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Express Entry Changes: Fast-Tracking Potential newcomers with Siblings, other Skills


The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced last March that they will be making changes to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of the Express Entry Program. The changes might not be as wide-ranging as the improvements that were made last November but the changes still give more opportunities for some applicants to gain more points. This way, more candidates will be encouraged to apply based on their human capital, skills, and experience. These changes will finally be implemented starting today, June 6, 2017.

Here are the following changes to the Express Entry CRS:

1. Applicants who have a sibling in Canada may obtain additional points under the CRS.
“Having a sibling in Canada has been shown to improve health and social outcomes by accelerating a newcomer’s integration into their new life in Canada.” – IRCC
Candidates in the Express Entry pool with a sibling in Canada may be awarded 15 additional CRS points. A maximum of 15 points may be awarded for this factor; which means it is not based on the number of siblings because even if you have more than one sibling in Canada, you will still get 15 points. These points may also be awarded if the candidate’s spouse or common-law partner included in the application has a sibling in Canada. Take note that the sibling should be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years of age.

2. Additional points will be awarded to applicants with proven French ability.
Candidates who can speak French are able to obtain more points. A maximum of 15 points will be awarded to candidates who prove adequate intermediate (equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark, or CLB, 7) or better French ability, and English ability of CLB 4 or lower. Candidates who prove adequate intermediate or better French ability, and who also prove English ability of CLB 5 or better, may obtain a maximum of 30 additional points. In order to prove their French abilities, candidates must take the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF).

3. Registration in the Canada Job Bank is now voluntary.
For the past two years, this step had been a mandatory for candidates without a qualifying job offer or a provincial nomination. Starting June 6, it is no longer mandatory for candidates, though candidates may still choose to enter the Job Bank and pursue employment opportunities via this free service.

With all of the changes and improvements to the CRS, it can be a bit difficult to keep track of your points. Fortunately, these new changes do not cause any reduction in the CRS points total of the applicants. If you would like to know your current CRS points, you can use the new and improved CRS Calculator based on the newly revised CRS points system.


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