As recently reported by CBC News, a coalition of groups drawn from the retail, food, and tourism industries are urging the government to give entry-level temporary foreign workers similar quick access that skilled immigrant workers will get under the express entry program. Under the new system, the government will fast track permanent residency applications for skilled foreigners who will be matched with job openings that can’t be filled by Canadians.
The groups wrote a joint letter to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Employment Minister Jason Kenney, which was actually released to the public earlier in the week. It said: “Give all employers – including employers of lower-skilled occupations – access to the new express entry system for permanent immigration.”
The four groups which include The Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and Restaurants Canada claim that giving similar access to entry level workers will go a long way in solving labor shortages in rural parts of the country.
There were still many unanswered questions about the new system, which is why senior officials appeared before a Commons committee last week. Below, we’re going to go over five of the main points which you need to know about the immigration Express Entry program:
According to the government, skilled temporary foreign workers will be able to use the Express Entry program to apply for permanent residency. For employers who want to hire a temporary foreign worker on a permanent basis, that foreign worker would also be able to apply via Express Entry.
However, for employers to be able to hire a temporary foreign worker, they will first have to apply for a labour market impact assessment to prove that they’ve made an effort to hire a Canadian worker first.
David Manicom, acting associate assistant deputy minister, said that the comprehensive ranking system will give applicants up to a maximum of 1,200 points. According to David, 600 points will be given based on their human capital, work experience, education, language skills, and age. Applicants aged 20 – 29 will be awarded 110 points, while those under 17 and over 45 will get zero.
There will be a ‘draw’ for applicants every fortnight, although according to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, those with a job offer or provincial nomination will get first pick.
The initial ‘invitations to apply’ for permanent resident status will be issued by the end of January. Recipients will then have 60 days to accept the offer. Those who do not receive an invitation after a year will be able to re-enter the process.
After January 1, the government will still process applications submitted under the old system, along with new Express Entry applications. Most of the backlog for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will be cleared in 2015.
According to deputy minister for citizenship and immigration Anita Biguzs, the government has budgeted $32.5 million in funding for the program, with $6.9 million allocated to the department’s IT systems.
If you’re interested in applying to the Express Entry immigration program, or are in need of immigration services – for any reason – we at VisaPlace can help you. Use our online form to book an initial consultation.
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