Editor’s Pick: Becoming a Canadian Citizen

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One of the best things about moving to Canada is the chance we are given to become Canadian Citizens someday. Luckily for us, CIC made big changes last October 2017 which include physical presence, and language requirements which made the application easier and faster.
FAQ: Should I give up my Filipino Citizenship? Read the Pros and Cons here (link).
Want to know who can and how to apply for Canadian Citizenship? Read on below.
Eligibility
The existing qualifications for Canadian citizenship application for adults are as follows:

  1. Be a permanent resident
  2. 18 years of age or older
  3. Have filed income tax returns for at least 3 out of 5 years
  4. Present in Canada for at least 3 out of 5 years
  5. Days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident,within 5 yearsof applying for citizenship, count as half days (up to 365 days) towards physical presence requirements.

To make sure you meet the Physical Presence Requirements, you can use this calculator provided by CIC: https://eservices.cic.gc.ca/rescalc/resCalcStartNew.do?&lang=en
If you qualify based on the calculator, print a copy of the result and attach it to your application.

  1. Prove the proficiency in English or French if you are between 18-54 years old

FAQ: I don’t have IELTS or CELPIP. How can I prove my English proficiency? If your diploma is written in English, you can use that as a proof.
Pretty straight forward, eh? Let us move on to the documents.
Required Documents
To apply for Canadian Citizenship, you must fill out the Application for Canadian Citizenship. You also need to attach the copies of the following information, documents, forms, required fees, including postal codes for all Canadian and overseas addresses. If any of the following is/are missing, the application will be considered incomplete and the application will be sent back to you:

  1. Application Package
  2. Document Checklist (CIT 007)
  3. Application for Canadian Citizenship – Adults (Form CIT 0002)
  4. Photocopy of Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)
  5. Photocopy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
  6. Photocopy of any of the following language evidences if you are 18 to 54 years old:
  • Results of an accepted third-party test (eg: CELPIP-G, IELTS, TEF, etc.)
  • Proof of completion of a secondary (high school) or post-secondary (college/university) program conducted in French or English either in Canada or abroad (ie: diploma, transcript, or certificate indicating successful graduation or completion)
  1. Photocopies of biographical pages of valid and expired passports or travel documents within 6 5 years or since you became a permanent resident
  2. Photocopy of both sides of two (2) pieces of personal identification, one of which must have photo on it
  3. Two (2) citizenship photos
  4. Original police certificates or clearance from each country (other than Canada) where you were present for a total of 183 days or more in the four (4) years before the date of application. (For Filipinos, some may be required to apply for police certificate/NBI Clearance)
  5. Copy of the result from the online physical presence calculator

Fees
Submit a copy of the Payment Receipt. The receipt showing total payment of application fees for individual or family members applying together. The payment can be made online as they don’t accept other payment methods.
Submit

  • Send your application to this address for regular mail:

Case Processing Centre—Sydney
Grant Adults
P.O. Box 7000
Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 6V6
Canada

Send your application to this address for courier mail:
Case Processing Centre—Sydney
Grant Adults
47–49 Dorchester Street
Sydney, Nova Scotia  B1P 5Z2
I am currently applying for my Canadian Citizenship. The process is pretty simple. So far, I have submitted my papers and have gotten an acknowledgement for it. Here’s my timeline:
Nov 20, 2017 – Application submitted
Jan 18, 2018 – AOR received
April 26, 2018 – Received Notice of Schedule
May 10, 2018 – Examination Day. 20/20 (passed)
I’ll create a separate article where or what materials I used.
Are you looking forward to becoming a Canadian Citizen? Watch me live on Filipino Portal and we can do a review study for the Citizenship exam together. Let me know if you are in the same process as I am. I decided to write this and post it while I just started my application so I can share with you my experiences as I go through the whole process.
Disclaimer: All the information in this article is solely based on the information posted on Canada.ca at the time being. To make sure you are update, regularly visit the official website and check for updates regarding the Canadian Citizenship application.
If you have questions, we got answers! Join the Facebook group to get access to the lively discussions about everything you need to know as you migrate/settle in Canada. Everyone’s welcome to join!

Disclaimer: Pinoy-Canada.com is not in any way connected with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) nor are immigration consultants by profession or agency any information or news shared on this site are gathered from updates from various resources.
 

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7 Steps on How to Do your OWN Taxes!

