Top 5 Things to Prepare Before Submitting Your Express Entry Profile

Season 1 – Episode 2

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 2 of the Canadian Immigration Podcast. In this episode I will be discussing the Top 5 things you need to do to prepare yourself before even thinking about submitting your Express Entry profile.

Opening Tip: Do not take an English Test first as indicated on the CIC Website

By following the 5 sequential steps below, you can save yourself up to $500 CDN in the event you are ineligible for Express Entry. Not everyone who wants to enter their profile into the Express Entry pool, will be able to meet the minimum eligibility criteria. If you follow these 5 sequential steps you will be able to know, at the earliest possible stage, whether or not you are ineligible from submitting your profile and whether or not it makes sense to pay the approximately $200 CDN for a language test and $300 CDN for an Educational Credential Assessment. I believe that there is no point in wasting your money unless you know there is nothing preventing you from applying.

  1. Assess your admissibility to Canada.
  2. Determine if you have at least 1 year of Skilled Work Experience.
  3. Take the Language Test.
  4. Get an Educational Credential Assessment done.
  5. Determine if you qualify for one of the Economic Immigration Programs (FST, FSW or CEC).

[Tweet “When determining eligibility for Express Entry, taking an English Test is not the first step.”]

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How to conduct an initial Express Entry screening to determine if you qualify.
  • How to obtain a language test and the minimum scores for Express Entry.
  • How to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment.
  • How to determine if you meet the specific requirements of the individual PR programs (FST, FSW, and CEC).

Explore Additional Resources

In this episode we mentioned the following resources:

I will be speaking at the follow upcoming events. If you would like to register, please follow the links below for further information. Let me know if you will be attending as I would love to meet you in person.

Question for our Next Podcast

Have you had your Express Entry application returned, or refused? If so, let me know and I will share in Season 1 – Episode 3, some helpful suggestions for improving your chances of success on the second attempt.
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Read the Transcript

You can read a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode, [spoiler]Welcome to the Canadian immigration podcast season 1, episode 2. 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.

In today’s episode I’m going to be discussing the top five things you need to do to prepare yourself before even thinking about submitting your profile into the express entry pool. CIC’s instructions for submitting your profile into the express entry pool are pretty clear. If you go to the website, they will tell you step one, take your language test, step two get your foreign education assessed. And finally confirm your skill work experience abroad. So three steps, language test, get your education, then confirm your skilled foreign worker experience.

Well I can tell you that if you follow these steps right off the bar, without doing anything else, you’ll be wasting your money. I really don’t want you to do that, so let me help you save $500 before you even get started. First thing I want to indicate is that to take the language test it’s going to cost you between 265 to 300 Canadian dollars to do that. To get your education assessed, it’s going to cost you between 200 and about 226 dollars to get your foreign credentials assessed.

Now I don’t want you to waste that money if you are not yet at a position in which you can even submit your profile into the portal. And the reality is if it’s going to take you a couple of years to qualify by that time your language test could have expired, generally English language test lasts for two years. And the educational credentials assessments are good for about five. So we are not so concerned about them lapsing, and then you not being able to use them later, but the reality is if you want that $500 in your pocket now, if you are not even going to come close to qualifying, then you need to follow my tips that I’m going to give you right now.

My opening tip to save money is one don’t take the language test first. So despite CICs instructions to rush off and spend that money, hold off for now and here are the five most important steps that you need to do first. So number one, assess your admissibility. Let’s face it not everybody is going to be admissible to Canada, sometimes you make stupid decisions when we are young, and we end up with criminal records for relatively small things, but even small things can result in inadmissibility to Canada.

When it comes to assessing admissibility, the government looks at a number of different things, and I’m not going to give you a comprehensive list here because that’s — we don’t really have time for that. But you could be found inadmissible for health grounds, if you’ve had an illness, financial reasons and ultimately the financial will result at the end of the process when they ask you to provide the necessary settlement funds to be able to establish yourself in Canada. And if you can’t prove you have sufficient funds to do so, then that can also scuttle the whole process. So it’s better to assess now whether you think you will be able to achieve a sufficient financial support if needed.

