Canada’s Visa Express Going…Going…

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OPPORTUNITY has a shelf life,” Stanley Tucci reminded the bartender who was dilly-dallying about his emotion to Ali in the movie Burlesque with Cher on top billing.

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Tagalogs have a saying for it as well and more: “Kapalaran mo mang, palalagyin-lagyin, kukunin ng ibang marunong mag-angkin.”

If you do not take advantage of an opportunity, somebody else will.

There are two significant migration developments in Canada, both of which represent opportunities with shelf life for Filipinos intending to explore their migration options North of the United States.

The first is the publication of the guidelines for the Express Entry scheme first week of December 2014. Express Entry is described as a “new way to manage the existing economic immigration programs of Canada.” Economic migrants belong to one of three permanent residency classes that Canada offers. Family-sponsorship and humanitarian programs are the other two.

The second relates to Filipino (and internationally educated nurses) who must take the NCLEX instead of the old CRNE exam for foreign nurses) if they intend to practice their profession in Canada.

1,200 points for entry
There have been no changes in the current economic immigration programs of Canada, only the way are managed. Express Entry has been designed to do just that. The three programs still in place are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP); the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

The significant aspects of Express Entry are the following:

Candidates can no longer submit their permanent resident applications directly. They must complete the online-electronic system.

There will be no occupations list. The last one – for the Federal Skilled Worker Program – was issued sometime May 2014. FSW applications on file when Express Entry takes over will be decided based on the rules in place at the time the application was received.

Profile/applications of candidates will be on same pool. This candidate pool of qualified applicants will be available to and accessed by the Federal, provincial/territory governments as well as Canadian employers.

Selection will be on the basis of ranking and Invitations to Apply shall be issued to candidates from the highest down to the lowest. There is no cap (as was the case with the old FSW – 1,000 per occupation on the list and 25,000 overall).

English/language proficiency, educational qualifications and work experience in Canada are given priority and assigned more points. Hence applicants must target the highest scores they could get for the English/French proficiency exam. Academic credentials are to be assessed and work experience must have been obtained in the last 10 years.

The first set of qualified and selected candidates is scheduled to be on January 5, 2015.

A candidate’s profile will be on the pool and valid for one year. Once an Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued, the selected candidate has 60 days to submit the permanent residency application.

Candidates with no job offer or provincial nomination must register with the Canadian Job Bank within 30 days of receipt of complete application

If a candidate fails to submit a complete application with supporting documents he or she will have another chance to file an application under the same ITA. If an invitation to apply is declined, the candidate’s profile will be returned to the Express Entry pool and kept there for 12 months.

Selected candidates will be informed about their points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and what the points threshold was for the most recent draw. However, he or she will not know the specific ranking.

Provinces and territories will still be able to select nominees outside of the Express Entry pool. Quebec is not part of the new selection process.

The ages of dependent children shall be determined only at the time an application for permanent residency is received, not on the date of entry to the pool.

The maximum points an applicant can earn based on a combination of factors had been set at 1,200. Half of this (600 points) could be obtained by being nominated by a province or territory, or if the applicant gets a qualified offer of arranged employment. The three sets of factors to be considered are “core human capital, skills transferability and a provincial nomination or a qualified job offer.

Express Entry was designed to “create an inventory of high-quality candidates who employers in Canada will be able to consider when they cannot find Canadians or permanent residents to fill job vacancies.”

NCLEX RN
The National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX ) is under the supervision of National Council of State Boards of Nursing (The exam itself is administered by Pearson Vue and conducted at designated US, Canada and international test sites, including the Philippines.

This is good news for Filipino RNs, not only those who have taken the exam, but those who intend to take it because they do not need to go to Canada to take the exam (as it was under the old Canadian Registered Nurse Examination – CRNE).

NCSBN started registration on Nov. 3, 2014, for Canadian students and graduates, international applicants and others looking to take the NCLEX for licensure/registration in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Upon being considered eligible to take the exam and receipt of an Authorization to Test (ATT) in the Canadian province or territory of intended practice, the candidate may schedule an examination appointment for January 5, 2015, or after that date.

After being removed from the priority occupations eligible to apply for permanent residency under the FSW, nurses were reinstated in the last list published in June 2014. FSW applicants intending to practice nursing in Canada as permanent residents were not required to take the CRNE to qualify for residency. They could take the exam after being admitted in Canada as permanent residents or immigrants.

Now, RNs would not only have to take the NCLEX, but also be part of the pool of candidates waiting for the issuance of ITAs.

Opportunities have a shelf life and expiration dates. In this case, the opportunity to apply directly as an immigrant to Canada expires this month – December 2014.

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