. You don’t need to pass any language tests to enter the Express Entry pool
Fact: All candidates have to pass a standardized English or French language test that has been recognized by the Canadian government before they are allowed to enter the pool.
It’s been confirmed by CIC that all candidates must demonstrate their language proficiency in either French or English (the official languages of Canada) in order to be included in the Express Entry pool.
Your language proficiency must meet the eligibility requirements set for your chosen federal economic immigration program, and we recommend you take a language test as soon as possible if you wish to enter the Express Entry pool.
Myth 7. Candidates will be able to see their points and ranking under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and know how many points they’ll need to be issued an invitation
Fact: Although candidates will be able to see their Comprehensive Ranking System points total, and know the points threshold for the most recent draw, they will not be able to see their specific ranking. Nor will candidates be able to tell how many points will be required for the next draw from the Express Entry pool.
The Comprehensive Ranking system is predominantly for CIC’s benefit, as an accurate method of ranking the most eligible candidates. CIC has no intention of releasing information such as how many points will be required for upcoming draws, although eligible candidates will be able to see the points required for draws that have already taken place.
Being able to see this information may help you work out a number of points you should aim for, although surpassing this will not provide you with any guarantees that you will be issued an invitation to apply for permanent residence via Express Entry.
Myth 8. You can use Express Entry to give false information to immigrate to Canada
Fact: If you misrepresent yourself on your application, you will be caught and will face stern penalties
No matter how much you want to immigrate to Canada, we really don’t recommend lying on your application. Whether you might be hoping to attain some extra human capital credentials prior to being issued an invitation to apply, or you’re just hoping you won’t be caught out, you could be risking your future chances of ever being able to immigrate.
The Canadian government is being very rigorous with checks when it comes to processing applications, and falsehoods can and will be detected. The penalty for misrepresentation has increased from two years to a total of five years of inadmissibility, alongside a five-year ban when it comes to applying for permanent residency.
Myth 9. Once you create your Express Entry profile, it cannot be updated even if you improve your points
Fact: As a candidate, you can update your profile at any time whilst in the Express Entry pool
In truth, you’ll actively be encouraged to keep your profile updated, as any improvements you make to your core factors (such as gaining new language abilities, gaining qualifications or completing new work experience) can add to your overall points in the Comprehensive Ranking System.
You may also receive a provincial nomination or job offer from a Canadian employer, which would give you a significant points boost. While your profile remains in the pool, it will not be ‘locked’ at any time.
Myth 10. Express Entry makes the whole immigration process far too easy
Fact: The Canadian government is being very strict when reviewing applications, and you will need to provide many supporting documents that must meet the CIC’s standards
The Canadian government has been working towards improving its immigration system in a way that will address the country’s labor market shortages and fulfill its long-term economic needs. This means that immigration processing times are now more efficient than ever, but that doesn’t mean that your application will not undergo the same amount of scrutiny than before – in fact, it could be subject to even greater scrutiny, and it will be absolutely imperative that you meticulously prepare all your supporting documentation and ensure all of your information is 100% accurate.
Are you interested in applying for Express Entry?
In order to get an invitation to apply for permanent residence, you have to be selected from a pool of highly qualified applicants. Our job is to make you STAND OUT from the crowd. We will assess your case, highlight the best aspects of your application, and make sure that the government notices you! This way, your chances of getting an invitation are maximized.
Call us today for an assessment to see if you are eligible for Express Entry to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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