The third possible reason for getting — receiving a finding of inadmissibility is misrepresentation on a prior application, or in an interview with CIC. So if you’ve had that in the past that can also prevent you from being able to qualify. And then obviously there are the more serious things like I indicated, there’s human or international rights violations, an individual can be convicted of a crime abroad like I indicated. But there are ways to overcome the criminal and inadmissibility, which I’ll put some information in the show notes that can help you if you found yourself to be in a situation where you’ve got a criminal conviction, but you are just not sure whether it will make you inadmissible to Canada.

So I’ll put in my show notes a link to the CIC website where that website will give you information on what does and does not constitute inadmissibility. And then from that site or that web page you can then click on the sentence that reads, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime you have a few options. And so when you click on that it will then take you to information related to criminal rehabilitation. And that criminal rehabilitation is available to individuals who have had prior criminal convictions, and it’s a way of permanently removing that inadmissibility.

And like I said let’s face it, nobody is perfect, we make mistakes but if you’ve had a prior conviction for anything from theft or assault, driving under the influence, or possession of — or even more serious things trafficking in drugs, or dangerous driving or manslaughter, or any of these different possible crimes. If you’ve been convicted of those, you could be barred from even getting through the program. And the problem is you will waste all of your time, all of your money applying to be drawn and given an ITA through the pool, ultimately to provide your permanent resident documentation and submit that application, and then at the very end be told that you are criminally inadmissible to Canada. So I don’t want you to do that, so make sure step one determine if you are admissible.

Now let’s move on to step two, obviously to qualify through many of the economic permanent resident streams, you need to have foreign skilled work experience. And this is skilled work experience, and in the case of permanent resident programs in Canada, you actually need to have at least one year of skilled work experience. Now that skilled work experience can be inside or outside Canada, so it doesn’t matter where you’ve acquired it. But ultimately that determination as to whether the work you did is actually considered to be skilled is critical. If you are not careful in how you assess it when you submit your application, CIC could determine that it’s actually not skilled and something less than skilled and leave you right back at the beginning.

So understand, I’m telling you these tips so that you don’t waste any money yet, until you’ve assessed these two most important factors. In order to determine whether your job actually equates to skilled work within Canada, you have to go to the national occupational classification system. Now beware there are two different ones, there is one for 2006, which is used exclusively by the temporary foreign worker program. I won’t get into all the details why they are still using that other than saying they probably don’t have enough resources to switch over to 2011 version, because all of the temporary foreign worker program resources are all tied and linked to the NOC 2006.

So you don’t use the 2006, you actually use the NOC that’s been developed — that’s the NOC 2011, that is what you use to determine whether your position is skilled for the purposes of applying for express entry. Now in order to help you so that you don’t get confused I’m actually going to put a link to the NOC 2011 within the show notes, so you can click on that, know that the positions that you are researching are actually coming from the right occupational classification system. Now a few extra little tips to help you, the title is important to kind of get you pointed in the right direction.

So whatever your title was working abroad, you can search for that title within the NOC, but do not rely on that title being the actual position that you are working in. You must take a very close look at the job duties that you actually performed, and then equate those job duties whether you completed the position like I said in Canada or abroad. Equate your job duties and the employment requirements for that position with what is specifically set out in the NOC. And I could take a whole podcast and go through all of the steps that we go through to determine this equating of your foreign skilled experience with the particular position profile that’s allocated on the NOC to determine if it really dos match. That’s a podcast in and of itself, so I can’t get into that today, but maybe I’ll save it for a later date.

But just know that you need to really look at matching up those job duties and making sure that the requirements the NOC list for that position are exactly what you needed to fulfill the position you were doing, that you want to include for the purposes of express entry. Okay, I think you’ve got that. All right step three, now finally you are going to folk over some cash and take the language test. You can’t even get into the profile, [speeding] your profile into express entry unless you have taken an official English test. The two sources that are accepted by immigration are the IELTS, the international English language testing system. And this one is good for individuals who have learned their English through the UK, Australia, New Zealand, because that’s how the languages, the accents, the terminology that they use.