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Its tax season and Canadians are busy filing and looking at how to file their taxes. But did you know that, according to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadians can do their tax return online, on paper, or by phone?

  • Online- CRA provides a list of certified desktop and online software products. Some software products are free; you can check the list here. Another option is when you register for CRA My Account, you will have access to the secure Auto-fill my return service. If you use certain tax preparation software, it automatically fills in parts of your return, with information that the Canada Revenue Agency has on file for you.
  • On Paper – Starting February 26, 2018, you can also obtain a tax package at Canada Post, Service Canada, and most Caisse Populaire Desjardins locations. Limited quantities will be available in those locations this tax season only. Or you can order the 2017 tax package for free at this link.
  • By Phone – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is launching a new service for the 2018 tax‑filing season to help eligible individuals with low or fixed income do their taxes. Those who are eligible will receive an invitation letter in the mail in mid-February 2018 and can use the File my Return services thru phone.

Now, here are the steps to filing an income tax and benefit return:
Step 1. Gather all the information and supporting documents needed. Some of the tax slips and receipts are the following:

  • T4 Slips
  • Employment Insurance Benefits (T4E)
  • Interest, Dividends, Mutual Funds (T3, T5)
  • Old Age Security and CPP Benefits (T4A-OAS, T4AP)
  • All other information slips
  • RRSP Contribution slips
  • Medical Expenses
  • Moving Expenses
  • Charitable Donations
  • All other receipts

Step 2. Select the software you will use if you want to file online. Or get the general income tax and benefit package for 2017 if you want to file on paper. But consider the time frame when paper-based filing.
NETFILE- certified tax preparation software offers you a convenient and secure way to do your taxes online. The Canada Revenue Agency has a list of certified software, some of which are free, which allows you to complete and send your return directly to the CRA.
Certified softwares including those are that free are listed HERE.
Or you can get the 2017 tax package at Canada Post (limited quantities, while supplies last)
Step 3. Make sure your personal information is up to date. Important pieces of information are the following:

  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Banking Information
  • Address
  • Other personal information

Step 4. Report your Income
Declare the income you received in the year from all sources, both inside and outside Canada.
Step 5. Find out which deductions, tax credits, and benefits you can claim.
In order to get most of your tax refunds, you must know which benefits you can claim. It is all available on the CRA website, all you have to do is read and understand its content. But if you need help in knowing all those things, you can always hire a certified tax preparer. Meanwhile, here is the link for the tax benefits:
List of Tax Benefits you can claim.
Step 6: Send your return to the Canada Revenue Agency
If you are filing online, at the end of your form you have the button to submit it using NETFILE-certified software or through an EFILE service provider, such as a tax preparer and it automatically sends to CRA.
You can also file a paper return by mailing it to your tax center after completing it. (Consider the snail mail timeframe).
Step 7. Keep your supporting documents
According to CRA…

You must keep all your tax documents for at least six years after the last tax year they relate to. If you filed your return late, your records must be kept for six years from the date the return was filed. If you claimed expenses, deductions or tax credits, make sure you keep all your receipts and related documents in case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them.

 
Source:
Canada.ca
 
 

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It’s Official: Jollibee in Toronto, Date Revealed

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Since the arrival of Jollibee in Canada, a lot of questions about Jollibee branches opening in other provinces has been asked around. Numerous speculations and false predictions have been made because these fuel the hopes of the Pinoys in Canada. They all want to be closer to their Jolly favorites as it makes them feel closer to home.
Manitoba is very fortunate to have the first 2 branches, both in Winnipeg. With the growing Filipino communities in Canada, it is expected for the Filipino favorite fast-food chain, Jollibee, to expand as well.
Finally, Jollibee Canada has made an official statement in their recent post on the official Jollibee Canada Facebook Page.

