If you are going to go all the way through the process of applying for permanent residency through the Canada Express Entry program the least you can do is be prepared. Gather all the information you need to improve your chances.
We look at 5 important things you could do to help improve your chances of succeeding and getting invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency;
- First, Take a Realistic Assessment of Your Potential Score
So let’s assume you have a first degree, have at least 2 years work experience, you do not have a sibling or parent living in Canada etc, the Canada Express Entry program is a point based system. Each of the key areas such as education, work experience, language ability, siblings in Canada, work experience in Canada, job offer from Canada and more have points. So for each box you tick you accumulate points. Checking for an estimate of your score (based on the current qualifications you have) is a good way to start your express entry application as it helps you identify how much gap you need to close. In the Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide we show you via video how to take a quiz on the immigration site to find out your current score based on the parameters you have.
2. Understand How the Points System Works and the Cut Off Scores
So continuing from number 1 above you need to understand not just how points are allocated but how selection is made and what cut-off scores mean. So for every draw that is held (the draws for Federal Skilled Workers program is done every two weeks except once in a while where that is interrupted to hold the Federal Skilled Trade draws) there is a cut-off score.
The cut-off score is usually the score of the lowest applicants selected from the pool. So let’s assume 3,500 applicants are selected from a draw, they will usually selected the top 3,500 applicants with the highest score (from top to down). The score of the 3,500th person selected is the cut off score. So as someone intending to succeed with your application you should always check at least the last 3 draws to compare what the cut off scores are. This is what you use as a benchmark so once your CRS score matches or exceeds the usual cut off scores then you are sure to be selected in the next draw.
So let’s say you check the last three draws (as at the time of writing this article a draw was held this week and the cut-off score was over 470) and the cut off scores are 464, 461, 471. Get the average of the 3 scores which should be 465. This should be the minimum score you aim for.
3. Create Your Express Entry Profile (and then upload your profile as soon as possible)
Time counts in the Express Entry program. For every draw when there is a tie of 2 or more people having the same lowest score (cut off score) for selection the system picks the candidates based on who created their express entry profile first.
So you see why every day you spend in procrastination costs you.
Get your academic documents verified, Take your language tests and set up your profile as quickly as possible. If you need help Our Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide will show you every step.
4. Ace Your Language Tests
For some candidates who do not have things that can give them points like having a sibling in Canada, having Canadian work experience, getting a job offer from Canada etc the language tests become important. Hitting the top band of your language tests (IELTS or CLB for English Language) can earn you up to 34 points which will significantly boost your CRS score. Same goes for the French Language tests. We advise you prepare hard for the language tests and try to get the highest band of scores. (Check out The Complete Canada Permanent Entry Guide for tips on preparing for IELTS)
5. Know What to Do If Your CRS Score is lower than previous cut-off scores
Like we said earlier you need to compare and benchmark your CRS score with the cut-off scores in recent draws because those cut-off scores are the minimum score you need to have to stand a chance of being selected. So if your CRS score is much less than the cut-off scores how do you improve your scores so you can get in the selection range?
Some of the things you can do include;
- getting a job offer from a registered organisation in Canada. Depending on the NOC of the job (the Complete Guide shows you videos of how to get the NOC of a job in Canada) you could get additional between 50 and 200 points if you show a valid job offer from Canada. The higher the job the higher the point with management level jobs getting you points closer to 200. Getting a job offer from Canadian organisations is not easy but we show you ways you can do that. If you succeed it helps your total CRS considerably.
- Improve your education: If you selected one degree as your current educational status you can get additional points by acquiring recognised diplomas or certificates to increase your education level to two or more degrees/diplomas. Diplomas are any post secondary education certificate recognised by the Canadian immigration authorities. We showed in the Complete Guide some diplomas and certifications you can prepare for and take the exams in 3 months to boost your education level to the next band and improve your score. If you have a Masters degree of course it becomes easier as you simply select the Masters degree level which gives you considerably more points than the one degree level and the two or more diplomas level. We explained this more in the Canada Guide here.
- Taking additional language tests; If your score is low and you can do the extra work, take additional language tests and aim for a high score. If for instance you have very good score in English language test (eg IELTS) you can do the French language test (either TCF or TEF). If you score high enough that could give you an additional 34 points.
Ready to kick ass in your Canada Express Entry application? Get the Complete Canada Permanent Residency Guide