So sometimes I have had clients indicate that if they receive their English training abroad, outside of Canada that the IELTS test actually was pretty good, so they use that one. Then there’s the CELPIP which is the Canadian English language proficiency index program. This was developed in Canada, so it’s our in-house little program that is used to assess English, and you are dealing with English speakers here. So one of the things if you’ve learned English in Canada, this test sometimes I’ve clients express that’s it’s a little bit easier for them.

So you choose either one that’s acceptable, you write that test, and that’s not it. You must take a look at what your score is. So if you are an individual who’s been working in Canada, there’s two different levels of English that you need to meet depending upon the classification that your position falls under. So if you have been working for one year in Canada at least one year, in a NOC B, so that’s the national occupational classification skill level B, trade level specialized technologist, technician that kind of level. Then you’ll need a CLB of five and that’s for every category, not average, every category, if you are going to be qualifying under the Canada experience class.

If you have that one year work experience, but in Canada, but it’s under NOC A professionals, or O senior managerial or management positions, then you must have a CLB of seven, so understand that distinction. If you are applying from outside of Canada, and you have non Canadian work experience, then it’s pretty easy. The only program you can qualify under is the federal skilled worker program, except for the federal skilled trade program, which is also out there, but not typically — there’s much fewer people that would qualify into the federal skilled trade, it’s out there, but we are just focusing on the skilled worker program right now. So in order to qualify for that one you must have a minimum CLB of level seven under the — in order to qualify into the federal skilled worker program.

So if you don’t have at least a minimum level seven for your English, then you know what, don’t even bother getting your education credentials assessed, which happens to be the forth step along the way. So just to recap, step number one, determine if you are actually admissible to Canada, whether you don’t have anything that’s going to trip you up. Number two determine if your skilled work experience abroad actually equates, and would be considered skilled for the purposes of express entry. The third step is to take your language test and pay that money. And if you meet the minimum requirement once you have written that English test, then step four is to get your educational credential assessment done.

Immigration has set forth a number of designated organizations that can do this for you. But it’s important for you to understand that if you have Canadian post secondary education you don’t even need to do this. But if you are relying upon foreign educational credentials, then you must submit an ECA in order to get credit for those educational credentials. If you try to just include it without the ECA, and you just tried to include your background educational experience, you will get no points for it.

So if you are wondering why you are not getting any points for — under the comprehensive ranking system for education, it will be because you don’t have that ECA. So you will always have to support it, always-always with an ECA. I have a link in the show notes once again to the locations where you can obtain your ECAs, ultimately there are — there’s probably about five different organizations that you can use for just general assessments. And then for doctors and for pharmacists they have their own organizations, their own entity.

So there’s the Comparative Education Services that UFT [ph] continuing studies, the University of Toronto department of continuing studies offers, there’s the International Credential Assessments Service of Canada. The World Education Service, or the WES, which is very common, a lot of people use that. The International Qualifications Assessment Service, and the International Credential Evaluation Service, and obviously you’ve got a lot of choices.

So here is where I’m going to ask you to participate in this. And I want your participation, I want people involved. I want us to share our knowledge, because after all if we are going through this process and we are trying to guess what CIC wants, which really is what we are facing these days, the best way we can figure out what the heck we supposed to do is to share our experiences. So here is the question, I’ll post this in my show notes; this is what I want all of you who are listening to this to respond to.

If you’ve already gone through the process of obtaining one of these educational credential assessments, I want you; in fact I’d love to hear from you how it went. I would like you to post your response in the common section of this particular podcast, on the website. And I’ll compile the results, and I’ll release them to everyone as to which test the organization is the fastest, which one grades the best in terms of recognizing your credential, and the more information I get back from all of you, the better I can get the data that we’ll then be able to use — we will be able to use going forward. So lots of reports, lots of comments, that’s what I’m looking for, do all you can do to encourage your friends and other people that you know who’ve already gone through the process to share their thoughts, and it would be wonderful, I’m really excited about it.

