What you should know on how to immigrate through Express Entry and Family Class Sponsorship.
There are a number of immigration options that are available to persons outside Canada including Ghanaians. However, there are usually some immigration routes a large number of people from a particular country might have become known for. Such is the case of Ghanaian immigrants in Canada with the Express Entry and Family Class Sponsorship programs. Therefore, we will take a look at the process involved in these two programs
Which Express Entry Program Are You Eligible For?
First things first, If you want to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, you will need to ensure you are eligible, and understand the requirements and information to provide.
The three immigration programs under the Express Entry system have distinct requirements. Although slightly different, Some Provincial Nominee Programs are Express Entry enhanced and requirements vary from province to province.
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is for applicants outside Saskatchewan with foreign education and skilled work experience to contribute positively to the province
The Federal Skilled Trade (FST) program is suitable for those with Canadian tradesperson qualifications or Job offers.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program has a requirement of Canadian work experience which is usually gotten after studying in Canada.
Therefore, If you have never worked, have a job offer, apply to a province, studied, nor visited Canada, the FSW program is the Express Entry route that is best for you.
The Express Entry system is point-based and quite competitive, therefore meeting the basic requirements will probably not get you desired CRS score. Hence you need to score high to meet possible cutoffs.
Basic Federal Skilled Worker Requirements:
- minimum of one year full-time, continuous skilled work experience;
- high school education or above;
- proof of language ability via test scores at or above CLB level 7 which is the Canadian Language Benchmark
From the above, the minimum level of education is high school but it only attracts 5 points on the FSW points grid while Bachelor’s degree holder gets 21 points! The same applies to language (if bi-lingua with test scores to claim points), age, work experience, and adaptability factors.
Now that you are familiar with the basics. You will need to check your possible CRS score with estimated test results, and educational qualifications amongst others to see for yourself your chances of success.
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score is the singular determinant of applicants’ success in Express Entry. This is why it is advisable to attempt a sample of the CRS score, you can check receivable points for each factor here
It is also important to note that language test scores and level of education can affect possible CRS score greatly, hence high scores should be achieved in language tests and if possible more educational certifications for better assessment.
Language tests is often required to assess applicant’s level of either English or French which are Saskatchewan’s official languages. Although a large number of Ghanaians write the English tests, the French tests are equally a good option for those who are bi-lingual.
For any immigration routes to Canada, there are two approved English Language Tests. There are about eight locations in Ghana where you can take the IELTS exam while there is none yet for CELPIP. There is also TEF and TCF for French proficiency tests both of which can be written in Accra and Kumasi.
That being said, to have an edge, an applicant should aim at achieving CLB 9 in the English tests, something like the following:
Listening – 8.0, Speaking – 7.0, Reading – 7.0, Writing – 7.0
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
We previously mentioned how high school education is the minimum required for Express Entry, nonetheless, It is not enough to make you competitive in the pool.
The CRS points for education is based on the Canadian educational equivalence and this is where ECA comes in. The ideal level of education that will get you more points goes like this:
“Two or more certificates, diplomas, or degrees. One must be for a program of three or more years”
In simpler terms, you need an education level like this for instance:
- A Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree
- A Bachelor’s degree and a one-year college diploma
The process of ECA is quite simple but can be costly. You will need to get the official transcripts of your degrees, certificates, or diplomas and submit them for processing. One of the widely used platforms for this is WES – World Educational Service (WES) approved by Canada for assessing equivalence in educational qualifications.
The processing time for obtaining transcripts from Institutions in Ghana varies considerably from 48 hours to weeks. Hence you might want to start the processing early enough and follow through to avoid delays if any will come up.
Work Experience and Age
Work Experience: Even though the minimum required non-Canadian work experience is 1 year. If you want to maximize your CRS points, you would need three years of full-time skilled work experience.
Age: Let’s just say Saskatchewan and Canada generally favor those in the younger age group when it comes to awarding points. This is why the maximum number of points for applicants age are between 20 and 29 years old. Once you hit 30, you lose points downward
When It Comes To Funds: How much do you need to show?
Did we mention that Federal Skilled Worker doesn’t require having a job offer? Well, due to this you will need to show immigration you have enough funds to support yourself and your family when you arrive in Saskatchewan even if you are the only one on the application.
Please note that these funds have to be in your account that has your name or that of your spouse and also must be accessible to spend.
The followings are in Canadian dollars and the cedis equivalent will vary according to exchange rates at the time of your application.
Number of family members/Required funds (in CAD)
1 (single applicant) $13,310
(2 members )$16,570
(4 members) $24,733
(7 members) $35,224
For each additional family member, you will have to add $3,586 (sir, the above has to be arranged in tabular form)
Now that you have taken a look at these requirements and made up your mind on this pathway, start gathering the needed documents, create an Express Entry profile and get into the pool whilst you wait for an Invitation To Apply.
FAMILY CLASS SPONSORSHIP
If you are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada over the age of 18 with a family member who wants to immigrate to Canada as a PR, you may be able to help them become a permanent resident through family reunification.
The followings are family members who may be eligible for sponsorship:
- Dependent child
- Spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner
- Grandchild, sibling, nephew, or niece under 18 years who is unmarried and whose parents are deceased
There are defining terms that clarify who a spouse, a common-law or conjugal partner is, and documents that can be submitted to prove the relationship. A spousal sponsorship can be submitted as Inland or Outland.
Requirements for Sponsors
Ghanaians looking to sponsor their relatives must meet the following requirements:
at least 18 years old
living in Canada, or intends to return to Canada
able and willing to provide for the basic financial needs of the family being sponsored by signing an undertaking or showing proof of meeting Minimum Necessary Income (MNI)
The standard processing time for a sponsorship application is 12 months from start to finish but can also take longer depending on the peculiarity of your application, the workload at the immigration office, and if you submitted a complete application or not.
Some fees will have to pay for processing costs
Sponsorship fee $75
The principal applicant processing fee is $475
Right of permanent residence fee $500
The application package usually contains documents to be submitted, forms to be filled, etc as documents that apply to each application might differ. Generally, though, Police clearance certificates for residence for more than six months and medical tests are required.
There are rules that apply to a sponsor’s undertaking financial responsibilities, for instance, if there is a fallout between a Sponsor and a relative being sponsored, the sponsor remains responsible for them for a number of years regardless of if they have a cordial relationship or not.