Express Entry Points for Siblings

Express Entry: Points for siblings and French speakers start June 2017

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The new Express Entry points for siblings and French speakers will come into force on June 6, 2017. Learn more about these, and other changes to permanent residency qualification in Canada.

Immigration authorities have announced new ways for permanent residency hopefuls to gain the points they need to qualify for a permanent residency invite under the Express Entry system.

Candidates will soon be able to gain additional points for having a sibling in Canada. Those with French language skills are also set to benefit from increased points under the new rules.

The changes come into force on June 6, 2017, and the points will be awarded under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

The CRS is a score out of 1,200 used to benchmark federal economic applicants against one another.

It’s a part of the Express Entry mechanism, which was established in January 2015 to process residency applications.

The score is used as a cut-off point in Express Entry draws. It is designed to project a candidate’s likelihood of being economically successful in Canada.

Express Entry Points for Siblings

Express Entry candidates currently receive no additional points for having a sibling in Canada.

From June 6, 15 additional CRS Express Entry points will be given to candidates who have a sibling living in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the government department responsible for immigration in Canada, explains that to qualify, the candidate will need to prove:

  • The sibling is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, living in Canada.
  • The sibling is over 18 years of age.
  • The sibling shares a mother and/or father with the principal applicant OR their spouse / common-law partner.

Relationships through adoption will qualify under the new rules.

The CRS Express Entry points for siblings are being offered as the IRCC believes the support network a sibling offers “has been shown to improve health and social outcomes by accelerating a newcomer’s integration into their new life in Canada.”

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Express Entry points for French language skills

CRS Express Entry points are available for proficiency in English and/or French.

Currently, permanent residency hopefuls receive 136 points for their first official language, and 24 points for their second official language.

From June 6, 2017, 15 bonus points will be made available to candidates with strong French language skills. 30 bonus points can be availed of by candidates with a proficiency in both languages.

To avail of the 15 points, candidates must:

  • Achieve test results at Level 7 or higher in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NLC).
  • Receive an English language test result of CLB 4 or lower.

To avail of the 30 points, candidates must:

  • Achieve test results at Level 7 or higher in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NLC).
  • Receive an English language test result of CLB 5 or higher.

“French-speaking newcomers contribute to the growth, vitality, and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada,” IRCC explained.

Job Bank registration will become voluntary

Currently, all candidates must create a Job Bank account if they do not already have a valid job offer or provincial / territorial nomination. This step is necessary in order to be placed into the Express Entry pool and become eligible for an invitation.

From June 6, 2017, Job Bank registration will be voluntary. Candidates who meet the criteria to be placed in the Express Entry pool regardless of whether they have registered for Job Bank.

Candidates who choose to start their job search will be able to register for Job Bank if they choose to do so.

Express Entry changes

These are the latest changes to the Express Entry system, which was introduced in January 2015 to select candidates for permanent residency in Canada.

Last November, a series of changes meant the CRS points awarded for a qualifying job offer fell dramatically, from 600 to either 50 or 200. Bonus points were also awarded to candidates who completed education in Canada.

This raft of changes is not as dramatic as those that occurred last November. As such, it’s unlikely to lead to a major shift in the number of CRS points required by candidates before they can qualify for an invitation to apply for residency.

It will however be welcomed by those with siblings in Canada, and French speakers, and is in line with the Canadian government’s stated objective to make it easier for families to relocate and reunite in Canada.

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