Now as I indicated previously, these ECAs are valid for about five years, and ultimately when you file your permanent resident application, you’ll need to provide your reference number for the ECA report, and this is super important because if you don’t provide that, then when the time comes to submit your PR almost invariably they’ll ask for a copy of the whole electronic documents. So sometimes they ask for it, sometimes they don’t, but you’ll need to have it and keep it handy. So I always ask that you go ahead and you do this so you know right off the bat how many points you are going to get exactly, what that your foreign credentials will equate to in Canada, so then you can know where you stand with this — with the comprehensive ranking system, and your ultimate score.

If the report that you have shows that your foreign credential is equal to a Canadian one, then you’ll get those points, those serious points. If the report shows that there is no equation to a Canadian credential, then it’s pretty simple, it’s very unlikely you are not going to be able to qualify for the federal skilled worker program, at least you won’t get any of those serious points. However if you are currently working in Canada, then it’s possible that you could qualify under the CEC, or as I haven’t discussed a lot the federal skilled trade program.

If anybody wants more information about the federal skilled trade program they can email me directly, and then if I get enough interest then I’ll really delve into it. But it’s kind of the red head and step child, that program is not many people use it. And ironically because of that, if you do qualify into the federal skilled trade, in terms of the ranking of importance, Citizenship and Immigration Canada in Ottawa has told us, as immigration lawyers that they intend to rank in terms of priority for them. The federal skilled trade program is number one, because it’s the hardest to fill, and they’ve got so many numbers of people that they want to pump through that program.

And so number one is federal skilled trade. Number two is the federal skilled worker, and last but not least is the Canada experience class. So sometimes when they do these draws, and pull people out of the pool, they will pull from a specific program, and sometimes because obviously those who are often applying into the federal skilled trade program do not rank as high with the comprehensive ranking system. So if they decide to only draw a federal skilled trade, it’s possible that although you maybe — don’t rank high enough to get drawn under the traditional route, that they may exclude only to federal skilled trade, and you could see yourself getting drawn. So if there’s enough interest I’ll cover that later, but at this stage I’m going to move on forward.

So while you’ve gone through this process, you’ve got your ECA done, you’ve got your language test done, you know that you have level one year skilled work experience, and you are not inadmissible to Canada. The last step that I’ll share with you is that you need assess whether you meet the minimum requirements of each of these three economic programs to start with. So you can have all these other stuff, but if you do not meet the minimum requirements of one of these programs, then you can’t even get through the gate to start with. And I indicate one year skilled worker experience abroad is a baseline, because generally speaking if you do not have that, you are not going to qualify for anything.

So let’s go through these programs just so that you are aware from the government’s priority program, federal skilled trade, not that they are not all a priority, but if there’s ever a tie between these, the tie will go to the federal skilled trade program, then federal skilled worker, then CEC. Because the government always wants to meet their quotas for these programs, and clearly for individuals working and living in Canada, the CEC is probably the easiest one to qualify under, regardless — absolutely regardless of whether you are skilled trade, or you are the CEO of a company, CEC is the easiest.

But let’s go through the federal skilled trade program. So to start with this is something that I didn’t indicate when I was talking about language test, but you have to have a minimum CLB of level five in speaking and listening, and the CLB of four in reading and writing. And that’s the only distinction. The other programs CEC, federal skilled worker, you can’t average the scores. So you have to have that minimum of level five for CEC or seven, and for the federal skilled worker you have to have that minimum CLB seven. But with the federal skilled trades, they recognize that reading and writing is not super critical for trade level excellence, but speaking and listening is. And so they have it set at CLB five for speaking and listening, and CLB four for reading and writing.

You also need two years of work experience in the trade within the past five years, and you also need to make sure that that work experience meets one of the positions, the trade level positions that are set out under the NOC. And when we start to assess these a little bit more closely, you’ll see that there are major groups of occupations under the trade level positions that are set out on the CIC website, and once again I’ll provide another link to that within the show notes. All right, and then you have to have an offer of full time employment for one year, or you need a certificate of qualification for that trade issued by one of the Canadian provinces or territories, so that’s the federal skilled trade.

