An Immigration Law Firm’s Advice: Apply With Your Spouse
In January 2015, the Conservative government introduced the Express Entry system as a means of ensuring that candidates for permanent residence would be processed based on their comparative skills and experience rather than simply who was first in line.
Express Entry and Reduced Processing Times
Since its conception, the Express Entry system has been beneficial for the government, some prospective immigrants, and corporate immigration law firms as it has successfully reduced processing times to as little as six months in most cases, a feat which is achieved by eliminating application backlogs from accumulating.
Additionally, the Express Entry system covers all of Canada’s key economic immigration programs, including:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program;
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program;
- The Canadian Experience Class; and
- A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI)
In order to become an Express Entry candidate, prospective immigrants are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI applicants who meet the minimum entry criteria are then added to the pool with all the other eligible candidates.
Ranking by a Points-Based System
Once in the pool, candidates are given points based on the information listed in their profile, and the individuals with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will be invited to submit a full application.
How to Double Your Presence
While the Express Entry system helps skilled prospective immigrants get their invitation to apply quicker, as any corporate immigration law firm can tell you, it can still be quite a lengthy process for some as they may not have a high enough rank. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple way to double your presence in the pool: apply with your spouse.
Including Your Spouse in Your Application
When you submit your EOI, you will have to include your spouse and his or her credentials on your application. Though you will be considered the principal applicant, your spouse’s information such as his or her education, work experience, and language skills can all affect your CRS score.
Additionally, if both you and your spouse submit an EOI that names the two of you on each application, you’ll effectively have your names in the pool twice since chosen applicants can bring their spouse and dependent children with them. Should one of your applications get chosen, you can simply withdraw the other application.
Multiple Benefits with Spousal Applications
As any corporate or immigration law firm will tell you, there is a benefit to applying with your spouse, even though you would only expect the profile with the highest score to be selected first. Once you are in the Express Entry pool you are also eligible to create a profile for the Canada Job Bank.
If either you or your spouse receives an approved job offer from a Canadian employer, it will mean an additional 600 CRS points, which greatly increases your chances of being invited to apply. One of you may also be eligible to receive a notification of interest from a province, which could also give you an additional 600 CRS points if you are eventually nominated by that province.
If only one of you has created a profile, you may miss out on the opportunities that would have been offered to the other.
Get Started On Your Application
If you’re thinking about applying for Express Entry and submitting an EOI with your spouse, contacting a reputable immigration law firm can help put you on the fast track to permanent residency.