Express Entry 2015 FAQs Answered

express-entry-program-2015As of January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Express Entry system came into effect. Given that this is a new program, there are a lot of questions being asked about the system. We’re going to try to answer all of your concerns and questions about the process involved when applying for Express Entry, and what the new electronic system means for you.

Which immigration programs fall under Express Entry? 

The new electronic system will cover the current economic immigration programs, including the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Has Express Entry changed the requirements for existing immigration programs?

No. There is no reason for CIC to change the requirements of existing immigration programs. Express Entry is an improved and more efficient electronic system for handling online economic immigration applications.

Are there any limits to the number of candidates that can be admitted via Express Entry?

There is no real cap on the number of applicants that can apply and be admitted via Express Entry. Applicants who have a good skill and experience level, and who are able to best fulfill the requirements for open positions can be cherry picked by employers from any territory or province.

Express Entry uses the Annual Immigration Levels Plan to base the number of applicants invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada. For now, the Levels Plan looks at a broad range of admissions for immigration programs which fall under Express Entry.

Employers will be able to pick from high-quality skilled and experienced workers who can best meet their needs after they have been enlisted via Express Entry.

If a Labour Marker Impact Assessment (LMIA) has been secured and a candidate offered the job via Express Entry, the applicant in question has the potential to gain extra points, making them more likely to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency. If this happens, the government will expedite the permanent resident process.

What happens to applications submitted before January 2015?

If you’ve submitted an application before the Express Entry system was introduced in January 2015, your application will be processed as normal – not via Express Entry. For a while, both application streams will be processed in tandem by CIC.

How will the Express Entry system work for provinces and territories?

If you are nominated by a province or territory via the Express Entry system, you will be given considerably more points.

There are two ways provinces and territories can nominate foreign nationals via the Express Entry system. These are:

  • The candidates enter the pool before being nominated by a province or territory
  • Candidates are nominated first and then submit an online application for the Express Entry system

Candidates must be eligible for at least one of the main federal immigration programs in order to be eligible for Express Entry, regardless of whether or not they are PNP applicants.

What if I want to apply for both a provincial nominee program and Express Entry?

If you want to apply via Express Entry AND a Provincial Nominee Program, there are two routes:

  • You can apply for PNP and wait until you are nominated to apply for Express Entry, or:
  • You can complete your application for Express Entry first. This will mean you are placed in the Express Entry pool and can wait to be approached by a province or territory, before being asked to apply for PNP. Once you receive your nomination certificate, you can then update your profile for Express Entry.

What will Express Entry mean for Canadian employers?

One of the best things about the Express Entry system is that employers will be provided with more recruitment options and opportunities. For instance, if an employer is struggling to find a Canadian permanent resident to fill their vacancy, they can then look for potential candidates via Express Entry.

Here are some other ways Express Entry is good for employers:

  • Employers who qualify are able to play a direct part in finding appropriate economic immigrants to fill their roles.
  • LIMA fee is not applied to permanent residence applications
  • Employers who qualify will be connected to suitable Express Entry Applicants via Job Bank
  • As much as 80% of permanent residence applications will be expedited and processed within six months
  • Applicants with approved Labour Market Impact Assessments or are nominated by a province or territory will benefit from extra points and will be more likely to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Have Canadian employers already been consulted?

Absolutely. CIC has held consultations and information sessions across Canada so employers could get up to speed with Express Entry and fully prepare for the new system.

How can Canadian employers make Express Entry work to their advantage?

Well, in order to make Express Entry work for them, Canadian employers must first advertise a position and make every attempt to employ a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill it. If they are unsuccessful in their attempts, they can then choose an experienced candidate from the Express Entry pool to fill the position.

There are two main routes an employer can take to find suitable candidates:

  • They can find a suitable candidate via his/her normal recruiting process.
  • They can find and contact a suitable candidate via Job Bank, which will be a vital connection for many employers when it comes to matching suitable candidates for relevant, available positions.

Will Express Entry release a list of eligible occupations?

No, there are no plans to release a list of eligible occupations for Express Entry – just like there is no cap on the amount of candidates who can be admitted via Express Entry. However, to be entered into the Express Entry pool, you will still have to have relevant skilled work experience with regards to a National Occupation Code (NOC) 0, A or B. Your job offer should be from NOC and your job offer has to be supported by LMIA.

Will Canadian employers have direct access to the Express Entry pool? 

Not as such. If you’re accepted for Express Entry, but have no valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination, you’ll have to register with Job Bank so Canadian employers will be able to find you.

Are you interested in the Express Entry program? 

If you are in need of immigration services or advice about immigrating to Canada, contact the experts at VisaPlace to book a consultation today. We work with qualified immigration lawyers who will be happy to help.


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

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

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