Now let’s move on to the federal skilled worker, the basic requirements, one year of paid skilled work experience, so that’s a minimum of full time skilled work experience over one year, or the equivalent in part time. So 30 hours per week is considered to be skilled, and so if you do the math that’s about 1560 hours in a year. So if you are working full time, that’s the minimum expectation to qualify, at least to meet the minimum standard. Also you need to make sure that your position is classified in NOC 0A or B, like we indicated before within the 2011 NOC, the one year must have been obtained within the last 10 years, and CLB level 7.

You also need at least a high school education, and finally last but not least and this is where I see many people trip up, so pay close attention to this. If you are looking to qualify from abroad, you do not have a job offer supported by a labor market impact assessment and you are applying likely through the federal skilled worker program. Even though you have lots of points maybe with the CRS point system, you need to make sure that you have at least 67 points within the six selection factors of the federal skilled worker program. So this is an assessment that happens before you even go through the comprehensive ranking system assessment.

And the six selection factors they look at are obviously there’s duplication here, one English or French. Two English — sorry, one English or French, two education, three work experience, four age, five job offer, and six adaptability. And so these six factors are based on a different ranking scheme than the CRS, so pay attention to that, go to the CIC website; take a look at whether you meet that 67 point threshold to qualify for the federal skilled worker program. And then finally make sure that you have for federal skilled worker, that you have proof of funds, so that you’ve got sufficient funds to meet the minimum income levels required to settle in Canada.

Now the final one, and this is the easiest one if you are currently working in Canada is to show that you have at least 12 months of full time or equivalent in part time skilled work experience in Canada within the past three years, so couple of points to note. If you’re on an open work permit, and you’re working– performing– you know you’re self employed, or if you gained your work experience under a co-op program while you were studying in school, both of these do not count.

So self employment and work under a co-op you can’t count it towards your 12 months, towards the three years or 12 months of skilled working experience within the three years before applying. And who does that affect? Well, it affects our post grad work permit students, the ones who go to school, who are often at least on the co-op side have had experience working in jobs, so you have to wait until you’ve worked for a full year outside of school before you can qualify, all right. It goes without saying that while in Canada that works needs to be legal, and to a large extent it has the potential of disqualifying refugees.

So if you’re here as a refugee claimant and you get that open work permit to allow you to work while your claim is being assessed, you can’t use that work experience towards qualifying under the CEC. So disappointing at this stage, but I will you keep you posted if I learn anything else about transitioning from refugee status to permanent residence through express entry. And then finally with CEC the language requirements are pretty simple if you have a work experience and NOC Zero or A, then you need a CLB which is the Canadian Language Benchmark level 7, and that’s across all of those different factors.

If you have work experience under NOC B, then the skill– the comprehensive– oh sorry, the Canadian Language Benchmark has to be at level five. So just to recap, for the CEC program the Canada experience class if you have work experience in NOC zero or A, then the Canadian Language Benchmark must be 7. If it’s NOC B, then the CLB has to be five. All right great, so those are my tips. So obviously there are a lot of different ways of preparing for express entry, and there’s probably people that have different strategies, and different ways of collecting their documents, but from my experience if you follow these five short little steps, one you can save money without throwing it away, because you did not qualify under express entry.

You can save some money first to make sure that you really do qualify before you start spending it. So I hope these five tips have been helpful for you, there may be other suggestions that people have. I welcome your comments, and I’ll say this time and time again, I welcome people to provide input, to provide their experience, to share their stories, I love to hear those things. And hey if you’ve got anything that’s really, really applicable to what we’re talking about here, what we’re discussing, I’ll bring it on and we’ll talk about it in the next podcast. And with the world of CIC these days, it’s really challenging, because there’s no real clear policy on how you’re to cover off a lot of these different aspects of express entry, that are just not written anywhere.

So like I said the only way you can learn is by sharing your story, so please-please share your experiences, comment on this podcast, and ultimately share it with your friends and other co-workers if you think might be interested in hearing this. All right, now we’re going to shift to some questions from our listeners. The question that I have selected for this podcast comes from Desire; I’m going to call here Desire although her name is spelt Desire, D-E-S-I-R-E.

