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The Government of Canada has invited a record number of people to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) through Express Entry (EE), an immigration program conducted by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). On February 13 this year, 27,332 foreigners received the so-called Invitation to Apply (ITA). The cut-off score for the last round of invitations (known as the draw) was only 75 points. The country’s intention is to maintain professionals who are already in Canada. “As we face the second wave of the pandemic and set a course for our recovery, attracting qualified immigrants – who bring the talents and skills our economy needs to thrive – is a central part of our plan,” says an official statement.
The feat is historic. To give you an idea, the amount of ITA sent in a single draw is the highest since the creation of the EE, in 2015, and five times higher than the previous record, which had been 5,000 invitations made at the end of 2020. The cut grade had also never been so low, a number almost ten times lower than the previous one. When looking at the data from the last few years, it is possible to notice that the cut-off was around 450 points, that is, much higher than the 75 points of the February invitation round. “Many thought it was a system error,” says Giovanna Barino, 34, an English teacher who specializes in preparing for Casal Nerd proficiency tests in Canada. The government’s goal is to receive 401 thousand new permanent residents in 2021.
On her website and on social media, Giovanna shares, among other experiences, her immigration process. For her, who has been following the EE movement since applying it to him in 2016, this ITA record may be a sign that the country’s borders will still remain closed for a long time, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. “This is an excellent opportunity for those who are already in Canada and want to immigrate. My advice is to apply and plan as soon as possible, as there may be other draws for this profile. Unfortunately, for those who are still in Brazil, this can be frustrating. I also believe that after the opening of the borders, the draws will be more conservative, as before. So, now is a good time to try.”
The Brazilian Adelaine Lisboa Gasana, 29 years old, was one of the winners of the ITA this year, with her husband, Araão Gasana Júnior, 38, as the main investor in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), the EE system. She says that Araão had taken the English proficiency exam just a month ago and re-registered on January 25th, but they still didn’t have enough score. “We even thought about taking the French test to increase our chances in the immigration process. You didn’t have to! In about two weeks, our ITA left. This is a dream that we have been planning for eight years and now I feel like we’re halfway there, ”says she, who has a small Canadian baby girl just eight months old, Rivkah.
The invited workers, at this point, fall into the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), that is, they are people who already have Canadian work experience. This was the case of Araão, who works in the technology area in the city of Prince George, in British Columbia, where they live. Whoever received the ITA has up to 90 days to send all the requested documents to the government, through the CRS website. “It is a high financial investment, because, in addition to the expenses with the process, we have to prove a certain amount of money to the government, which is calculated by family members”, says Adelaine. She says that she even made a spreadsheet to get organized with everything she needs to do, since there are many materials to send through EE and steps to fulfill.
Apparently, the moment is favorable for those who, like Adelaine, dream of staying in Canada. For this, however, it is important to plan.
Four important tips:
1) save money both for proof of income and for use in the costs of the process;
2) invest in training;
3) Leaving what is possible of documents prepared for proof later (such as validated diplomas, if they are from outside Canada);
4) invest in the language (either English or French). “Education and language level are the variables that applicants have the most control over changing, as it is up to them to invest in it, and grades can increase a lot.
For proficiency tests, in addition to language studies, it is important to use techniques, such as time control, for example. “The two go together,” says Giovanna. Finally, it is worth following the example of Giovanna and Adelaine and understanding the process very well. its own application, giving priority to this, understanding each step perfectly and preparing for them. You cannot risk and place your future entirely in the hands of others ”, concludes Giovanna.
Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?
My husband, Araão, had lived outside Brazil before and had the dream of coming to Canada. So I started to research more about the country, watch videos and learn about the immigration process. I ended up being enchanted by Canada. After a series of discontent in Brazil, like a lightning kidnap suffered by my sister-in-law, we decided it was time to go. The fear of violence was one of the defining factors in our decision.
Read below the full interview with Adelaine, who tells a little about how it was until ITA received it and what are the next steps
A dream come true
How did you plan?
Our Canada plan started eight years ago, when we started saving money and researching the best way to immigrate. We were looking for methods that could give us more chances of getting Permanent Residence (PR). We chose to come with a study visa for Araão and an open work visa for me. We hired an immigration office to help us with this. My husband applied to study at a public college and so we could apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which is a work visa, when he finished the course. The next step would be to try the residency.
When did you get here and how did you choose the city where you live?
