Canada has had a longstanding reputation for being hospitable and welcoming of immigrants from all over the world. The country basically represents a citadel of multiculturalism. Canada has globally been recognized as immigrant-friendly, especially compared to other Western countries criticized for their frigid immigration policies.
More refugees have been relocated by the Canadian government than any other country, and it continues to do so owing to its progressive immigration laws and initiatives. As a result of low fertility rates and a serious shortage of labour in key sectors like transportation and healthcare, the Canadian government hopes to stabilize the immigration of newcomers to the country who can boost its economy and drive future developments.
One of the most important programs within the Canadian immigration structure is the Express Entry system. It plays a central role in assisting the Canadian government in the efficient management of immigration applications made by foreign nationals. It is the quickest and most favoured way of obtaining permanent residence in Canada.
Canada’s Express Entry System — An Overview
Launched in 2015, the Express Entry system helps the Canadian government efficiently address and process the immigration applications of highly qualified and skilled workers from around the globe. This system primarily comprises three federal economic programs. Following is a brief on each program:
- The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program
This program manages immigration applications made by skilled workers who possess a foreign work experience of a minimum of 1 year while fulfilling the educational and language requirements.
- The Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Program
This program manages applications from skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade and hold a valid Canadian job offer or certificate of qualification.
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program
This program manages applications from skilled workers who have Canadian work experience of a minimum of 3 years.
Candidates must be eligible for one of the three aforementioned federal programs in order to be able to submit a profile via the Express Entry system.
Canada’s Express Entry System — The Eligibility Criteria
The foundation of Express Entry is the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). It is a merit-based scoring system constructed by the Canadian government to assign ranks to each immigration applicant in the Express Entry pool. CRS points are determined by taking into account the candidate’s age, level of schooling, professional background, linguistic abilities, and other variables. On submitting their profiles to the Express Entry system, candidates are awarded CRS scores out of 1200 points. Based on such scores, the Canadian government then issues Invitations to Apply (ITA) to candidates holding the highest rankings.
Canada’s Express Entry System — Optimizing CRS Scores
Immigration applicants may resort to a number of ways to increase their CRS scores and pave the way for a successful immigration journey. Let us look at some of the most favourable ways of optimizing one’s CRS scores:
- English Language Proficiency — Due to the expense and uncertainty of the results, applicants typically do not choose to retake the IELTS or TEF language exam. However, a candidate’s language proficiency can earn them up to 260 CRS points individually or 270 points in a pair. Therefore, the secret to obtaining a higher CRS point may lie in optimizing your language test results.
- Bilingual Capabilities — Being fluent in both French and English is worth extra CRS points. You can receive up to 50 bonus points if you receive a CLB 7 or higher in French and a CLB 5 or higher in English. It would be very beneficial to brush up on your knowledge and take both language exams if you are already fluent in the second official language at the beginner or intermediate level.
- Canadian Education — In addition to credible language proficiency test results and Canadian work experience, education can count for up to 200 CRS points if you studied exclusively outside of Canada or up to 250 points if you have a post-secondary credential from Canada. For education earned outside of Canada, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is mandatory in order to obtain CRS points.
- Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP) — You could raise your CRS score by an extra 600 points by participating in a provincial nomination program. Candidates may use their Express Entry Profile or individual applications for a Provincial Nominee Programme to be eligible for the points. To be nominated by a Canadian province, you typically need a job offer or transcripts from previous coursework completed in the region. However, under their express entry streams, certain programs are available to all candidates for Express Entry who meet the province’s employment needs.
- Canadian Job Offers — As difficult as it may seem, applying for jobs in Canada is the foremost way of obtaining permanent residence in the country. Owing to a severe lack of skilled workers in many Canadian industries, employers lean towards hiring foreign nationals with relevant qualifications and experience. A job offer in Canada has the potential to increase your CRS points by 50 or 200 points while giving you access to Provincial Nominee Programs that allow you to reach 600 points. An employment offer is, therefore, vital to boosting your CRS points.
Canada’s Express Entry System — Prioritizing Transport Occupations
Given Canada’s large land area and widely distributed population, it is especially crucial to have an effective and convenient transit infrastructure to link people and promote economic activity. Canada invites candidates whose profiles align with the national economic objectives through category-based Express Entry draws. There are general and program-specific draws in addition to category-based Express Entry rounds. In a round of invitations based on categories, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) ranks applicants in the pool who satisfy the requirements for each category and extends invitations to the most qualified applicants to apply for permanent residence.
The IRCC invited 1,000 applicants in transportation-related occupations to apply for permanent residence on September 20. Formally, the Canadian government declared that jobs related to transport would be given preference in Express Entry draws. An Invitation to Apply (ITA) could only be granted to applicants who met the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 435.
The decision to focus on transport occupations was made owing to a severe labour shortage in this industry. The Canadian economy depends heavily on truck drivers, pilots, aviation mechanical engineers, and seafarers. According to IRCC, stronger and more resilient supply chains would result from hiring more people in these fields, accelerating economic growth.
Canadian Immigration — In the Aftermath of COVID-19
The presence of immigrants in Canada’s labour force is vital because it helps to offset the effects of the labour shortages brought on by low fertility rates and an aging population. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, disproportionately impacted immigrants and severely disrupted their finances compared to Canadian-born citizens. This section delivers a summarized overview of the disparate impact of COVID-19.
Disruptions to Immigration Plans
Immigration policies in Canada were severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant number of Canadians were adversely impacted by the labour market contraction brought on by the pandemic, but newly admitted immigrants in 2019 were especially vulnerable. The socioeconomic advancements made by immigrants over the previous ten years were notably impeded during the first year of the pandemic.
The Canadian government had intended to import more than 1.2 million new permanent residents in the years after the pandemic. To make up for the shortfall caused by the pandemic, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship announced new goals for admissions to Canada as permanent residents.
Plan highlights comprised:
- A focus on economic expansion, with the Economic Class accounting for nearly 60% of admissions
- A persistent emphasis on locally directed strategies to meet the nation’s varied labour and demographic needs
- Extra points under Express Entry for candidates who speak French to encourage the expansion of Francophone communities outside of Quebec
- A promise to accept up to 500 refugees via the Economic Mobility Pathways Project during the following two years (this will increase the overall number of refugees arriving in Canada by selecting skilled refugees as economic immigrants)
- A route to permanent residence for qualified refugees who were actively involved in the pandemic and directly caring for patients in medical facilities
The Impact on the Transportation and Logistics Industries
Collectively speaking, the Canadian transportation and logistics industry is pivotal to the nation’s economy owing to its ability to transport goods and services both within and across borders easily. Consequently, Canada’s economic affluence is largely dependent on the sector’s ongoing growth and development.
As a result of the global pandemic, the transportation and logistics industries experienced a serious labour shortage, emphasizing the need for skilled workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic halted the industry’s upward trend. Canadian logistics and transportation firms are recovering from pandemic-related delays, but they have not yet filled the skills gap. Considering the critical role played by the marine shipping sector in global trade, seafarers continue to deal with difficult working conditions and low wages. Nonetheless, Canadian businesses have worked hard to fortify the resilience of the supply chain with initiatives ranging from trying to move manufacturing domestically to diversifying their suppliers and building up inventory.
Giving precedence to transportation occupations in Express Entry draws is not a lightly made decision but rather a deliberate one. Priorities have shifted in response to the rising demands of the nation. Such an initiative highlights the central role played by the transportation industry in furthering the Canadian economy. Consult with Toronto Immigration Lawyer today to grasp a better understanding of the intricate immigration procedures and recent developments in policies.