And once again this is another plug for you to go to the website, or you can alternatively leave a message on my firm website, and there is a widget on the side of the web page that indicates, “Ask an immigration question.” Go there, click on that thing; leave a voice message for me. If someone is having problems doing that, let me know, but that is wonderful way when I can have you ask your question, and I can put you right on to this podcast. I’m sure everybody would love to hear people’s real questions, rather than me trying to decipher their written emails.

But anyways this email is from Desire, and that she sent Friday September the 11th and its entitled “Spouses.” So she indicates, “Hello sir, I wish to ask if I can remove my spouses’ name from my application to express entry to have more points? The CIC already have his information on their website when I was applying for my work documents. I provided his name on my application when I was applying for my work permit. Can I give any excuse why I don’t want him to be in? I intend to enter, and then invite him when I have the permanent residence, thanks.”

Okay Desire, this is a great question, and I want to identify just one thing to clarify for those who are listening. So she indicated that she wanted to remove her spouse’s name from her express entry application, so that she can have more points. Well, when you’re assessing individual’s points through the comprehensive ranking system, single individuals get full points for some of the human capital factors, and the those who have family members they get– individuals get slightly less points in their personal capacity, and then their spouses are assessed to then make up the balance of those remaining points that a single individual would get completely right at the beginning.

So if you go to the CRS; Comprehensive Ranking System website, which I’ll post a link there as well, you’ll see how those points are broken down. So essentially for Desire she’s probably is saying that her husband is maybe going to have a little bit more trouble getting those points, and getting everything assessed, and it’s just easier if she goes through on her own first, and so she hopes that’s he can remove her husband now even though he’s fully on the radar of CIC, he’s been included with her application for a work permit, so they know he’s there, and she says, “Can I Give an excuse why I don’t want him to be in?”

Well Desire here’s the issue, if you do not want to include him within your express entry application and be assed, then there’s a way of doing that. So essentially what you do is when you’re in the express entry profile section, at the very top in grey boxes right in the middle you will a box that says, “Modify family information.” Click that box, then when you get to that site, go down to the bottom and click update information, and then it will take you to a questions that reads, “What’s your marital status?” Make sure that you keep married selected. You cannot and must not indicate that you’re not married when you really are. So make sure that that section is clicked, that it’s selected as married, then you click next.

Then it will take you to another question that says, “Is your spouse/common law partner included in this application?” And it’s at that stage that you select no. This will then take you back to your express entry profile, and you should see that your spouse should be removed from your profile, and they will not count towards your comprehensive ranking system points. So, but I want to reiterate, and it’s very important that everyone listens to this, this is– if there was anything that I could tell you about including a spouse or excluding them, this the single most important thing that you must consider.

You cannot indicate that you do not have spouse on a permanent residence application, go through the process, become landed as a permanent residence in Canada, and then go back and try to sponsor them. You must not, and you cannot do that because you will be forever barred from sponsoring them as a result of an operation of law, and the legal provision is section 117, subsection 9, subsection D of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations. I will post a link to this in my show notes, but you must never ever fail to disclose, and have that spouse examined.

Now ultimately those things will take place at the end of your application, and it will delay your permanent residence a little bit, but as of 2002 when they instituted the new immigration and refugee protection act, and they changed the legislation for immigration in Canada, they instituted this section to catch people who are actually doing that. So Desire I think your worry is more about getting more points right off the bat, and not having to worry about things.

So you disclose your husband, you indicate that he’s not coming, and then you go through the process, and you can land and then sponsor him later, but you must make sure at all stages that CIC is fully aware that you do have a spouse, it’s just that they’re non accompanying now. That will leave you the option of sponsoring them one day in the future when maybe timing is better for you, but under no circumstance if you have a spouse do you indicate that you do not, because it will come back to bite you.

So this is a pretty– a little bit more fulsome answer than I usually give, so I’m only going to answer that one question in this podcast, and then we’ll save questions for next week for the other podcast that I’ll be releasing on Monday. I’d like to take this time to just provide a few other little announcements. Some of the upcoming speaking engagements I’ll be entertaining if you’re in Lethbrigde, September the 23rd at Lethbridge, Alberta. I will be speaking at the Human Resource Institute of Alberta’s Canadian Immigration Law event, so you can go the show notes, and there’s a link to register for that if you’re interested, members and non members are both eligible to attend.

