3 08, 2017


Express Entry Draw

Express Entry’s first draw in three weeks was on August 2. 3,264 candidates were in the pool receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence. Only Candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 441 or above were eligible to participate. Accompanying family members, including spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, may also come to Canada along with the principal applicant. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada aims to process complete submitted applications within six months. Apart from candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the record low threshold so far is 413*, in a draw that took place on May 31.

Express Entry Of May 26

Express Entry Draws of May 26 invited provincial nominees with a minimum CRS score of 775. In addition, there were candidates in the Federal Skilled Trades Class with a minimum score of 199.

Express Entry Today’s Draw

Today’s draw brings the total number of ITAs issued since Express Entry was first launched to 122,596. Of these, nearly half (54,487) have been issued in 2017. The increase in ITAs issued this year is a consequence of Express Entry becoming the main driver of economic immigration to Canada, with the backlog of applications submitted before 2015 now whittled down to just a handful of cases.

The increase in ITAs issued this year is a consequence of Express Entry becoming the main driver of economic immigration to Canada. There is a backlog of applications submitted before 2015 now whittled down to just a handful of cases.

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Canadian Immigration Experts assist in processing applications for express entry.

1 08, 2017

Happy Birthday Canada – Make This Country Your Home!

On July 1, 2017, Canadians cheerfully celebrated their favorite country in the world.

For thousands of people, old and new immigrants to Canada, a far land in the North has become a cherished home and the best country on Earth. And rightfully so!

Toronto, ON

In May 2017, yet again, Canada for the second year in a row,  was ranked second in the annual “Best Countries” survey from the U.S. News & World Report. Only Switzerland edged out Canada for the number one ranking, scoring a perfect 10 while Canada took in 9.7 in overall scoring.

But Canada ranked first in the “Quality of Life” category, scoring a perfect 10 based on a variety of sub-factors including politics, economy and health care. The report also cited Canada as being a “high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living.”

Canada ranked first in the “Quality of Life” category, scoring a perfect 10 based on a variety of sub-factors including politics, economy and health care. The report cited Canada as being a “high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living.” Undoubtedly a country of immigrants, relying on the “new blood” and talent of people, yearly arriving in Canada for permanent residencethe country is largely building its future on the best of the best, attracted by the open doors to the country for those who are professional, experienced and business savvy.

Only in 2016, Canada accepted 320,000 new residents of the country to offer them a new future where possibilities and opportunities are endless.

nova scotia, canada

Canadians love and appreciate what immigrants bring to this country. Canadians are used to people speaking numerous accents, representing their cultures and communities. Multiculturalism is not a mere term, but a reality which is a part of an every day living for us, Canadians.

In this country, we understand better than anywhere else, how different cultures and traditions intertwined enhance a success of a nation, where respect is a base for communication.

We witness increasing numbers of interracial marriages, kids growing up speaking their parents’ language as well as English and French, we see multicultural audiences in symphony concerts and baseball games, we honor each other’s heritage and traditions, and we celebrate our country.

Statistically, 99% of new immigrants find a way through the initial challenges which come along with a relocation to a new place and make it a success either in a corporate world or their self-established businesses.

Happy Birthday CanadaMost members of the team of Jane Katkova & Associates, including Jane Katkova-Brown, the Founder and Principal Counsel of the Firm are immigrants. We are a multicultural team, coming from many countries of the world, speaking many languages, talking with accents, loving tasting our national foods during lunch breaks, sharing stories from back home, jokes, and loving every minute of it!

All of us are parents, raising our children in one of the safest countries in the world. They are the new generation, for which Canada is home on every level. Our kids speak at least two languages, they are open minded and free from prejudice.

We are grateful for the opportunity Canada offered us.

Thank you, Canada!

Happy Birthday Canada!

31 07, 2017



The government of Canada has announced that the Start-Up Visa program, a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for entrepreneurs launching a company in Canada, will become a regular feature of Canada’s immigration landscape in 2018.


The Start-Up Visa program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada. More than 50 Canadian venture capital funds, angel investor groups and business incubators are now designated to participate in the program.


Since being launched in 2013, a total of 117 principal applicants have been approved for permanent residence through this program. These entrepreneurs represent 68 start-ups launched in Canada. The government is hopeful that more immigrant entrepreneurs will be approved over time, benefiting the Canadian economy.


