The Launch of “Express Entry” for Qualified Economic Immigrants
Actively Recruiting Talented Newcomers For the Benefit of Canada’s Economy
New caps for Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades Programs, and Canadian Experience Class
By A Correspondent
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, on April 8, announced that Canada’s active recruitment model for economic immigration will officially be called “Express Entry.” Set to launch in January 2015, “Express Entry” is a major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs.
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, said, “Express Entry promises to be a game-changer for Canadian immigration and Canada’s economy. It will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants, and get them working here faster. Our government is actively engaged with our provincial and territorial partners, and with employers, to make January’s launch of Express Entry a success.”
Minister Chris Alexander, on April 23, announced new measures in key economic immigration programs to prepare for next year’s launch of Express Entry, Canada’s new active recruitment model. Express Entry will lead to a faster and more flexible economic immigration system that will address Canada’s economic and labour market needs.
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, said, “With these measures in place for our key economic programs, our government is ensuring our immigration system is addressing Canada’s economic and labour market needs while reducing backlogs and improving processing times. We look forward to the launch of Express Entry next January, which will be a major step forward in attracting the skilled workers we need and have them working in Canada faster.”
To prepare for the launch of Express Entry in 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting May 1, 2014. These measures will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers who are settling in Canada permanently and helping to supplement the Canadian workforce in areas where there are skills shortages.
With the FSWP backlog on track for elimination this year, a new cap of 25,000 applications will provide the appropriate number of applications to support expected admissions in 2015. The list of eligible occupations – reflecting the latest labour market needs – will be more than doubled, from 24 to 50 occupations.
To support Canada’s need for skilled trades people, the FSTP cap will be increased to 5,000 applications. All 90 skilled trades designated under the program regulations will now be eligible for consideration, although sub-caps remain in order to ensure appropriate representation of occupations.
The CEC cap will be re-set at 8,000 applications, as of May 1, 2014, to cover the transition period leading up to Express Entry.
“Express Entry” will allow for greater flexibility and better responsiveness to deal with regional labour shortages, and help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers. “Express Entry” candidates who receive a valid job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be quickly invited to apply for permanent residency – a key distinction between “Express Entry” and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is only used to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.
Formerly referred to as “Expression of Interest”, “Express Entry” will be open to skilled immigrants and allow the government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line. It will also prevent backlogs and allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to better coordinate application volume with the annual immigration levels plan.
Qualified applicants can expect faster processing times of six months or less when invited to come to Canada in four key economic streams: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the PNP.
With “Express Entry,” employers will have a key role in selecting economic immigrants and providing advice to the Government of Canada. To this end, Alexander also announced that over the course of spring 2014, CIC will work with provincial and territorial governments to hold a series of cross-Canada information sessions to provide employers with more information about this exciting new system.
- These are the last FSWP, FSTP and CEC applications that will be accepted under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.
- Application caps ensure that the immigration programs continue to address labour market needs and that backlogs are not created.
- The latest FSWP occupation list was developed based on recent labour market data from Employment and Social Development Canada and input from the provinces and territories on regional labour market needs.
- Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensuring the successful implementation of Express Entry.
- With Express Entry, Canada will be able to select the best candidates who are most likely to achieve success in Canada, rather than the first person in line.