I’ll be covering a number of different areas including express entry, foreign work permits, and just a great overview of the current state of the land when it comes to foreign workers, and immigration programs in Canada. Also in October from the 27th to the 28,th I will be running a workshop at the Canadian Institute Immigration and International Workers forum that’s located in Calgary, and I’ll also be speaking directly to HR managers and other companies, employers in particular regarding the new and ever increasing compliance factors and compliance measures that immigration is instituting within the foreign worker program. I’ll be trying to demystify some of those, and provide additional information so that companies can make sure that they are compliant.

All right, next podcast I have a question that I really-really want people to answer, and our next episode of the Canadian immigration podcast I’ll be discussing something that I think everybody is going to be very interested in, either because they’ve had experience with this, or are going to try to avoid it at all cost. And I’m going to be discussing the most common reasons people have their express entry applications refused. So if you recently had your express entry application refused, I’d love to hear what happened to you.

Leave a comment on the website; you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, all that social media connections. Leave a message wherever it’s most convenient, ideally the commons section of this podcast would be ideal, but tell me why your express entry application was refused. I’ll select the most egregious refusals, and share my suggestion on how to fix the things that caused you grief. Now understand that express entry has been a real-real headache for many people, and sometimes we get bounce backs in applications when we have done nothing wrong, it’s just a computer glitch.

So I’d love to hear your reasons for refusal, what happened, share with us, let’s all learn together, and I’ll select some of the more egregious refusals, some of the worst ones, and see if we can offer any advice or strategies on how to improve that. I also want to reiterate that if you would like to ask me an immigration question, you can always leave that question on the website. There’s a number of different means which I’ve talked about, you can go to the little widget on the side panel of the immigration– The Canadian Immigration Podcast website, and click that and leave and audio message for me, a question.

You can also leave one through our– the form field on the website, or you could even go to the website which is my law firm website, and leave a question there. I want to reiterate, yes I’m getting a few people who are asking me to assess their chances of obtaining express entry and their– of qualifying through– to being admitted in the portal and ultimately receiving an ITA. So people are wanting me to do comprehensive assessments of their unique background and circumstances, and unfortunately that goes beyond the general kind of applicability of what we’re trying to do here with this free resource.

If you would like me to go through and specifically assess your likelihood of qualifying, that is more on the side of legal advice, and so if you need that specific legal advice go to the website, my law firm website Holthe Tilleman LLP, and you can go there and set up a paid consultation, and we can go through everything that you need. We can talk about the strategies that you’re looking at employing, we can develop long term plans, we can do all those things that you need, but this site and this resource is purely for general information purposes, just to help people just stay informed of what happening with immigration and what they need to do to give themselves the best chance of success when they do it themselves, so that’s the purpose of this site.

So if you can recognize that, please don’t get offended if I ask you to set up a paid consultation if I feel that your question is just too specific. But this is really designed to get questions from people that are generally applicable so that I can have the most benefit and help the most who are also experiencing those same types of problems. So that’s why we’re doing this. So yeah if you have a general question please-please leave it in the comment section of this podcast, or at any of the other various social media avenues that I’ve indicated.

Also I want to encourage you to subscribe to the Canadian Immigration Podcast on the website, and if you leave me your email address then I’ll forward you notifications whenever we have any changes that are occurring to the site, you’ll get instant notifications, you won’t have to keep coming back to the site to look for them. And also go to iTunes and subscribe to the Canadian Immigration Podcast on iTunes.

I would also love it if you would please just leave a review, good, bad I don’t care, leave those reviews, it helps me to rank higher within iTunes, and then make this more visible to other people who are experiencing the same challenges you are. So I’d love any comments or suggestions you also may have to make this podcast better, and so if you can share the love that would be awesome. Now finally I just want to remind everyone, I announced it in the last podcast that I did, but it is my intention to create a series of Canadian Immigration do it yourself guides.