Toronto will be having their own Jollibee branch targeting a spring launch! This is exciting news for our fellow kababayans. Now, they know that their Jollibee favorites will be available closer to them in the near future.
As for the other provinces, Ontario will be having its first branch opening this year in Mississauga located inside the soon-to-open Seafood City in Heartland Town Centre. Also, Edmonton might be having their Jollibee branch opening in 2019. However, there are no words about a branch opening in Quebec but Jollibee has been reportedly looking into it.
Share your excitement with us! Join our discussion when you like our official Facebook page link.
And if you are from Greater Toronto Area, join our fantastic group FB here

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Look: Tagalog, the Fastest Growing Language in Canada

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When you ask most Filipino immigrants in Canada, they would tell you that they feel at home in Canada. This might surprise you as Canada is far from being like the Philippines. With the weather, culture and economy, the two countries would definitely be worlds apart. However, what makes it feel like home to most Filipinos is the number of fellow Filipinos they see around. The fellow Pinoys who they can speak to in Tagalog make it feel like home more than anything else.
In the 2011 census, Tagalog, being the official language of the Philippines, is the most popular immigrant mother tongue in Canada after Chinese. We have seen a huge growth in the numbers speaking Tagalog if we look at the 2016 census. Canada’s fastest-growing language is Tagalog.
Top languages other than English or French spoken at home. Census 2016

Tagalog is now the top immigrant language in the Prairies and the territories. The growth can be attributed to the fact that British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all signed memorandums of understanding with the Philippines to fill labour shortages in the provinces. These provinces really did recruiting heavily in the Philippines in the recent years.
European languages are seen to be losing dominance. For example, in 2011, German is the top-reported mother tongue in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (other than English or French). In 2016, it has been reported to be Tagalog.
If we look at the major cities though, it may be different. Other than English or French, Cantonese is the top language in Vancouver and Toronto, and Tagalog is the top in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
Nevertheless, the growth in the immigrant languages does not mean that they are replacing English or French. In fact, 70% of people who speak an immigrant language at home also speak English or French.

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In Aid of Recognition for Filipino Professionals Overseas

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The enactment of Republic Act 10912 otherwise known as the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 is an imperative by the government to institute measures that will continuously improve the competence of professionals in accordance with international standards of practice. While the primary reason for the passage of the law is to adhere to the Philippine’s commitment under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement, it touches a very important issue arising from the Filipino diaspora in the global labor market: the recognition and reciprocity relating to professional qualifications.
Based on the 2015 Commission of Filipinos Overseas Statistics on Philippine International Migration, close to 40 percent of the over two million Filipino Emigrants are professionals or technical workers prior to migration. On top of the above numbers, there are about 9,839 employment-based Filipino immigrant visa holders, or those who left the Philippines for skilled-migration but are qualified to stay long-term or permanently in their host countries.
The top recipients of the above Filipino professionals are the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom.
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government of the Philippines is permitted to initiate negotiations for the mutual development and recognition of Filipino professional qualifications with another WTO member state under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
The Republic has proven that forging a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with its ASEAN neighbors is not an impossible dream. Thus, the time may be ripe to strategically ease the barriers to the supply of professional services to the rest of the world, where Filipino talents thrive. The provoking thought is not to encourage brain drain, but to recognize the realities of economic integration, globalization of trade and the trends in talent mobility, diversity and inclusion. Lack of proactive action plan on the part of government puts a significant segment of the long recognized contributors to Philippines’s economic resilience at a disadvantage.
While GATS may apply to other contracting state parties and professional services, let us examine an example which can illuminate the issue of recognition and reciprocity in relation to professional qualifications – Canada (the host country) and the Accountancy profession.
The facts and context
According to Canada’s 2011 data on immigration, there are 662,600 people of Philippine origin residing in Canada during that time and Philippines was its top source country for permanent residents in 2015, dwarfing approximately 15,000 Canadians residing in the Philippines.
Skilled immigration in Canada uses education, skilled work experience and language proficiency as selection factors. This goes to show that candidates possess transferable skills/qualifications based on the host country’s standards. However, as early as 2006, Statistics Canada revealed that immigrants who studied for a regulated occupation outside Canada were less likely to be working in that occupation compared to both immigrants who studied in Canada and those who were born in Canada.
In a nut shell, there is an existing and recognized disadvantage for migrants who are educated outside their host country where local equivalency of qualifications is not achieved or difficult to achieve.
The Issue
What is preventing the Philippine government from negotiating MRAs, to the extent that skilled Filipino professionals do not begin at ground zero?
Next Steps
Labor movement based on qualifications will work in favor of the Philippines with ongoing structural reforms in education (introduction of K-12) and professional competence (continuing professional development and negotiation of MRAs).
In the case of the accountancy profession, the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada has signed membership recognition agreements with international accounting bodies that allow Canadian CPAs to apply for membership in those bodies and permit their members to apply for the Canadian CPA designation. These countries include the USA, Australia and New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, Pakistan and South Africa. The effect is immediate in terms of employment opportunities.
Considering that the Philippines adheres to the same basic international financial reporting standards and fundamental principles, would it not be equitable to seek a pathway that would permit Filipino CPAs get through the process of professional qualification recognition in a less costly and more efficient fashion?
Even with an enabling foreign reciprocity provision in Republic Act 9298 or the Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004, not much progress has been achieved outside ASEAN.
It is interesting to know that in the bilateral Agreement Between Canada and Philippines for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (E101525 – CTS 1996 No. 46), it was the RP which made a reservation on reciprocity for services involving the practice of licensed profession.
Admittedly, there are complex issues involved both in the recognition of the equivalence and the authority to grant qualification; BUT it is not an impossible task and must be studied more carefully rather than be left without a strategic policy direction. The home country, with underdeveloped opportunities for its highly skilled and growing workforce needs only to create pathways that support a sustainable economic reality.
Again, if this was made possible under the auspices of the regional ASEAN integration, then there is no reason why Philippine authorities cannot take similar proactive steps to exhaust remedies available under GATS.
The obstacles faced by the millions of Filipinos in the international labor market are realities which have to be addressed, given the economic model the Philippines has adopted for over three decades and the benefits that accrue to it.
This phenomenal increase in the number of Filipino professionals overseas is an agenda both government and private stakeholders (including accredited professional organizations by the Professional Regulatory Commission) should be seriously working on.
While we hear success stories about migrant professionals who are able to hurdle the usually long and expensive process of qualification recognition, there are also many untold stories of professionals who were unable to pursue their field because of these barriers.
In this disruptive world, professionals need to be competent and agile. Thus, the political will of the government should put its money where its mouth is by enabling skilled Filipinos on all fronts.

