2015 Canadian Immigration: The Express Entry System

The Government of Canada has introduced a new way to select immigrants.  Starting January 2015, skilled foreign workers will have access to the Express Entry system. A new electronic application management system, this structure will apply to Canada’s key economic immigration programs including; Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP).

The Express Entry system favours those:

  • Who are already in Canada as foreign workers,
  • Who have a confirmed job offer with a Canadian employer, or
  • Who have been selected by a provincial nomination program.

The Express Entry system is a two-step process:

  1. Potential candidates express their interest in coming to Canada by creating an
    Express Entry profile and completing an Expression of Interest (EOI). As part of the Express Entry profile, candidates must provide proven language ability and proof of Canadian educational equivalency. Based on age, education, language skills, and work experience, the person can enter the Express Entry pool. This however, does not guarantee permanent residence, but rather is the first step in a comparison with others who are also in the pool. A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will be used to calculate and compare candidates’ overall points, the maximum points obtainable being 1,200. These points are based on:
  • Age (max. 110 points)
  • Education (max. 150 points)
  • Language (max. 160 points)
  • Canadian work experience (max. 80 points)
  • Transferable skills (max. 100 points)
  • Confirmed job (max 600 points)

If a person is already working in Canada or has confirmed employment, they will receive an additional 600 bonus points, which can ensure permanent residency. Candidates will need to register with Job Bank if they do not already have a Canadian job offer or a Provincial/Territorial nomination, as Job Bank will help match them with Canadian employers and jobs based on their skills, knowledge, and experience.

  1. The next step is the application process for permanent residency. Candidates with the greatest points based on the CRS (those who are most likely to succeed in Canada), will be given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. These candidates will already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer in place; will be nominated by a province or territory; or, will be among the top ranked in the Express Entry pool based on their skills, education, and experience. Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply must submit an online application for permanent residence within 60 days. If the candidate does not apply upon being invited, the person will not be able to enter the pool again. Unselected candidates will remain in the pool for up to one year, and, if not selected, will automatically drop out of the pool and must re-apply.

The purpose of the Express Entry system is to ensure faster and more efficient processing (processing times of six months or less), and to better match the needs of the Canadian labour market with immigrants who will be successful in transitioning into new jobs. This system will also make it easier for candidates to secure jobs before arriving through facilitated matches with Canadian employers.

The selection process doesn’t apply to business candidates. The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Programs for business are still in effect.

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