Question [Holthe Tilleman LLP website]:
Thank you for posting such useful information on your website. I wanted to ask whether the jobs advertised on the Job Bank were those that already have a valid LMIA, or whether an LMIA must be sought for once a potential job offer is extended by an employer.
I have received a CRS score of 393 after submitting my profile into the Express Entry pool. Given the fact the lowest CRS score awarded so far is only 451, can you offer some tips on how to increase my score so that I can get drawn?
[Tweet “Tips for increasing the chances of getting an ITA for Express Entry”]
Listen to Mark Holthe’s Answer
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- how the Job Bank works with Express Entry
- how employers connect with potential candidates on the Job Bank
- tips for increasing your Comprehensive Ranking System score
- a case study of who has qualified to receive an ITA so far
- what you need to get drawn without a job offer
Explore Additional Resources
In this episode we mentioned the following resources:
- Job Bank: www.jobbank.gc.ca
- National Occupational Classification System (2011): http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2011/Welcome.aspx
- Express Entry System: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/index.asp
- Express Entry – Rounds of Invitations: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/express-entry/rounds.asp
Read the Transcript
You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode, [spoiler]With Citizenship and Immigration Canada making it increasingly difficult to speak to an officer, there are few places to turn for information that can be relied upon. The Canadian Immigration podcast was created to fill this void by offering the latest information on Canadian law, policy, and practice.
Please welcome, ex-immigration officer and Canadian immigration lawyer, Mark Holthe as he answers a wide variety of immigration questions and shares practical tips and guidance to help you along your way.
Welcome back to the Canadian Immigration Podcast. This is one of our immigration answers segments. And today our question comes from Han and it came from via the “ask an immigration question form” on our website ht-llp.com. I’m still waiting for someone to leave a voice message on the “ask an immigration question” widget that’s on the right side panel of the website. I’d love to actually include an audio question versus me reading the questions that are sent via the fillable form. However, that’s just fine. We’ll move forward.
Han indicates the following; hi Mark, thank you for posting such useful information on your website; wasn’t that wonderful. I’m glad someone is getting some benefit from this, because in all honesty, I’m never quite sure. He goes on to say, I wanted to ask whether the jobs advertised on the job bank were those that already had a valid LMIA, or with the hunt for LMIAs only apply once a potential job offer is given? Han, that’s a great question. So when CIC set up express entry, they created a matching process, an employee matching process through the job bank where employers post their jobs, and the employees themselves then go forward and once they’ve submitted their express entry profile they have to register on the job bank with their profile there.
So when employers post their advertisements, they will get a report of potential candidates who have close to or the skill sets and education that they need to fill the position they are seeking. So Han has asked whether those jobs that are advertised on the job bank already have LMIA supporting them. In most cases Han, I would have to assume that a lot of the positions are linked in some respect with the LMIA process. It’s really difficult to tell if that position that’s being offered is one that is being posted, because they already have a foreign national that they have identified and are now going through the motions that Service Canada requires them to do in order to get an LMIA.
I would have to say that in most cases the ads that have been posted are probably not people with open LMIAs waiting to fill them with potential candidates in the pool. In most cases what happens, and I keep saying in most cases a lot, I apologize for that. Usually what happens is the employer, if they do have a job that they are offering will wait to identify you before they start the actual LMIA process. And so although you submitted your profile into express entry and have posted that profile on the job bank, if there’s a match with the employer, often that employer if they haven’t already identified someone would then select you and then at that stage start the process for obtaining an LMIA.
Now this whole process is quite new as we assist employers who have already identified foreign nationals that they wish to extend a job offer to. As we assist them, we can see that the job bank does provide a list of potential candidates who meet the requirements of their job, which obviously an employer needs to reach out and speak to. But if you are a foreign national, they have no obligation to talk to you at all unless you are the one that they ultimately are trying to obtain the LMIA for in the first place.
So it’s a little bit of a situation of being damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but in these circumstances, by getting your profile into the express entry queue, if an employer is not in a big hurry to have someone come, then they will potentially at least this is the theory of it, go to the job bank and say, “Here’s some people that are already ready and willing to immigrate permanently to Canada and fill a position for me. And so if I select them and then obtain an LMIA for them they would be guaranteed permanent residence, and they’ll come over and I can hire them in any capacity including the one that I’ve advertised once they become a permanent resident,” versus going through the old temporary foreign worker program.
But in all honesty, at this stage, we are not really seeing a lot of employers utilizing this wonderful e-harmony matching process to find potential candidates. Maybe that’s attributed to some extent because of the down turn in the economy, and they are just not as many companies looking to fill labor shortages because they are not as many. We are not sure if that’s the factor or really if just the system is just doomed to languish in mediocrity and not really be of any use to companies because it’s not practical. It’s hard to tell for sure. One thing is for sure when it comes to foreign nationals who are posting their profiles on the job bank, you have to do it regardless, so it would be wonderful if someone actually contacted you, but at this stage we are kind of in a wait-and-see position.