We arrived in Prince George, in the province of British Columbia, in August 2016. Our idea was to live in Vancouver, but during our planning we saw that everything there was very expensive, from the rent to the cost of the courses. So, looking through a map application, I came across Prince George. I saw that it was a city with more affordable prices and good places to study.
Tell about how they found out they had received the ITA.
We had registered with the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) in 2017, but we were far from having the necessary score to be eligible for Permanent Residence. Araão was still studying, so we waited for him to finish his college course, applied for PGWP and tried again to register in the system. As his proficiency exam had already expired, it was time for him to retake the exam, about a month before we received the ITA. I filled in the data again, on the 25th of January, but our score was 431 and the cut-off score was 460. So we thought about trying to take a French exam to increase the points. I couldn’t believe it when I saw, about two weeks later, that we had been contemplated! I read a report on the subject that day and ran to check the system.
What are the next steps?
Now we have to collect and upload all the documents they ask for. Everything we describe in the system, we have to verify. For example, if we have some training in Brazil, we need to have the diploma validated here in Canada and send the document, as well as proof of income, criminal history, among others. There are other steps that cost money, such as the medical examination that has to be done with accredited health professionals. We paid a thousand dollars for it. It is a laborious process and it is necessary to organize yourself so as not to get lost. We have 90 days to send everything and they will approve it in stages.
What tips would you give to anyone who, like you, wants to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada?
I think the first step is to do a lot of research and plan financially. You need to think not only about how much you will spend on studies and to survive, but you also need to have a reserve of money, which needs to be proven if you receive the ITA. This value varies according to the number of members in the family and all information can be searched on the government website.
Investing in the language, whether English or French, is also one of the things that can most help increase Express Entry (EE) scores. Working in Canada counts a lot! Our score increased significantly after Araão completed a year of work here.
Por fim, se organizar com a documentação, pois muitos processos são demorados e podem levar mais do que os 90 dias que temos para subir os documentos no sistema. Por exemplo, para conseguir validar um diploma brasileiro no Canadá é preciso considerar o tempo de a instituição de ensino mandar o diploma para o órgão que vai validá-lo aqui, a demora do processo no próprio Canadá e, também, os eventuais imprevistos por conta da pandemia do Covid-19. Nós já fizemos tudo isso anos antes, para não corrermos o risco de não dar tempo quando recebêssemos o ITA.
What do you think of the future? What is your dream here in Canada?
I feel that we are getting closer and closer to the dream that we started planning there in 2015, when we decided to come here. As a permanent resident, I want to take a course in “English as a Second Language” (English as a Second Language) that is free for this audience. We will continue to invest in training, but the facilities are greater now, both to be able to work and in relation to the benefits granted by the government. I am from the administrative area and I still think if I will continue in it or if I will change my profession. Either way, the doors will be more open.
How EE Scoring Works
The Express Entry (EE) scoring system is called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). This is a way of trying to immigrate to Canada. Interested parties must register in it, filling in all fields to reach a score. The maximum number of points that can be scored in the system is 1,200, of which 600 are criteria related to the personal data of the candidates, such as age, marital status, etc. The rest is related to additional issues, such as having a job offer in Canada.
Periodically, there is what is called a draw, in which a number of people receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA), which is the invitation to officially apply for permanent residence, based on a cut note stipulated by the Canadian government (cut -Off). Both this score and the number of people invited varies on each draw. Whoever receives the ITA has 90 days to send all the necessary documents to the Canadian government, proving everything he described on the EE website. Anyone can simulate EE registration to find out what grade they would reach at that moment, using a tool on the CRS website itself.
Tips for those who want to apply for Express Entry
- Make sure you are eligible.
- Study all stages of the process on the Canadian government’s own website (canada.ca) and other reliable sources.
- Use the CRS tool itself to calculate your score
- Taking tests with varying levels of English to find out the minimum grade your chances of getting an ITA would be more plausible.
- If you are married, test with both members of the couple as main applicants, to see which score would be higher.
- Invest both in the study of languages and in techniques for proof of proficiency.
- Organize, in advance, the documents required in the immigration process (as far as possible), such as, for example, validation of diplomas.
- Save money to pay process fees and financial proof.
Impact of foreigners in the country
- Immigrants own one in three companies with employees in Canada.
- They represent more than a third of the country’s doctors and pharmacists.
- International students contribute more than $ 21 billion annually to the Canadian economy.