“After 4 months on hold; the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program draws through Express Entry resumed by IRCC last week. This was the first all program draw since March 4th, 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Canada immigration and Visa Services (CIVS) take this opportunity to congratulate our Owner Operator clients who were selected this draw for an invitation to apply for permanent residency. See a sample of the Invitation to Apply for PR

The Federal Skilled Worker program draw through Express Entry resumed last week. This is the program that our skilled and experienced business investor and owner operator immigrants utilize to obtain their permanent residency in Canada in as quickly as 8-12 months by purchasing or starting and eligible business in Canada. By owning an eligible business in Canada, the applicant may apply for an Owner Operator LMIA through Service Canada that can add either 50 or 200 CRS points depending on the Occupation Code of the Owner Operator. By adding the additional CRS points to the candidates score, the skilled foreign nationals we retain are often in the point range for themselves and their immediate family to be invited to apply for Permanent Residency as a Federal Skilled Worker through Express Entry; even if the foreign national is still living abroad and has never been to Canada.

Of course, there are many nuances and circumstances that affect eligibility and timelines for each individual case. For a full breakdown on the Owner Operator LMIA pathway to Canada, please download a Kindle copy of our guidebook available on Amazon. For us assess your eligibility, we invite you to complete an eligibility questionnaire and book a discounted consultation with us using coupon code, “COVIDRELIEF” for 50% off a personalized consultation hour with Canada Immigration and Visa Services. We are a leading authority in Canada on the Owner Operator LMIA pathway to Permanent Residency for business investor immigrants. This discount is only valid for 7 days.


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What happened during COVID-19 with the Federal Skilled Worker program?

In the midst of the initial COVID-19 outbreak and worldwide declared pandemic in early March, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, halted all program draws through Express Entry and were only offering Permanent Residency invitations to Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream candidates and Provincial Nominees through Express Entry. It is speculated the reason for pausing the Federal Skilled Worker program draw is because Federal Skilled Worker candidates are not required to have Canadian work experience to be drawn to apply for Permanent Residency. Canadian Experience Class Candidates must have 1 year of Canadian work experience in the last 3 years.

It appears the IRCC’s logic in this decision is that CEC candidates are more likely to be present and residing in Canada (because of the Canadian work experience requirement) which is important given the current circumstances with international air travel and border restrictions. However, throughout the 4 month hold on the Federal Skilled Worker program, the CRS score in Express Entry dropped to as low as 431 on the final CEC specific program draw. There has not been a draw this low in points since May 2017.

At this point, IRCC must have realized that without drawing from the Federal Skilled Worker program, they were sacrificing the skills and quality of new permanent residents to Canada as the score continued to drop on each draw. They likely reached a tipping point, where the weight of 1 year of Canadian work experience and the likelihood of residing in Canada, became less important, than drawing and inviting the best and most highly skilled foreign nationals to become permanent residents. As a result, the next all program draw (and most recent), saw an increase to a 478 CRS point cutoff, effectively the highest ever seen for an all program draw, meaning the most skilled applicants were invited to apply for Permanent Residency, regardless of where they may be living or their Canadian work history.

Why is this important?

Effectively this means the Government of Canada likely has lightened its viewpoint on the perceived threat of COVID-19 coming from abroad from Federal Skilled Workers. COVID-19 is now in decline and Canada is returning to a level of normalcy in all aspects across all government departments and with private business. For example, Ontario just reported today, the lowest amount of new COVID-19 cases in 16 weeks.

By resuming the first all-program draw, Canada is now back on track to achieve its immigration targets for 2020. The Federal Skilled Worker program draw is the pathway that allows our highly skilled business investors and Owner Operator LMIA immigrants the fastest way to permanent residency. On the return of the first all program draw with a CRS score of 478; we are happy to announce several of our clients received Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residency to Canada.

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