Immigration expert says Express Entry candidates must note high CRS demands

May 10, 2024 | Campus News, Canadian News, News

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the new settlement money update in the Express Entry Proof of Funds requirements for 2024 on May 6.

This update will affect candidates applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) in Canada and will start to take effect on May 28.

Candidates applying for the two programs must provide proof of funds as a mandatory procedure to ensure adequate financial resources for themselves and their dependents in the immigration process.

Applications with a valid Canadian job offer and work permit are exempt from the new update.

Shoshana Green, an immigration lawyer at Green and Spiegel LLP, said the proof of funds requirements are increasing every year.

“There is no difference from previous years,” Green said. “But as the amount goes up, an applicant has to be prepared to show that amount of money.”

“That number is changing yearly, based on the economy, inflation, et cetera,” she said.

The new proof of fund requirements depends on the number of family members, including the applicant, their spouse or common-law partner, and their dependent children.

“The Federal Skilled Worker Program is generally for people outside of Canada. However, people in Canada who potentially qualify through the Canadian Experience Class are exempt from the income requirements,” Green said.

Stephen Green, an immigration law specialist and senior lawyer at Green and Spiegel, said the candidates should be more aware of the CRS points than the proof of funds.

“The CRS points needed are extremely high in that program right now,” he said. “It’s quite difficult for candidates to acquire enough 500 CRS points at the moment.”

Stephen Green said the high requirements are due to the surging influx of people who came to Canada as students who graduated from school and got work experience.

“The points needed to be selected are very high for many people who have gone to Canadian schools and have at least three years of work experience,” he said. “So the points are quite difficult to be selected.”

Stephen Green said Canada updates settlement funds every year because the government considers how much money a candidate needs when they first immigrate to Canada, and the amount increases yearly.

He said candidates applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program from abroad should be prepared to prove additional funds and increase their CRS points to extend their work permits and gain more Canadian work experience.

“If they want to come as a federal skilled worker from abroad, most likely they would need that LMIA to give them more points to come to Canada,” he said.

Shoshana Green said the threshold scores in the two programs are a potential challenge that candidates should be aware of from this new update.

“The biggest issue right now is the threshold to qualify through Express Entry. The threshold scores are pretty high, and it’s very difficult for people to take advantage of that unless they’re in a targeted occupation,” she said.

Stephen Green said it will be tricky for people who want to take advantage of the federal worker program currently.

“Because the CRS points are so high, the candidates can increase their points if they speak French, but there seems to be less than the CRS points required for individuals that speak French,” he said. “People should improve their French to get French language points under the CRS points.”