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Canada immigration: 2016 – a new year of opportunities

January 2, 2016

By Majorie van Leijen |

Emirates 24|7 looks back at 2015 and at 2016 to see what Canada offered for immigrants.

It was almost a year ago when Canada adopted a new immigration policy, changing the way migration aspirants looked at the once so accessible immigration destination.

Whereas there used to be a large variety of programmes suiting the different profiles of each applicant, there was now one system through which anybody would have to apply, and where a minimum number of points had to be collected in order to be invited for application.

The Express Entry system did not become the only opportunity, and provincial programmes came forward with their various routes, aligned or not with the federal system. In the meantime, sponsorship of spouse remained an option for vested immigrants.

Emirates 2015 looks back at 2015 and sheds a light on what the early months of 2016 has to offer.

The Express Entry system

Since January this year the federal government of Canada operates the Express Entry system, an application bank where potential candidates are ranked according to points awarded for personal and professional qualifications.

The Canadian government, the provinces as well as employers, are able to select the candidates that are most likely to succeed. All the applicant needs to do is make sure their profile is listed.

It soon became clear that the number of points was the main concern for applicants, as there is a benchmark for every draw made. If the applicant did not meet this benchmark, he would not be considered for the draw and could only wait until the benchmark would decrease.

Luckily, this is exactly what has been happening over the last few months. Altough the benchmark went down and back up throughout the year, it has recently been on a steady decrease, which means that applicants with lower points may also be noticed next year.

“The CRS point requirement has decreased for each of the four Express Entry draws that have taken place since October 23, from 489 to 484, then to 472, before the latest cut-off point of 461,” wrote the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Reason for the decrease is that the beginning of the year saw a high number of pending applications, among which many with job offers at hand. A job offer provided the applicant with 600 of the 1200 points, a major advantage. These applications have now been handled and applicants without job offers are seen, explained the CIC.

Simultanuously, the number of applicants invited to apply is increasing, with a high number of applicants expected to be accepted next year. “The number of invitations issued per round is expected to increase as the pre-Express Entry inventory of applications is finalized,” said a CIC policy analys in a recent webinar.

In the latest draw 1,451 incitations were sent, while the total number of invitations so far stands at 29,560 over 22 draws.

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