Every company launched in Canada with the help of the Start-up Visa Program has the potential to be a big win for Canadians by providing middle-class jobs and strengthening our economy.


By making the Start-up Visa Program permanent, Canada will attract more innovative entrepreneurs who generate new business opportunities, create jobs and equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”


In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
  • Plan to settle in a province other than the province of Quebec;
  • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
  • Prove that the business is supported through a designated organization;
  • Show that the business meets ownership requirements.

No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.




Image credit: universityex.com

27 07, 2017


The Ontario immigration office has paused registration for the OINP Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream. The move comes following a surge in applications for the popular Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) category, which selects candidates from the Canada Express Entry pool.

There will be no further Notifications of Interest issued while the pause on registration is in place.

The stream has reached its current registration limit and no additional registrations for this stream can be accepted at this time. The program will also place a hold on sending any additional Notifications of Interest for the Human Capital Priorities Stream.

Those who have already registered for the stream are required to submit a completed application within 14 days of registering a profile on the OINP e-Filing Portal.

Candidates selected for the Human Capital Priorities Stream receive 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points under Canada Express Entry, effectively guaranteeing an Invitation to Apply (ITA).


To qualify applicants must have:

  • Pending application under the Federal Express Entry system;
  • Minimum of 1-year of full time, or full time equivalent work experience under NOC occupation level 0, A or B;
  • Canadian equivalent Bachelors degree, Masters degree or PhD;
  • Minimum CLB level 7 in IELTS general exam;
  • Intention to reside in the Province of Ontario;
  • Minimum of 400 points under the Federal Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System.





25 07, 2017


2017 has already been the biggest year for the Express Entry Immigration. Moreover, the spring and early summer period was a time in which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created new opportunities for candidates in the Express Entry to be awarded additional points. IRCC also implemented new strategies to invite certain candidates through program-specific draws.

The 26,653 ITAs issued during the second quarter of 2017 was more than the 24,632 ITAs over the first quarter, and more than double the 13,202 issued over the course of the final three months of 2016.

There were nine Express Entry draws conducted over the second quarter of 2017, four of which set new record lows for the minimum CRS required. This CRS threshold went down to 413 for candidates under Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Many candidates who entered the pool with CRS scores below the minimum drawn were able to raise their scores and obtain ITAs. More than half (55 percent) of candidates who received an ITA had CRS scores below 450 (the lowest score drawn in 2016). Core CRS indicated a candidate’s score without the additional points for a provincial nomination, a job offer, or post-secondary education obtained in Canada.

Since 2016, new additional points factors have been introduced for candidates with a sibling in Canada and for candidates with French ability. With these new factors, the range of possible ways to increase one’s score has expanded.

The most valuable single factor under the CRS is a provincial nomination, which is worth 600 CRS points; therefore, a candidate with a CRS score of 200 would become a candidate with a score of 800 as soon as he or she obtains a provincial nomination. With this nomination, a candidate will receive an ITA at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia (BC) have been particularly active with their enhanced PNP streams.In Ontario, a new approach introduced in the final week of June allowed Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) officials to search the Express Entry pool for candidates with experience in an Information Technology (IT) occupation, with a view of selecting applicants for the Express Entry-aligned OINP Human Capital Priorities stream. Candidates with experience in certain IT occupations were prioritized for selection, even if they scored less than 400 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Normally, Ontario only invites candidates with 400 or more CRS points. This strategy may be repeated, either for IT professionals or with other candidates in mind.


In Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream reopened on July 5 for Express Entry candidates in one of 16 target occupations, including occupations in finance, health care, engineering, information technology, academia, social work, and law. No job offer is required under this stream.


As in the case of Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category also seeks out candidates in certain occupations, and no job offer is required for eligibility.

BC has also joined the immigration process by prioritising IT professionals. BC also continues to invite workers and graduates in non-tech occupations.

More provinces are engaging with Express Entry in innovative ways, and that draw sizes remain large. Moreover, with a high immigration target for next year and plenty of scope for IRCC to invite candidates through the second half of 2017, it is likely that candidates from different backgrounds and in a variety of occupations and scenarios will continue to benefit.





