Tell me about these changes

Jamaica Gleaner - - IMMIGRATION CORNER - Dei­dre S. Pow­ell Dei­dre S. Pow­ell is a lawyer, me­di­a­tor, and no­tary pub­lic. Send your ques­tions and com­ments to info@dei­drepow­ell.com. Call 613.695.8777 or 876.922.4092/8899. Find her on Face­book: ja­maican­lawyer.

Dear Ms Pow­ell, I saw on­line that pro­fes­sion­als can spon­sor them­selves to be­come cit­i­zens of Canada. I tried a few years ago, but I didn’t get through. A friend said that there have been changes to the sys­tem, and since I am a manager at a bank and my hus­band is a me­chanic, we stand a good chance. My sis­ter is also in­ter­ested, and she works at a ho­tel as a chef. Can you please tell me what the changes are and how we can qual­ify? – C.J.

Dear C.J.,

The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment has sev­eral pro­grammes un­der which in­di­vid­u­als can ap­ply to be­come per­ma­nent res­i­dents, and later, cit­i­zens. The pro­grammes are mon­i­tored by Im­mi­gra­tion Refugee and Cit­i­zen­ship Canada (IRCC). Al­though fam­ily spon­sor­ship is pos­si­ble for par­ents, grand­par­ents, chil­dren un­der 18 years, to name a few, many in­di­vid­u­als have found that self spon­sor­ship is a vi­able op­tion.

To qual­ify, in­di­vid­u­als need to sat­isfy the re­quire­ments un­der the Fed­eral Skilled Trades Pro­gramme, Fed­eral Skilled Worker Pro­gramme, Cana­dian Ex­pe­ri­ence Class, and Pro­vin­cial Nom­i­nee Pro­gramme. These are called economic pro­grammes, and ap­pli­ca­tions are ac­cepted through the ex­press en­try sys­tem.

The ex­press en­try sys­tem was in­tro­duced in Jan­uary 2015 as an elec­tronic sys­tem used to select in­di­vid­u­als who qual­ify un­der one of the above pro­grammes to in­vite them to ap­ply for per­ma­nent res­i­dence of Canada. There is no cap on the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions be­ing ac­cepted and there is no strict oc­cu­pa­tion list. In­di­vid­u­als who re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to ap­ply can ex­pect to get per­ma­nent res­i­dence in ap­prox­i­mately six months.

The key is to have the high­est pos­si­ble score based on age, adapt­abil­ity, lan­guage abil­ity, ed­u­ca­tion, work ex­pe­ri­ence, job of­fer, and pro­vin­cial nom­i­nee. The aim is to get a max­i­mum of 1,200 points based on those cri­te­ria.

Each in­di­vid­ual will be re­quired to en­ter per­sonal in­for­ma­tion ac­cu­rately into the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment sys­tem. Points will be awarded us­ing the com­pre­hen­sive rank­ing sys­tem. In pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles, I out­lined how to max­imise your scores and to re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to ap­ply for per­ma­nent res­i­dence. IRCC has been hav­ing reg­u­lar rounds of in­vi­ta­tion to qual­i­fy­ing in­di­vid­u­als. There­fore, it will be up to the in­di­vid­u­als to take steps to im­prove their scores to over 450, based on the past trends.

Re­cently, the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment made changes to the points granted to ap­pli­cants based on their job level or national oc­cu­pa­tional clas­si­fi­ca­tion and job of­fers with or with­out labour mar­ket impact as­sess­ment re­port (LMIA) and study in Canada.

Pre­vi­ously, there was a scram­ble to get a job of­fer from a le­git­i­mate em­ployer who had an LMIA re­port as only LMIA- ex­empt jobs or jobs with LMIA re­ports were worth 600 points. No point was granted to of­fers with­out an LMIA.

How­ever, un­der the new rules, which came into ef­fect on Novem­ber 19, 2016, an in­di­vid­ual can get be­tween 50-200 points for a qual­i­fy­ing job of­fer. A pro­fes­sional or manager who has ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence in cer­tain jobs, or a CEO, di­rec­tors, or man­age­rial jobs such as leg­is­la­tors, man­agers in the fi­nan­cial, trade, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, broad­cast­ing health, ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial ser­vices, com­mu­nity ser­vices, mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tions, con­struc­tion, trans­porta­tion, pro­duc­tion, would could gain an ex­tra 200 points just for oc­cu­pa­tion.

Oc­cu­pa­tions such as hu­man re­source manager, pur­chas­ing manager, fi­nan­cial man­agers, fire chiefs, po­lice of­fi­cers, ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tants, le­gal as­sis­tants, in­sur­ance un­der­writ­ers, book­keep­ers with a qual­i­fy­ing job of­fer could get 50 points.

SKILL TYPE

This is a re­lief to many po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants as there is no longer a strict re­quire­ment for LMIA. How­ever in­di­vid­u­als with an LMIA would still get ad­di­tional points un­der the new sys­tem.

The skilled trades oc­cu­pa­tions are still el­i­gi­ble and in de­mand. These in­clude cooks, bak­ers, chefs, butch­ers, in­dus­trial, elec­tri­cal, con­struc­tion, equip­ment op­er­a­tion, tech­ni­cal jobs in nat­u­ral re­sources, agri­cul­ture, pro­cess­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, util­i­ties su­per­vi­sors, and cen­tral con­trol op­er­a­tors. All these skills are au­to­mat­i­cally clas­si­fied as skill type ‘B’ and will be ad­mit­ted into the pool. If an in­di­vid­ual has a job of­fer, then an ad­di­tional 50 points will be granted.

Pre­vi­ously, no ex­tra point was awarded for Cana­dian study. The only ben­e­fit was that those in­di­vid­u­als who stud­ied in Canada were ex­empted from pro­vid­ing the stan­dard ed­u­ca­tional cre­den­tial as­sess­ment re­port.

Un­der the new sys­tem, ad­di­tional points are be­ing awarded for Cana­dian study as fol­lows: 15 points for one-or two-year post-sec­ondary pro­gramme; 30 points for a three-year pro­gramme, mas­ter’s, or PhD. The ap­pli­cant will need to prove that they were phys­i­cally present in Canada in a pro­gramme for at least eight months.

Many in­ter­na­tional stu­dents are re­lieved to see this change as this means that their chances of re­ceiv­ing per­ma­nent res­i­dence af­ter a min­i­mum of one year of study have im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly.

The pro­vin­cial nom­i­nee pro­gramme is still the most valu­able way of gain­ing 600 points to get an ITA for per­ma­nent res­i­dence.

Once an ITA has been granted, a can­di­date has 90 days in­stead of 60 days in which to sub­mit all the sup­port­ing doc­u­ments for fi­nal pro­cess­ing.

It is ex­pected that around 51,000 in­ter­na­tional ap­pli­cants will re­ceive per­ma­nent res­i­dence in 2017. The key is to have a strat­egy to en­sure that you max­imise your points in or­der to be se­lected.

I strongly rec­om­mend that you meet with an im­mi­gra­tion lawyer to as­sess your el­i­gi­bil­ity and have an im­mi­gra­tion plan.

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