Why Does Canada Use A Point System Of Immigration?


Canada has one of the highest immigration rates in the world and offers various programs and opportunities for those seeking to work, study, live, and make Canada their home. In 1967, Canada became the first country to use a “point system” for immigration. This type of immigration system also referred to as a “merit system”, uses the method of earning points with specific criteria in a scoring system to determine the eligibility of a noncitizen applicant for Canadian citizenship. In 2015, Canada implemented the “Express Entry” system which consists of three main categories: economic immigration, family reunification, and humanitarian to manage and improve the efficiency of the immigration application process.

Why Does Canada Use A Point System?

Basically, Canada uses the point system because it helps them to recruit the much needed skilled immigrates for their workforce to replace the aging population and shrinking labor force. The point system helps to find the people with particular skills and expertise to maintain the labor force balance and grow the Canadian economy. The point system enables Canada to find more experienced and better-educated workers from around the globe, use less money and reduce the time to integrate them and train workers in languages, enable workers to earn higher wages which helps the economy and raises the tax revenue.

Understanding the immigration point system, the immigration process, and immigration statistical projections will help to understand in-depth of how the immigration system works.

Economic Immigration

In the Economic Immigration program, applicants are evaluated and chosen for their particular skills, job experience, ability to work and contribute to the needs of the workforce in Canada. There are three major economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program: This program is for the determination of the eligibility of skilled workers with foreign work experience. The minimum requirements are to have skilled work experiences in the fields of managerial, professional and technical and skilled trades, language ability (must speak, write, listen and read English or French), and education (must have a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian institution or pass an assessment for foreign education). In the event that a score goal is not met, immigration applicants can work on skills and retest at another time.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program:┬áThis program is for skilled workers who have a trade with at least two years of work experience in six job areas (industrial/electrical/construction; maintenance and equipment operations; natural resources and agriculture; processing and manufacturing; chefs and cooks; and butchers and bakers) and are skilled in English or French languages.
  • Canadian Experience Class: This program is for skilled workers that have work experience (managerial, professional or technical) in Canada and want to become permanent residents. Also, the ability to write, read, and speak English or French is required.

Family Reunification

Canada has a commitment to keeping families together. The Family Reunification program is one of the quickest methods to get Canadian permanent residency. It allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada to sponsor close family members (such as a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children) for Canadian citizenship. These are the family members that can be brought with someone when they are processed for permanent Canadian residency.

The Parents and Grandparents program enables a sponsor to submit a request to bring these family members to Canada. To be eligible, the sponsor must be at least 18 years old and be able to financially support the family members and assure that they don’t need government assistance. Also, medical exams and biometrics are required during the immigration process. Medical requirements state that family members must not have a condition that is a danger to public health and safety or would cause excessive demand on health services.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Immigration

This program allows people that aren’t eligible for other permanent resident programs to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Applications are assessed on an individual basis and look at family ties, the best interests of children, outcomes of denial, and the current status of the individual.

All circumstances and factors are taken into consideration in the application process. Also, hardships that may be anticipated to be encountered in the country of origin is also taken into consideration.

Canada’s Point System

Express Entry is a points-based system that assesses whether applicants meet minimum requirements in the immigration process. Eligibility depends on awarded points based on the criteria of an applicant’s skills, education, job experiences, and the ability to adapt and integrate. There are six selection components to the “Ranking Points System”. A score of at least 67 points out of 100 is needed.

  • Languages: The maximum number of points is 28 awarded to people who can speak, read, listen, and write in English or French. Language tests are administered to measure and prove proficiency It’ very important to be able to communicate in the languages of Canada. Knowing French and English will help immigrates do well in the job market.
  • Education: The maximum number of points that can be earned is 25 for those that went to a Canadian school. Applicants with foreign education must have their credentials assessed to show that it is equivalent to the Canadian level of education.
  • Work Experience: Points are awarded for full-time or part-time employment and skill levels and types. The number of points is earned according to the number of years of experience: One year-9 points; two to three years-11 points; four to five years-13 points; and six or more years – 15 or more points.
  • Age: Twelve points can be earned for people between the ages of 18 to 45. No points are given for those out of this age range.
  • Employment: Ten points can be awarded for having a permanent job with a Candian employer for at least a year.
  • Adaptability: This category includes spouse/partner language level, studies or work, and residency of relatives. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded for the combination of these factors.

If you would like to know how many points you have based on Canada’s Point System you can check the express entry calculator in this link

Immigration Statistical Projections

In 2019, Canada accepted about 300,000 immigrants. The majority come from Asia (especially China, India, and the Philippines). Others come from Pakistan, Iran, Britain, and the United States. It’s predicted that the number will increase to 350,000 per year by the year 2021. Immigrations’ contribution to the Canadian economic growth indicts an increase in GDP growth and shows that immigration is important to the future growth of the Canadian economy.

Statistical projections also show that the Canadian labor force is out of balance. During the next two decades, over 13 million Canadian residents will retire and leave the workforce, but only about 11 million citizens will graduate from school and join the labor force. This labor storage affects the economy because it impacts the amount of taxes paid by the future generation, homeownership rates, pension payments, and health care costs. Increasing the number of immigrates into the workforce will mitigate these problems. Also, the positive effects of the higher immigration rates were even better when the immigrants were integrated, so language skills are important.


Based on the preceding data and information, conclusions can be drawn as to “Why Does Canada Use A Point System?” First, the maximum points are given for language skills proficiency in English or French, emphasizing the ability to read, write, listen, and speak the languages. Second, the next highest points are earned for education, primarily in the Canadian education system. Third, work experience earns a high number of points for each added year of employment with preferences in the six skilled professional areas. Also, points are earned only for a certain age range which is aimed at the workforce age range.

The current point system with the addition of the Express Entry system was implemented to solve problems of backlogs and improve the selection process to match applicants with the labor market needs and enable the selection of the best and most appropriate applicants with needed skills and education.levels. Also, it allows for the increase of the current level of immigration.

The information on each applicant profile with a high ranking score will earn applicants an invitation to join the pool of people invited to apply for permanent residency because they have the much-needed qualities for the workforce.

The changes in 2015, transitioned Canadian immigration away from people getting citizenship due to the order of application (previous model) that emphasized race and country of origin and moved the focus toward the point system in order to select the people that meet the needs of the country’s economy and labor necessities.

Skilled experienced workers and their families with language skills are then able to move up in the immigration process and fill the employment needs quicker. The immigration indicators show that language skills in English and French, are needed in order to help immigrates integrate into the community, culture, and workforce.

In addition, statistics show that talented immigrants of work age with experience in certain professions, age groups, and with proficient language skills are important in the future growth of Canada’s economy.

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