Image credit: http://amirzadehlaw.com


24 07, 2017



Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) continue to allow workers, graduates, entrepreneurs, and their families with a pathway to Canada. The first half of the summer has seen plenty of activity, particularly from Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Alberta.


Through the PNPs, Canadian provinces can nominate individuals for immigration to their province. Some PNP streams, known as enhanced streams, are aligned with the federal Express Entry selection system. Streams that are entirely separate from Express Entry are known as base streams. An enhanced nomination results in the applicant receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool.


Under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2017, the government has set a target to bring in up to 54,000 new permanent residents this year alone.


The government of Ontario’s immigration department invited applicants to settle in the province via the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). A new strategy introduced towards the end of June for the Express Entry-aligned Human Capital Priorities stream allowed OINP officials to search the Express Entry pool for candidates with experience in an Information Technology (IT) occupation. This strategy lasted one week but may be rolled out again, either for IT professionals or with other occupations in mind.

All the while, under the Human Capital Priorities stream Ontario has continued to issue Notifications of Interest (NOIs) on a weekly basis to a broad range of candidates who may not necessarily have IT-related experience.


Moreover, the OINP continues to welcome applications under its other streams, which include options for French speakers, tradespersons, graduates, and entrepreneurs. On July 20, Ontario announced that foreign workers and international students/graduates could now apply for a base OINP nomination under the Employer Job Offer streams.


Nova Scotia reopened its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. This was welcome news for candidates in one of the 16 target occupations, which includes occupations in finance, health care, engineering, information technology, academia, social work, and law.


For just a few hours after the stream reopened, certain Express Entry candidates in the following occupations were able to submit an application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) without a job offer.


NOC 1111: Financial Auditors and Accountants

NOC 1114: Other financial officers

NOC 1123: Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations

NOC 1241: Administrative assistants

NOC 1311: Accounting and related clerks

NOC 2131: Civil engineers

NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants

NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media development

NOC 2281: Computer network technicians

NOC 2282: User support technicians

NOC 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

NOC 3233: Licensed practical nurses

NOC 4021: College and other vocational instructors

NOC 4211: Paralegal and related occupations

NOC 4212: Social and community service workers

NOC 6235: Financial sales representatives


Over recent weeks and months, British Columbia has joined the ever-growing group of provinces that are looking for IT/tech professionals. In BC’s case, the advent of tech-only draws through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) was announced after six such draws had taken place from May through to July. It should be noted that BC also continues to invite workers and graduates in non-tech occupations.


Skilled workers and business immigrants have been the big winners so far this summer under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). Most recently, on July 11, a total of 494 workers were issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA). With this letter, an individual may submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate under the MPNP.


The MPNP for skilled workers includes two categories, one for overseas workers and one for workers in Manitoba. These immigration options may be attractive to individuals who may not necessarily be eligible under the federal Express Entry selection system, as the eligibility requirements are different. For example, the MPNP awards points for language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 to candidates in certain occupations, a much lower threshold than what is required under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Manitoba’s skilled worker stream operates on a unique points system, and potential applicants must first register an Expression of Interest before they may be invited to apply.


Alberta has issued 3,150 provincial nomination certificates so far in 2017 under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), which has an allocation of 5,550 nominations for the year. Though Alberta does not currently align any AINP with Express Entry, individuals with a nomination certificate may apply to the Canadian government for permanent resident status.


The AINP consists of three main streams:


The Strategic Recruitment Stream is for tradespersons, engineers, and post-graduate workers.

The Employer-Driven Stream comprises of three categories for skilled workers, international graduates, and semi-skilled workers.

The Self-Employed Farmer Stream is a way for individuals to purchase and develop a farm in Alberta.

20 07, 2017


The government of Ontario has cautioned applicants to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) that some people have received emails claiming to be sent by the OINP. In these emails, the receiver is sent a false Ontario Certificate of Nomination and is asked to pay a “Right of Permanent Residence Fee.”

The certificates use the Government of Ontario Logo and the address of “400 University Avenue” in Toronto. Ontario is asking individuals who receive such an email to report it to their government authorities.

The OINP states that individuals who have not applied to the program and who do not have an application pending will not receive a confirmation letter or nomination certificate from the OINP.


