On January, 1, 2015, the Express Entry program was launched by the government of Canada. This program offers express entry to qualified skilled immigrants who want to come to Canada as permanent residents, as a way to fill jobs where no Canadian workers are available.
How Does Express Entry Work?
Although there are still many unanswered questions regarding how the program will work, we do know the following:
- Express Entry changes the way candidates apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
- It does not affect family class sponsorships or applications for visitor, work or study visas, or any other immigration program other than those listed above.
- The eligibility criteria for the FSWP, FSTP and the CEC have not changed, however there will no longer be a list of eligible occupations or a list of occupations that are ineligible (as is currently the case with the CEC program).As long as you have experience in a National Occupation Code O, A or B level position, you can apply.
- Before, entry to Canada through the FSWP, FSTP and the CEC was on a first come, first served basis. Now, the government will choose the immigrants it wants from an electronic pool of applicants. There will be no deadline to complete a profile and there will be no caps on the number of candidates that will be accepted to the pool.
Two Step Process
Express Entry is a fully electronic system and is a two-step process. Applicants must set up an online profile; they will then be given a score and ranked.
- Step one will involve candidates making an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, with candidates who are eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs entering the Express Entry pool.
- Step two will involve a portion of those candidates in the pool being issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
However, profiles in the pool will not be “locked”. Candidates will be able to edit their profile if they have improved language test results or gain additional work experience.
Language and Education Requirements
- Language testing will be required before going into the Express Entry pool.
- Candidates will have to demonstrate proficiency in an official language of Canada, either English or French.
- Candidates eligible to enter the Express Entry pool under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of their completed foreign educational credential.
Selection of Applicants
- The government hopes to attract 181,000 economic class immigrants in 2015, therefore there will no longer be quotas for each program. They will draw enough individuals from the pool in order to meet this target.
- The government will draw the highest scoring applicants from the pool. These applicants will be given an “Invitation to Apply” for permanent residency; they will have 60 days to do so.
- To allocate scores, the government will be using a “Comprehensive Ranking System” based on candidates’ human capital, determined by factors such as age, level of education, language ability, work experience, and whether the candidate has received a job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial nomination. This helps the government to decide which candidates may be issued invitations to apply for permanent residence. A total of 1200 points can be earned by each candidate.