A combination of immigration-friendly policies, steady increase in entry of skilled workers from India, Vietnam, and other countries, and a chaotic immigration setup in the US has made Canada the preferred destination for skilled immigrants from across the globe.
However, a low CRS score under the Express Entry application system can lead to frustrating delays for applicants. This is where it becomes very important to alternative routes that boost the CRS score or allow immigrants to bypass Express Entry altogether.
Canada has a unique immigration setup where the power to create, administer, and modify immigration programs is shared between the Federal government and the states.
An Express Entry applicant must qualify under one of the three federal programs—Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or the Canadian Experience Class.
Further, states are permitted to setup ‘Express Entry’ streams of their provincial nomination programs, which allows them to nominate candidates suitable for their specific and unique requirements.
A provincial nomination results in an automatic 600-point increase in the applicant’s CRS score, which virtually guarantees an Invitation to Apply in the next EE round.
The three federal programs covered by Express Entry allow those proficient in English or French to apply. Proficiency in both languages may result in a higher CRS score but absence of proficiency in French is not a disqualification.
Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream is open only to applicants with minimum CLB 7 or higher proficiency in French.
This means an applicant struggling to qualify for an ITA may improve his/her French proficiency and, subject to fulfilling other requirements, qualify for a provincial nomination and a faster and smoother route to permanent residence in Canada.
Immigration Pilot Programs
Programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program (AIPP) or the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot designed to cater to specific regions of the country or specific sectors of the economy.
An international graduate from a public institution located in one of the four Atlantic provinces with a job offer from an eligible employer can qualify for Canadian PR even without any work experience.
Under AIPP’s high-skilled program, even those with just one year of professional work experience have a shot at skilled worker immigration into the country.
The Rural Pilot program allows fresh graduates from institutions located in the recommending-community to qualify for fast-track permanent residence.
For those unlikely to qualify under federal programs or even provincial streams, an investment of one or two years towards an international degree or work experience in these regions or communities can
Other Strategic Options
Getting a post-graduation degree, gaining work experience in Canada through a work permit, improving one’s proficiency in English and French, or applying for a study permit in the country are some strategic options to boost the CRS score.
The ideal route to Canadian permanent residency is to identify the opportunity as early as possible, explore all available ways to have a high CRS score, and, finally, work with a reputed immigration professional with a thorough understanding of the various immigration pathways into Canada.