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BREAKING NEWS: CITIZENSHIP FEES REDUCED

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The Federal Government is reducing the citizenship fee applications for minors applying without a parent (under the new rule of Citizenship Act). It has been lowered from $530 to $100. This follows a legislative amendment that removed the requirement to be 18 years old to apply for citizenship as of last June. It also brings the fee into line with the processing fees for minors applying with a parent.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on Tuesday and also said that:

“We encourage all immigrants, including those under 18 years of age, to take the path to Canadian citizenship and benefit from permanently belonging in Canadian society,” he said. “We are pleased that these fee changes will further facilitate access to citizenship for minors and reduce the financial burden for potentially vulnerable children.”

Those who applied and already paid the $530 fee for a minor applying under subsection 5(1) on or after June 19, 2017, will be reimbursed the difference of $430. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will contact these applicants directly to get a refund.
Minors who do not have a Canadian parent, or a permanent resident parent applying for citizenship at the same time as them, can apply for citizenship under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act. Therefore, the reduction in citizenship fees will help more minors, including immigrant children in the child welfare system or in the care of the state, acquire Canadian citizenship.
The department will be engaging provinces and territories, childcare agencies, immigration service provider organizations and other stakeholders to raise awareness of this change. The department will also provide information on how these institutions can assist minors in their care to acquire citizenship.
Source:
Canada.Ca
 

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Look: The Top 6 Canadian Provinces with Huge Filipino Presence

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Canada is one of the top destinations in the world, may it be for tourism or immigration. There are many reasons why it is and one will only find these out if one tries to learn more about the country.
Being a vast country, Canada has a lot to offer be it in terms of lifestyle or tourism, nature or bustling city life. It is also one of the worlds’ most multicultural nations. Various nationalities and cultures are well represented in all ten provinces and three territories. In fact, the influx of Filipino immigrants began in 1960s and continued on until today.
Most Filipinos were brought in as part of job recruitments early on. However, due to Canada’s Family Reunification Program that began in the 1970s, more and more Filipinos have also moved in. With the Filipino population rapidly growing, let us get to know the unique attributes and attractions of the top six provinces (with huge Filipino presence) that made them stay.

  1. Saskatchewan

Capital: Regina
Population: 1,098,352 (33,630 Filipinos)

Saskatchewan is the third prairie province, located between Alberta and Manitoba. In terms of economy, Saskatchewan supplies more than half of Canada’s wheat. It is the second largest oil producer, and the third largest producer of natural gas in the country. The agriculture and energy industries here employ most of the Filipinos in the province.

