How Canada’s Express Entry Program Will Work in 2015

express entry program 2015The guidelines for the Express Entry Program have finally been released. The express entry program is an updated electronic system that will improve permanent resident applications.

The new system is dramatically different from the current Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) which has been used extensively by employers in Canada up until this point. The TFWP allowed employers to quickly recruit skilled individual workers from overseas, particularly in areas such as Western Canada and Alberta, where mining and energy industries are currently in a boom period.

However, the TFWP has come under heavy criticism with claims that employers are recruiting a large number of foreign workers rather than looking for Canadian workers, as a way to maximize profits. Some have said the Express Entry Program will make it more difficult to bring foreign workers into Canada.

How Express Entry Program Will Work

The process of applying for the Express Entry Program will work in two steps;

Step 1: Potential applicants will be split into the three economic classes, and each of these classes must first upload their profile online and must wait for an invitation from the Canadian government before they can submit an application for permanent residency in Canada:

Step 2: Once applicants have submitted their online profiles, they will then be placed in a pool with the other eligible applicants. Once in the pool, they will be ranked and sorted based on numerous eligibility factors. The highest-ranking applications will then receive an Invitation to Apply; the applicants not selected will stay in the pool ready for the next draw. There are no guarantees that applicants will be selected once they have created their online profiles, but applicants that have had provincial nominations or labour market impact assessments will be given priority.

As for the provincial nominee programs, foreign nationals will be nominated by provinces and territories via the Express Entry Program on the basis that they’ll be able to fill the labour market shortages in their areas. Criteria for nominations will be set by each individual province and territory. Applicants for the Express Entry Program will be given the opportunity to first complete their online profile before being nominated by a province/territory, or be nominated by the province/territory before entering the pool.

Express Entry applicants will be allowed to remain in the nomination pool for a period of up to 12 months after submitting their first online profile. Those who have not been invited to apply for permanent residency in that timescale will then be allowed to submit a new profile in order to re-enter the pool, as long as they are still able to meet the eligibility criteria.

Selection Criteria for Express Entry Program

The Express Entry Program’s selection criteria will be based on a points system, which will take into account the following factors:

  • Core human capital (More specifically, this will be based on things such as age, education level, official language proficiency and any work experience in Canada)
  • Accompanying spouse or common-law partner (these factors more specifically relate to the spouse’s level of education, official language proficiency and any relevant work experience in Canada – basically the same criteria as core human capital)
  • Skill transferability (this will specifically look at things like education levels, foreign work experience and any qualifications obtained in a trade occupation)
  • Provincial nomination factors or a qualifying offer of arranged employment 

What to do Once you Receive Invitation to Apply

So, let’s assume for a moment that you have received your invitation to apply for the Express Entry Program – what do you do? Well, after you initially receive your invitation, you will have 60 days to submit your online electronic application for permanent residency to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The Express Entry Program will also be equipped with a matching tool, expected to launch later in the year. This will enable employers to hire Express Entry candidates that meet their labour needs as long as they are unable to find any suitable Canadians or permanent residents of Canada to fill their current job vacancies via the Employer Liaison Network.

Liberal Critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, John McCallum, said the new program “must require employers to demonstrate that every effort has been made to fill positions with Canadian workers and young Canadian workers in particular; and finally, the government should tighten the Labour Market Opinion approval process.”

According to Canadian Immigration, the overall objective of the new Express Entry Program is that foreign workers will only be recruited when there are no eligible Canadians, and will also help to ensure that the right workers are employed for the right positions via the new points system.

The initial invitations to apply for the Express Entry Program are likely to be sent out a few weeks after the system has been launched. After that, invitations will be issued regularly and consistently throughout the year.

How We Can Help You Immigrate to Canada Through Express Entry

The most important aspect of the Express Entry program is to get an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Without an invitation, you can’t get your Permanent Residence. In order to get an invitation, you have to be selected from a pool of applicants who are all competing for an invitation.

Our job is to make you STAND OUT from the crowd. We will assess your case, highlight the best aspects of your application, and make sure that the government notices you! This way, your chances of getting an invitation are maximized.

Call us today for an assessment to see if you are eligible for Express Entry to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.


Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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