On January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs. The government of Canada believes this system will meet current and future labour market needs while ensuring economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Skilled immigrants are now chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. Canada assesses all applications received on a competitive basis using criteria such as:
- English and/or French language skills,
- work experience, and
- various factors that have been shown to help newcomers prosper in Canada.
Express Entry has changed the way Immigration applications are processed. There is now a fundamentally new system to manage and process how people with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada.
Under Express Entry, prospective new immigrants first complete an online profile that includes their language test scores, their Educational Credential Assessment (if required) and outlines in summation their professional work experience. This initial phase in the application process is known as the Express Entry Profile.
Based on a review of their profiles, candidates will be ranked against all other qualified candidates in the profile pool, making this new system unprecedented in the level of competiveness it now embodies. On a regular basis, CIC will issue invite only those top candidates from the pool to apply for permanent residence. Only those who get an Invitation to Apply from CIC will be able to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.
Under this new system, it is anticipated that the most complete applications will be processed in six months or less. Express Entry is now mandatory and you must use Express Entry if you want to apply under the following immigrant programs:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- Federal Skilled Trades Program,
- Canadian Experience Class, or
- Provincial Nominee Programs, in some cases.
Provinces and territories are expected to recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in order to meet local labour market needs. Once a candidate has completed a profile and is placed into a pool of candidates, the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and Canadian employers will be able to select people from this pool. However, all employers in Canada must first make every effort to try and find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill their vacant job opportunities. Eligible employers who cannot find a Canadian or permanent resident for a permanent job will be able to consider candidates from the pool who meet their needs.
Candidates within the pool will be awarded points for:
- a job offer and/or
- a provincial/territorial nomination and/or
- skills and experience – factors that contribute to success in Canada.
Invitation to Apply
Candidates with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). However, the Province of Quebec does not use Express Entry, they continue to select their own skilled workers.
Under Express Entry, labour market demand, in the form of a job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a nomination by a province or territory will provide candidates with enough additional points and be ranked high enough to be invited to apply at the next eligible round of invitations.
Express Entry Requirements
Express Entry has created a more competitive environment for prospective new immigrants, giving greater flexibility to Immigration officials to actively recruit, assess, screen and select skilled immigrants under the following federal economic immigration programs:
- the Federal Skilled Worker Program,
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and
- the Canadian Experience Class.
Step 1 -Application is commenced through an online Express Entry profile submission
Prospective Immigrant candidates will be required to complete an online profile that accurately describes their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. This is where the new Express Entry Immigration system will be highly competitive. Those whose profile meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry will be placed in a pool of eligible candidates. Candidates will then be ranked against others in the pool. Only the highest-ranked candidates who are determined to have the best chances for economic success and those with qualifying offers of arranged employment or provincial/territorial nominations will then be invited to apply for permanent residence.
Prospective Immigrant candidates who do not already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial/territorial nomination must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank which will attempt to connect the individual with eligible Canadian employers. Where applicable, employers will be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. There will be no Government fee for Labour Market Impact Assessments for permanent residence applications under the Express Entry system.
Step 2 – Application for Canadian Permanent Residence
Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. If an Immigrant passes through the first phase, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will invite those selected candidates to apply for permanent residence and have made a commitment to process their electronic applications within six months.
Candidates will only receive an Invitation to apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool, based on their skills and experience and the strength of this online profile. However, candidates who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time) or have been nominated by a province or territory will be given high scores in the ranking system.
If nominated, candidates will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is vowing to process the majority of complete applications within six months or less. Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria.
Offer of Employment in Canada
Obtaining a Service Canada validated offer of employment in Canada from an eligible Canadian Employer would provide a significant advantage if you seek to utilize the new Express Entry process to help facilitate your Immigration objectives. If you believe this is an option for them to potentially obtain an offer of employment in Canada, please contact Eddie H. Kadri to help work with you and the prospective Canadian Employer to obtain this job offer validation.