  1. Quebec

Capital: Quebec City
Population: 8,164,361 (37,910 Filipinos)

Quebec is the second most populous province and is located in the eastern part of the country. It is a mainly French-speaking society and Quebecois are very proud of their language and culture. As a matter of fact, Quebec City and Montreal clearly show the presence of their rich culture with the restored and maintained historic buildings and other infrastructures.
The economy of Quebec is mainly based on the services and mining sector. Most of the Canadian IT companies are based in Montreal and Quebec City. The mining sector of Quebec ranks among the top ten in the world.

  1. Manitoba

Capital: Winnipeg
Population: 1,278,365 (83,530 Filipinos)

Manitoba is located in the center of Canada, Ontario on the east, Saskatchewan on the west, Northwest Territories on the north, and North Dakota on the south. It is known as the “The land of 100,000 lakes” due to its watery geography.
There was a high influx of Filipinos in Manitoba in the 1960s-70s due to the recruitment for workers and professionals in Manitoba. Manitoba’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, tourism and energy. Big Food Manufacturing plants that supply fast-food giants, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, are located in Manitoba.
Filipinos can easily feel at home and find work anywhere in this province. In fact, there the only Jollibee stores in Canada are located in Winnipeg.

  1. British Columbia

Capital: Victoria
Population: 4,648,055 (158,215 Filipinos)

British Columbia, colloquially referred to as BC, is Canada’s westernmost province bordering the Pacific Ocean. Many mountain ranges run through British Columbia, including the Rockies, Selkirks, and Purcells. Thus, the province has the best climate for Filipinos as it can warm but not sweltering, and cold but not freezing.
The forestry and mining industries in this province is big and most of the first Filipinos here work in these industries. The employment market in the service industry here is growing mostly in finance, insurance, real estate and corporate management.

  1. Alberta

Capital: Edmonton
Total Population: 4,067,175 (175,130 Filipinos)

Alberta is a western province sandwiched in-between British Columbia on the left and Saskatchewan on the right. It is the fourth largest Canadian province and one of the three Prairie Provinces. The province is rich in terms of natural resources. The oil and natural gas, and sugar industry are big here and they employ a lot of Filipinos.
There are many different kinds of natural landscapes, such as forests, a portion of the Canadian Rockies, flat prairies, glaciers, canyons, and lots of farmland. Alberta’s national parks are home to wildlife creatures. As for urbanized areas, Calgary and Edmonton are popular large cities in the province.

  1. Ontario

Capital: Toronto
Population: 13,448,494 (337,760 Filipinos)

Ontario is the second largest province in Canada. It is also the most populous province in Canada as it is home to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and the world-class city, Toronto.
Northern Ontario is rich in natural resources which explains why its economy heavily depends on forestry and mining. Southern Ontario is industrialized, urbanized, and serves Canadian and U.S. markets. In fact, almost half of the people living in the Greater Toronto Area are foreign-born which includes a lot of Filipinos. The central business district of Ontario in Toronto is where most Filipinos choose to work as it offers various work opportunities in many different sectors.

PhotoCredit: HB Photography
If you have questions, we got answers! Join the Facebook group to get access to the lively discussions about everything you need to know as you migrate/settle in Canada. Everyone’s welcome to join!

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Benefits of International Students in Canada

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Student Visa is one path to consider if a person wants to go to Canada. There are so many International Students here in Canada from all over the world. Here are some advantages or benefits of studying here:

  • You can bring your family – International students can bring their family with them during their studies. Their spouse or common-law partner is eligible for an open work permit. Their children can study in Canadian primary or secondary schools without the need for a study permit.

 

  • Open Doors to becoming a Permanent Resident – If you are not qualified for an immigration program, studying in Canada can help you become an eligible candidate for permanent residence.

 

  • Opportunity to Work while Studying – International students in Canada have the option to work part-time during their studies. This can include both on and off-campus work for up to 20 hours a week, helping them to finance their education. During scheduled breaks throughout the year, such as winter or summer break, their study permit allows them to work full-time up to 30 hours a week.

 

  • Opportunity to Work after Graduation – Once International Students have completed their studies, they are now eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This open work permit allows recent graduates to stay in Canada and seek employment anywhere in the country. If they choose to stay in Canada through a Post-Graduation Work Permit, their family is eligible to stay in the Country as well.

