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The Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada allows candidates to enter a pool with other candidates if they are eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). If a candidate is not eligible for at least one of these programs, he or she is not able to enter the pool from which certain candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Candidates may still become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool eventually, however, provided they work towards gaining the necessary points and/or experience required in order to become eligible.

The Principal Applicant

There are a number of ways in which the principal applicant can become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool and then continue to improve his or her ranking, thereby increasing his or her chances of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
 

Improving and proving language ability

  • Potential applicants for Canadian immigration should note that there are a large number of points available for ability in either English or French, the two official languages of Canada. If a candidate has not taken a language test or has taken one but not achieved high marks, he or she can take (or re-take) the test and obtain more points. The most widely accepted language tests are the IELTS for English and the TEF for French.
  • There are also points available for a candidate’s ability in a second official language of Canada, either English or French. If a candidate has little or no ability in English or French as a second language, he or she can study it and eventually take a test. A result that proves a high beginner level awards a candidate with additional points that count towards immigration eligibility, with even more points available if he or she proves second language ability at a high intermediate or advanced level.

Education

Canada places a large emphasis on a candidate’s education, with an increasing number of points available for having completed secondary education, a university degree, and/or a post-graduate degree or certificate. If a candidate is in the process of attaining higher education and can expedite the process, this would award him or her additional points that count towards eligibility for Canadian immigration.

Work experience

Points towards eligibility for Canadian immigration are available depending on the number of years of work experience a candidate has in a skilled occupation. Once a candidate has completed one year of work experience, he or she will receive points. An increasing number of points are awarded in accordance with the number of years worked by a candidate within the past 10 years. Therefore, becoming eligible to enter the Express Entry pool could be as simple as remaining employed in your occupation for a few more months.

Arranged employment

Arranged Employment is possible when a Canadian employer extends an offer of full-time permanent employment in Canada to a foreign skilled worker. Receiving such an offer could make a potential candidate eligible to enter the Express Entry pool.

The spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant

If the principal applicant has a spouse or common-law partner, there are points available towards the principal applicant’s eligibility for Canadian immigration, depending on the spouse or common-law partner’s human capital — that is to say, his or her perceived ability to adapt to Canadian life. Only one of the two people in the relationship needs to submit an application for permanent residence (having been invited to apply after entering and being selected from the Express Entry pool) in order for both people and any dependent children to immigrate to Canada together and at the same time.
 
Improving and proving language ability
Points are available towards eligibility for Canadian immigration for the spouse or common-law partner’s language ability in either English or French.
 
Family in Canada
Points are available under what is known as adaptability, and family ties come under this category. If the spouse or common-law partner has close family members who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada, a number of points may be awarded towards the principal applicant’s eligibility for Canadian immigration.
 
The spouse or common-law partner becomes the principal applicant, if eligible
It is sometimes the case that the spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for Canadian immigration in his or her own right, in which case he or she can become the principal applicant. No matter who the principal applicant is on the immigration file, both partners in the relationship, as well as any dependent children, can immigrate to Canada together and at the same time.
 
With all of these factors in mind, it is important to note that all is not lost for potential candidates for Canadian immigration who wish to enter the Express Entry pool but were ineligible to do so on their first attempt. There are a number of ways in which candidates can become eligible and subsequently improve their rank within the pool.
 

To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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