These are going to be screen casted tutorials on all aspects of Canadian Immigration. The first one that I’m going to release November the 1st, so stay tuned is express entry, no surprises there right, the one that is causing most people the most amount of grief. So if you or anyone else you know is interested in learning more about this, and would like to be notified the moment this is ready, please go to the website, register you email, and then I will notify you immediately when this comes– when this starts to come for release.

So we’re going to have a fantastic launch that will be prepared here shortly in the next few weeks here that will lead up to the actual release of the this express entry do it yourself guide, I’m super excited about it, I think it’s’ going to be awesome. I‘ve poured in all of the knowledge that I have, all of my tips, all of my strategies, that of my staff members as we’ve worked on these applications over the past year, and we’re really excited, super excited because this is going to be a way for us to reach far more people than we’ve ever been able to do before.

I’d encourage you to go back and listen to season one episode one, that I just recorded which explains my rationale for doing this, and I can’t tell you how much I love sharing this information, knowing that it has the potential to bless the lives of people out there. And ultimately it’s all about service; it’s all about trying to help you navigate the complexities of immigration, so that you don’t fall into the same traps that many clients I’ve seen fall into, because they came to me too late.

So this is a way that we can give back, like I said I keep saying I’m excited about it, but it’s fantastic, and I’m– I just can’t wait to read your comments and to hear how your experiences, and to hopefully provide you with some value and something that you can use and be happy with. So this is the end of this podcast, it’s Mark Holthe here sighing off, and until next time when I offer more practical tips and information on Canadian Immigration law, policy, and practice to help you along your way.

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6 thoughts on “Top 5 Things to Prepare Before Submitting Your Express Entry Profile

  1. Hi Sir ,
    I have questios .
    * I’m foreign-worker in Canada since Jan 2015 , do I need LMIA to apply for PR , because we don’t have LMIA with my current job as supervisor .
    ( I’m bilingual person,I’m fluent in English and French too ).

    Thank you / Merci .

    • Hi Mark…I applied for Permanent Residence through Canadian Experience Class last June 2014..Finished Medicals lat Feb.2015.I requested for GCMs notes to know the progress of my Application..Illegibility-recommended passed,Medicals-passed..Security-not started,Criminality-in progress but towards the end of the notes it has no reportable trace..I called cic and i also emailed them about the status of my Application because its already 16 months since they received it and processing time is only 14 months..But they only said to wait!I don’t know what was the reason why it took so long for them to process..I also read in a forum that a lot of them who are june 2014 applicant that has the same sentiment as mine..afer medical no more news..What can we do so that cic will anser our specific concern and can they tell us exactly what happened with our file?Thanks

      • Jennifer,

        Thanks so much for your question. The short answer rests with the number of officers currently employed by CIC to adjudicate applications. Over three years ago, CIC started closing smaller offices in Canada as well as many visa officers abroad. Many officers decided to accept early retirement and other transitioned into private practice, such as Billie Young within my office who was the main admissions officer within the CIC office in Lethbridge, AB. Fortunately for me Billie came to work within our office. However, many good experienced officers were “downsized” and there was a wholesale reduction in force across the country. Once of the side effects of this process was longer processing times.

        From time to time, CIC places greater emphasis on some applications over another. When they do this, they assign officers away from some lines of business to others. As a result of the introduction of Express Entry and their service level standards of 6 month processing for 80% of applications, many officer traditionally assigned to process pre-Jan 1, 2015 FSW, CEC, and PNP applications are now working on EEs. We have seen processing times continue to climb in most business lines; however there has been a slight reduction in the PNPs from 17 down to 15 months processing.

        Ultimately, we are going to continue to see lengthy processing times of application under the old Economic Class streams until later in 2016 and likely early 2017 when the backlogs have all been flushed out and EE will rule the day.

        Hang in there. I know how frustrating it is. However, you have a bright future ahead of you if you can just hold on until your application finally gets through. You are not alone.

        I welcome any other comments people may have who are in the same situation as Jennifer.

  2. I think someone should help the farm workers as well as the skilled worker they work just as hard if not harder sometimes n they should be able to have opportunity to stay after x amount of yrs coming here

    • I agree 100%. As a kid who grew up on a farm, I agree that farm workers are just as important as any skilled worker. It would be nice for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program to create a stream for farm workers.

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