Han then goes on to indicate that the online tools gives me a score of 393, but I need to bump this up. And then he asks if there are any strategies for doing that, for increasing the score. Well let’s take a look at what we’ve seen historically to date. So as of all the draws that have occurred over the last little while since the program express entry was created in January the 1st or was rolled out, the lowest score that has been released by the government is 451 on July the 18th.
So what I did was I went through and I looked at all of the various human capital factors and skill transferability to see what a potential candidate, or a typical candidate would like who would have been able to succeed on that lowest draw of 451, to see what they would have required in order to have been given an invitation to apply, notwithstanding the fact they did not have a job offer and did not have any Canadian work experience. So basically someone who’s outside the country looking to immigrate to Canada through express entry.
So let’s pretend that this individual is single. Well, a typical example or the one that I can give you would be, say a 32 year old individual who had a Masters degree, at least a Canadian language benchmark score of 9 across all disciplines for English: listening, reading, writing, speaking, and at least three years of work experience in their field at a skilled level. So that type of an individual who is in the right age bracket, 32 is actually just a little bit higher than the 29 maximum, but you would still get 94 points for that. So you’ve got someone who is in the range of 32 years old, has a Masters degree, really good strong English, over a 9 on the Canadian language benchmark, and has at least three years of skilled work experience. Those individuals would likely get around 453 points or so, give or take.
So that’s kind of the individual that you are looking for, at least the government at this stage is looking for when they set the point threshold at the lowest point total which was 451. So if you think about that, what are the ways that you can increase your chances? Well obviously the things that you can control. If your language skills and your English is not as strong, well that’s an absolutely wonderful way of doing it. There’s not much that you can do about your age. So the longer you wait, depending on what your age is, the more those points are going to drop. And they do drop pretty quickly.
From an educational stand point, you do get more points if you move from a Masters degree to a PhD. And then ultimately that skilled work experience is really important. So make sure that you getting work experience that is classified on the National Occupation Classification system which is the one that the government uses, the 2011 version, that your position is considered skilled. In other words, that is skill level B, A or 0. But for all intents and purposes, it’s just not terribly easy right now to be able to qualify for permanent residence through express entry if you are not currently working in Canada, or have a company in Canada who is willing to extend that magical job offer.
And what I mean by that is that job offer is one that is supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment. And if you go to the website, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada has set at cic.gc.ca and you review the requirements for express entry, you’ll see that under the comprehensive ranking system and their scoring system, you get 600 points right off the butt for obtaining a job offer from a company that is supported by an LMIA, a Labor Market Impact Assessment. And really anyone that has that LMIA will be guaranteed to be drawn.
So those, it doesn’t matter what you are as long as you’ve got that minimum one year of skilled work experience to get into the whole queue, then if you’ve got an LMIA supported job offer, you are set. So I wish that there was an easier pathway for Han here, because I suspect he’s outside of the country, and is looking to try and find a way to connect with a Canadian employer so that he can get those magical 600 points. And especially today with the downturn in the economy that’s just not a real easy thing to do. So increase your English, just to summarize and see if you can increase either your education, or any of the other human capital factors such as your language ability and that will get you a few more points and maybe just maybe, enough to receive one of those magical invitations to apply for permanent residence.
All right, if you have a question that you would like to leave for me and have the answer podcasted back, please go to our website www.ht-llp.com and leave a message there, a written one or you can leave it on that little widget, the “ask an immigration question” widget that’s on the– located on the right side panel of our website. I also wanted to take a moment now to announce very shortly and possibly even by the time you are listening to this, the release of a new website, the Canadian Immigration Podcast website, hosted by myself, Mark Holthe where we will be answering a lot of different questions. We’ll also be having a more comprehensive podcast that covers Canadian law, policy, and practice.
And we’ll be giving some hands-on, well not hands-on, but some pretty specific guides and directions on doing a lot of different things when it comes to applying for Canadian immigration and everything from– you’ll find resources on how to request access to information when your application is refused, those [inaudible] [0:12:27] we are going to have instructions on how to obtain police clearances and tips for medicals and all these kinds of things that are just little practical things people take for granted, but some of you were hoping will find this information useful. The whole goal is to try and create a location that people can go to for simple answers to their basic immigration questions.
It’s probably a good time now also to identify that if you have a specific question that’s related to your unique circumstances and you send me an email, and sometimes people ask me do I qualify for express entry and they’ll give me all their human capital factors. That is not something that I would be able to respond to through a generic podcast answer. So individuals in those circumstances, I’ll apologize in advance, but I won’t be able to answer those questions. You would need to set up a paid consult, where we can go through and provide a legal opinion as to whether or not you would qualify for express entry, and also canvas all the options that might be available to you.
So you can go to our website ht-llp.com to book a paid consult with myself and we can do a little one on one coaching and a legal consultation. But if you have your general immigration question, leave it with us and we’ll be happy to try and answer it when it comes in. Thanks so much, and we’ll talk again soon.
Thank you for listening to the Canadian Immigration Podcast, your trusted source for information on Canadian law, policy, and practice. If you would like to contribute a question for future podcasts, or wish to set up a legal consultation with Mark, please visit www.ht-llp.com.
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