Why I think of a successful express entry applicant, I see an image of a young applicant, in his or her 20’s. He or she has a master’s degree and is very fluent in English. Furthermore, they have been working full time since they graduated, so they have about 3-6 years of experience under their belt. Here’s what it looks like:
A candidate describe above should end up scoring about 469 points. This is close to the cut-off scores so far in 2020. Now, to be clear, candidates can score more points if they have :
- A sibling who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Canadian Education
- Canadian Work Experience
- A job offer from Canada
- A Provincial Nomination
- Higher education like Ph.D or even better scores in the language exam.
- Knowledge of a second official language such as French.
But most applicants for express entry don’t have any of the above 6 factors. Or at least, that used to be the case. A couple of years ago, when the scores were around 430s, even a bachelors degree meant that a candidate had enough score to get an ITA. But now, without any of the six factors in the list above, one needs to fit the definition of an ideal applicant to get an ITA.
Why did the scores go so high?
The lowest score Express Entry ever saw was 413 in 2017. But with time, the scores kept going higher. One key reason is the increase in number of applicants who have Canadian education and/or work experience. When an ideal candidate described above gets Canadian education, and/or Canadian work experience, his score will go up even further, probably cross 500. That’s why this increase in the CRS is somewhat directly proportional to the increase in the number of international students in Canada.
Will the CRS scores come down this year?
At present, there are about 630,000 international students in Canada. As they graduate, a significant portion of them will apply for immigration. Out of those who apply, a lot of them will also be working on a Post-graduate work permit, and after completing one year of work experience their scores will improve even more. A few weeks ago, there was an express entry draw with 4,500 invites, the highest express entry has ever seen. Still, the score didn’t come down significantly. So, I do not believe the scores will come down.
What can you do to be successful in express entry in 2020?
Here a few suggestions:
- If you’re in your 20’s, and have at least 3 years of work experience, apply as soon as possible so you don’t lose any more points for age.
- Improve your English or French skills, so you can score at least CLB 9 in the test. Better yet, aim for CLB 10.
- Learn another language. If English is your primary language, learn French or vice versa.
- Improve your education, ideally from Canada. This will give you additional points and also will give you an opportunity to gain Canadian work experience through a Post-Graduate Work Permit.
- Aim for a job offer from Atlantic Provinces. That way you don’t have to apply through express entry, and you can utilize the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.
- Look into the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program (RNIP). If you can secure a job offer from these Rural Areas, you can apply for immigration through the RNIP instead of relying on express entry.
- Get in touch with some quality recruitment companies. They might have you connect with relevant employers without charging you an insane amount of illegal fee.