Here are also some things to consider of being an International Students here in Canada:

  • Studying in Canada is very expensive they will need lots of money.
  • International Students need to buy their own Health Insurance for them and their staying family.
  • Part-time jobs are not as easy as it seems. It cannot pay tuition fees for working part-time.
  • If International Students do not plan it well, the University program that they took might not be in-demand or eligible for Immigration Programs.
  • Sometimes, it is hard to get a Post-Graduation Work Permit or probably depending on the location.

If you are interested in getting a Student Permit in Canada check this link –> Canada.Ca. 
 
Image from JZAR Photography

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I have created an Express Entry profile but I haven’t been selected yet? What’s Next?

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“I have created an Express Entry profile but how come I haven’t been selected yet?” This has been frequently asked in the forums. Due to the frequency, we would like to shed some light to this issue by sharing some personal experiences.
The Express Entry pool is the Canadian Government’s way to manage applications for permanent residence for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class. Each applicant will be ranked in the Express Entry pool using a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS gives each applicant a score based on 5 factors: Age, Education, Language, Work Experience at Connection in Canada.

Most of the factors are self-explanatory but for more information, you can visit the Express Entry page  Included in the factors that can give you extra points is having a sibling in Canada who is either a Permanent Resident or a Citizen. Another factors that can give you extra points is Canadian Education and Canadian Work Experience. Unfortunately, most of aspiring applicants do not have any of those to get extra points.

*Note that you should aim for a CRS score of at least 450-500 to surely get an invitation to apply. Curious about what score you might get, visit this link

Based on the experiences shared within the group, after filling in all the basic or core factors, they would possibly get a score that is below 400. What else can help them get more points? Read on below.

1. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Nomination: PNP nomination gives you 600 points so you will surely get an invitation to apply. So how do you apply for PNP? You should have an active EE profile. It truly is just a waiting game. There are times that there will be openings but within 24 hours they can already be gone. If you want to apply, make sure you have all your requirements ready and always check their website for updates.

2. Job Offers – A Job Offer can give you 50-200 points. However, it is challenging to find a job while you’re in Canada so it will more challenging to find a job while you’re outside of Canada. Nonetheless, don’t lose hope because there is a chance that you can get a job offer. There’s no harm in trying.

3. For those who are married or in a common-law relationship, let your partner take the ECA and/or IELTS as well. There was a case where we were able to help a married couple get a higher CRS score through self-assessment by using the other person’s credentials. You can try to use your partner’s credentials and you might find out that you can get a higher CRS score if the other one is the principal applicant. Even if you are married, you and your partner can create separate EE profiles and try the self-assessment to compare.

4. Others suggest to retake the IELTS exam. However, this would require time and money on your end but you never know, you might get a higher EILTS score that can give you a higher CRS score.

5. Re-evaluate your ECA. Yes, we have encountered more than a couple of applicants who had their ECAs re-assessed by different institutions and they both got different results. You can check the forum for this topic so can better follow their case.
If you are considering other ways to get to Canada, you may want to consider the Study Route. This will be different from the Express Entry pool but this is another option for you to gain residency for Canada. This is not a common route to take but according to the CIC stats, more and more people have tried this route and gained their permanent residency. However, thsi would require a lot of your financial resources, and we are talking about Millions of pesos.

#RealTalk
I am an Advocate of Do-It-Yourself (DIY), #Jonats. If it is a straight-forward application process, I highly suggest that you do it yourself. Even my friends, which is a consultant would suggest that. The programs can be complicated and the process can be confusing but if you have time to spare, just read up on the programs and process on their website because everything you need to know is right there. Although, if you really do not have the time to do it on your own, here are two things I can advise you:

Before you enroll with an immigration agent or consultant, please do a self-evaluation first. If you are a member of the Facebook group, you can check the pinned posts because all the basic information you need to know is there.
The agent or consultant will usually tell you that you are indeed eligble for the Express Entry pool. What does that mean for you? Let me put it this way. The Express Entry pool is like a raffle promo that you have to join and you are eligible to put in your name. Being eligible is just putting in your name into the bowl. You are not guaranteed a spot to be invited to apply to any programs unless you rank high in the pool. There are other applicants who may or may not be higher in rank than you but you can try to work towards the higher ranking.

I truly hope this information helps. If you need more information from other people with experience, join our group and forum.
#Jonats

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