Express Entry is a new electronic management application system for immigration to Canada.
It is not a new immigration program. Rather, it facilitates the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Worker Program), the Federal Skilled Trades Class (formerly the Federal Skilled Trades Program), the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs. Applicants make an “expression of interest” in immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool. The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are then able to select candidates from this pool who will then receive an Invitation To Apply for immigration to Canada under one of the programs. Express Entry moves Canada from a first come, first served (or supply-driven) system to an invitation to apply (or demand-driven) system. Modeled on similar systems in use in Australia and New Zealand, Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) aims to process applications within six months from the date of submission, hence the name Express Entry. Note that this does not mean six months from the date a candidate made an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, but rather six months from the date he or she submits a complete application for permanent residence after an invitation to apply has been issued.
No. Express Entry does not change Canadian immigration program requirement. Express Entry is not a new program. Rather, it is a new management and selection system for existing immigration programs.
Potential candidates who create an Express Entry profile and are eligible for one of Canada’s economic immigration programs enter the Express Entry pool. These programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs. The federal government and provincial governments, as well as Canadian employers, are able to select candidates from this pool. Candidates who are selected then receive an ‘Invitation to Apply’ for immigration to Canada under one of the programs.
The Comprehensive Ranking System is the government of Canada’s internal mechanism for ranking candidates bases on their human capital, determined by factors such as age, level of education and language ability. This helps to enable Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to decide which candidates may be issued invitations to apply for permanent residence. There are up to 600 points available under the system for a candidate’s core human capital and skills transferabilty factors. An additional 600 points will be given to anyone with a confirmed job offer (i.e. having received a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment) in a skilled occupation, or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
The Canada Job Bank is an online search engine for open job positions across Canada. It helps match candidates with Canadian employers and jobs based on their skills, knowledge and experience. Under Express Entry, candidates need to register with Job Bank if they do not already have a Canadian job offer or a Provincial/Territorial nomination If a candidate is currently working in Canada on a Labour Market Impact Assessment-based work permit, he or she will not have to reapply for a new LMIA, insofar as the LMIA is still valid. Should the Express Entry candidate choose to apply to a job opportunity, the recipient employer will then be required to go through their usual interview or assessment process? If the employer finds that the Express Entry candidate meets their needs, and they are eligible to hire a foreign national, they can offer them a job. Employers with a positive LMIA will then provide this information along with a job offer letter to the candidate to include in their Express Entry profile. This is so they can more quickly be offered an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
An Invitation to Apply is offered to any candidate in the Express Entry pool who has been selected to apply for immigration to Canada by the federal government, a Canadian province or territory, or a Canadian employer. An ‘invitation to apply’ is offered if a candidate: is among the top ranked in the Express Entry pool based on his or her skills, education and experience; is nominated by a province or territory; or has a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment in place at that time).
Whereas previously potential candidates who were eligible for a Canadian immigration program could apply directly to that program, that is no longer the case. Under Express Entry, candidates with higher point’s totals in the Express Entry pool may have a better chance of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence by the federal government, a Canadian province or territory, or a Canadian employer. Highly educated candidates with skilled work experience and strong language skills in English and/or French, for example, are likely obtain a greater number of points than those who do not possess these qualities.
Yes, the federal government of Canada is able to select candidates from the Express Entry pool. These candidates do not necessarily need to have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer in order to receive an Invitation to apply for permanent residence.
No, there will not be any eligible occupation lists for any of the programs. Under previous versions of the Federal Skilled Worker Class, there were lists of eligible occupations deemed in demand by the government of Canada. Under the most recent version of the Canadian Experience Class, there was a list of ineligible occupations. These lists are no more. It must be noted, however, that in order to be eligible for any of the programs under Express Entry, the candidate needs to have work experience in an occupation that has a National Occupation Classification (NOC) code of skill type 0, A or B.
All provinces and territories, except for Quebec and Nunavut, use Express Entry or have indicated that they may do so in the future. Provinces and territories are able to nominate a certain number of candidates through the Express Entry system to meet their local and provincial labour market needs. These are known as “enhanced” nominations. If an applicant gets an enhanced nomination from a province or territory, he or she is then given 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System and will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool. All candidates must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to enter and be selected from the Express Entry pool.
Just as they manage their own Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) now, provinces and territories set the criteria they use to nominate Express Entry candidates. Express Entry candidates may either enter the pool first and then be nominated by a province or territory, or be nominated by a province or territory and then complete an online Express Entry profile. Provinces and territories are also able to make nominations under their regular (“base”) PNPs outside Express Entry via a paper application process.
Yes. There are two ways to do this: Apply to the PNP first, get a nomination and then fill out an Express Entry profile; or fill out the Express Entry profile first. Provinces and territories can then search the Express Entry pool and ask a candidate to apply for his or her provincial nomination. When the candidate gets a nomination certificate, he or she will update their Express Entry profile. In either case, once a person updates his or her Express Entry profile to show that he or she has an enhanced provincial or territorial nomination certificate, he or she will be given enough additional points to be invited to apply at a subsequent draw of candidates.
Candidates should bear in mind that the economic immigration programs that have been in place in recent years remain in place under the Express Entry selection system. Once an Invitation to apply for permanent residence has been issued to a candidate, he or she must submit a range of supporting document with his or her application, as was the case previously. These documents include those pertaining to civil status such as marriage certificates (if applicable), birth certificates, language test results, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA; if applicable), work reference letters, security background checks, and other documents.
Yes, all candidates need to take a language test in order to determine their language abilities. There are a set number of points available for language ability for each of the economic immigration programs that come under Express Entry, and ability must be proven by candidates taking a standardized language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The most popular are IELTS for English and TEF for French. As part of their Express Entry profile, candidates must submit valid language test results. Once a candidate enters the Express Entry pool, he or she can earn extra points and increase his or her rank by sitting another language test and obtaining better results.
Candidate know their points total (or score), but do not know their rank within the pool. They will, however, know the minimum point’s total that was required for the most recent draw from the Express Entry pool. Therefore, they have a target that they can aim to meet and surpass in order to increase their chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.
Each profile remains in the Express Entry pool for a period of 12 months or until an invitation to apply for permanent residence is issued, whichever comes first. If after 12 months a candidate wishes to remain in the pool, he or she may create a fresh profile.
Candidates who receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence from a Canadian province or territory should have the intention to reside in that particular province or territory. The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are set up to address local and regional labour market needs, and so it follows that candidates invited to apply through a PNP are deemed likely to succeed in that particular province or territory. Once a candidate has landed in Canada, however, he or she will have the right to freedom of movement within Canada, as well as the right to live and work anywhere in Canada for any employer.
An applicant may have a birthday after he or she receives an invitation to apply but before he or she submits an application for permanent residence. A change in age may lower his or her CRS score below the lowest score in the draw. It may also result in the applicant no longer meeting the minimum requirements. When a change in age results in the candidate no longer meeting the minimum entry criteria or lowering his or her CRS points score below the lowest points score in the draw, CIC officers are asked to apply the Public policy to exempt applicants for permanent residence from certain age-based requirements between invitation to apply and application. This public policy also grants an exemption to applicants who may be refused on FSW program requirements for having a birthday between receiving an invitation to apply and submitting an application. In short, a candidate’s age may be considered locked in once an invitation to apply has been issued.
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