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Immigration Corner: Thinking of selling everything and moving to Canada

Published:Monday | September 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I've been thinking about applying under the express entry system to go to Canada, and I have my English exam results and credentials report ready to apply. I am, however, short on funds in my bank account but have an apartment and a car that I could sell, and I would have more than enough money for myself and my family. My concern is that I might sell my apartment and car and then never receive an invitation to apply, leaving my life in a shambles as I'm sure I couldn't replace those things easily. I checked my score and I realise that even though I could get in the pool, I only have 389 points. Can you tell me, based on my points, when I expect to get an invitation to apply?

- YT


Dear YT,

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) released a report on the express entry system that provided some clarity about the selection process, yet it did not increase our ability to predict when they will select a particular score.

In March, many practitioners and applicants were hopeful that there appeared to be a downward trend in the lowest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that was selected only to have their hopes dashed by the wayside in May when the lowest score went back up to 755.

I am really sorry that I do not have a crystal ball, or the ability to see into the future, as I would love to help individuals like you make important life decisions such as the one you described.

What I can glean from the report are the maximum and minimum points held by individuals currently in the pool. You can be comforted that there are even individuals who have fewer than 100 points that are in the pool, and a majority of the applicants seem to score between 350 and 399. Unfortunately, we are still left in the dark about when a selection will be made and the exact score that will be chosen.

The CRS is a points system that gives an individual a particular score based on factors such as age, education, experience, marital status, spouse's credentials, adaptability, and language skills. Individuals are then selected based on the highest-ranking candidates in the pool at the particular time that CIC conducts the draw.

Below is a chart which reveals the trend of selection. What is clear is that there is no predictable pattern, except that most of the individuals who are selected have Canadian work experience or a valid job offer.


Express Entry Rounds

Round Date of Draw Lowest Number of

CRS/Points Invitations

1 January 31, 2015 886 779

2 February 7, 2015 818 779

3 February 20, 2015 808 849

4 February 27, 2015 735 1187

5 March 20, 2015 481 1620

6 March 27,2015 453 1637

7 April 10, 2015 469 925

8 April 17, 2015 453 715

9 May 22, 2015 755 1361

10 June 12, 2015 482 1501

11 June 26, 2015 469 1575

12 July 10, 2015 463 1516

13 July 17, 2015 451* 1581

14 August 7, 2015 471 1402

15 August 21, 2015 456 1523

*The CRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited has been 451.

You should note that once an individual is admitted into the pool, a score is given and he will be obliged to simply wait on CIC to send an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. What you could do while waiting is apply for jobs via the job bank, improve on your English results, or even get higher education. You will be allowed to update your profile and improve your score while you are still in the pool.

I, therefore, strongly recommend that you submit your application, get all the necessary proof, and continue living your life. Now is not the time to hesitate. I am sure that you would be very upset if CIC announced that the lowest score was 355 and you had not submitted your application. You do not want to miss an opportunity to be selected.

You should, however, note that CIC has made it clear that unless you are currently authorised to work in Canada and have a valid job offer from an authorised Canadian employer, or you have received an ITA under the Canadian Experience Class, you must show that you have the required settlement funds, which is based on the number of persons in your family.

Once you have received an ITA, you will have up to a maximum of six months in which to provide proof that you have the required amount of money. Acceptable proof are cash, savings, investments, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, bankers' drafts, cheques, travellers' cheques, or money orders. A letter from your bank or investment company detailing the amounts held on your behalf would be sufficient. The account must be in your name or joint with your spouse. An account with your parents' name would not be acceptable. The letter must be on the bank's letterhead and signed by and authorised agent. An ATM slip will not be sufficient. A copy of the Certificate of Title for your apartment or car will not be acceptable. You will need to provide proof of readily disposable funds.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.