  • No Certificate of Nomination will ever be emailed to you by the OINP.
  • The contact telephone and fax number on the certificate contain a 708 area code. This is NOT an area code used in Ontario and is not connected to the OINP in any way.
  • The false nomination certificate refers to the CIC Visa Office. The Federal Government of Canada has changed the name of the department that deals with Canadian immigration. It is now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • You will never be asked to make a payment to the OINP through a wire transfer, and you will never be asked to pay a “Right of Permanent Residence Fee”. Applicants to the OINP pay a one-time upfront administration fee to the program, through the online system, and do not pay for a nomination certificate when and if it is granted.
  • The update goes on to note that the OINP does not contact people by phone or email to make a payment. Persons who are asked to do so are asked to forward the information to the OINP at [email protected]


Ontario also asks people to never give out personal information such as account numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords or other identifying information in response to unsolicited emails or calls.


To report fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by telephone at 1-888-495-8501 or through their website: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreanitfraude.ca.



Image credit: yourhappyplace.ca

18 07, 2017


British Columbia (BC) recently began conducting tech-only immigration draws through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

At this time, BC has not itemized the number of Invitations to Apply (ITA) issued to candidates who have registered in BC’s unique Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) for the most recent draws.

Within the BC PNP Categories are established for skilled workers, international graduates, and entry level and semi-skilled workers. A portion of ITAs are issued under the BC Express Entry stream, with the remaining invitations issued under the ‘base’ Skills Immigration (SI) stream, not aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Candidates who achieve the following registration scores will receive an INVITATION TO APPLY (Guaranteed invitation) in the next draw for his or her chosen category:

EEBC – Skilled Worker  – 135 (MINIMUM SCORE)

EEBC – International Graduate – 105 (MINIMUM SCORE)

SI – Skilled Worker -135 (MINIMUM SCORE)

SI – International Graduate -105 (MINIMUM SCORE)

SI – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled -95 (MINIMUM SCORE)


BC in not the only province that has made moves to increase the number of IT/tech workers immigrating. Over the past year, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have each, in their own way, prioritized these workers for provincial nomination.

14 07, 2017


According to a report of Communication Technology Council, Canada needs 182,000 workers in the Information Technology (IT) sector by 2019. As a result, the number of candidates with IT work experience being invited to apply has increased over time.

In order to apply for a provincial nomination, candidates must first create an Express Entry profile. Provinces use their Provincial Nominee Program streams in different ways. For example, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan open their doors on a first-come, first-served basis to candidates in specific occupations, whereas Ontario searches for candidates in the pool before issuing a provincial Notification of Interest (NOI).


Certain provinces, using their Provincial Nominee Program streams, are explicitly seeking out IT workers in the Express Entry pool. For example province of Ontario, which is very popular destination for permanent residents, has a Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream that only selects eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool. Applications under this stream are submitted through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

Candidates with work experience in any of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes were eligible to receive a NOI, even if they scored less than 400 points:

  • Telecommunication Carriers Managers
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)
  • Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
  • Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  • Web Designers and Developers
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Computer Network Technicians
  • User Support Technicians
  • Systems Testing Technicians
  • Broadcast Technicians
  • Graphic Designers and Illustrators


Halifax, the capital and largest city in Nova Scotia is the 13th largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Of the 16 occupations on Nova Scotia’s list of targeted opportunity occupations for its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream, four are IT occupations:

  • Information systems analysts and consultants
  • Computer programmers and interactive media development
  • Computer network technicians
  • User support technicians


The government of Saskatchewan began to let nominees and other stakeholders know that a new tech careers web page is now available, showing the range of tech-related jobs in the province, which is located in Western Canada.


New Brunswick was looking for newcomers in the following occupations:

  • Information systems analysts and consultants
  • Database analysts and data administrators
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • Web designers and developers
  • Computer network technicians
13 07, 2017


Candidates who applied for Express Entry program with 440 or more points have been invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence in the July 12. A total of 3,202 candidates were invited this time around.

This draw is the second to have taken place since changes were made to the Comprehensive Ranking System last month. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Express Entry is now the main driver of economic immigration to Canada.

As more provinces offer innovative ways for candidates to obtain a nomination, and as Express Entry remains unpredictable in terms draw sizes and thresholds, the message is clear — creating an Express Entry profile and being proactive thereafter is the best way to take advantage of Canada’s generous economic immigration policy.



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