Express Entry

Get Excited about Express Entry

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently announced that Canada’s long awaited expression of interest program will be opening in January 2015. The new program, “Express Entry,” is exciting for skilled workers around the world who are interested in immigrating to Canada.

The new program will involve many improvements to Canadian immigration, including quicker processing times, greater accessibility to applicants from a wider variety of different fields, and a greater focus on the quality of applications. The one main drawback of the new program, uncertainty, is unavoidable in the application process for any immigration program and appears to be outweighed by all of the potential benefits that the program will create for applicants and Canadian employers.

What is Expression of Interest and Express Entry?

An expression of interest program is an immigration program where an applicant documents their credentials (education, work experience, qualifications, etc.) and provides an explanation of their interest in working and living in a given country for expedited processing. Canada’s expression of interest program, Express Entry, is inspired by a similar model originally developed in New Zealand and recently adopted by Australia.

Express Entry has been compared to applying for a job through one large central organization, Canada, who then presents the applicant’s resume and credentials to smaller organizations, such as Canadian Provinces and employers.

How Will the Program Work?

Under Canada’s Express Entry system, after an application is received it will be entered into a pool or database of candidates for review or selection by an interested “selector.”  The Express Entry Process can be divided into 5 steps:

  1. First, all potential candidates will create an Express Entry profile using an online platform that identifies their skills and qualifications, taking the form of an online resume. All Express Entry profiles will be ranked against the other applicants in the system based on a variety of factors, including their language proficiency in English and/or French, their education, their Canadian work experience (if applicable), and other factors that indicate the candidate will be successful in Canada.
  2. Applicants to the program without a job offer from a Canadian employer will be required to register with the newly upgraded Canada Job Bank. The Job Bank is a platform where individuals can post their credentials and Canadian employers seeking workers can search for an applicant who meets the requirements of their position in order to offer them a job.
  3. After each profile in the system has been assessed, the candidates who meet the criteria of a federal economic program will be placed in the pool of candidates for Express Entry.
  4. If their application is selected by an employer through the Job Bank, the applicant will be issued an “Invitation to Apply,” and will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence.
  5. The successful candidate will then apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), the Federal Skilled Trade program (FST), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or through a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). After being offered an invitation to apply applicants will still be required to meet the criteria of the program they are applying under.  The entire process of applying for permanent residence will be online.

After an individual has recieved an Invitation to Apply (ITA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has committed to processing these applications in six months or less.

Who Can Apply?

Under the new Express Entry program, anyone will be able apply. Instead of needing to have experience in an occupation on a strict list of eligible occupations as with many other immigration programs, Express Entry will have no occupation list and applicants can present their impressive credentials regardless of what industry or profession they are in.

Canada’s most popular immigration program for foreign workers without a job offer is the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) eligible occupation stream. Only a limited number of applicants can apply (maximum 1,000 per eligible occupation) and they must have work experience in one of 50 eligible occupations within the last 10 years. Canada needs workers from more than 50 occupations, and many people in occupations not on the list would benefit Canada’s economy and workforce.

Unlike the restrictive FSW program, the new Express Entry program allows people from all occupations to apply without limiting availability to those fortunate enough to have their occupation included on a small list.

Additionally, Express Entry will also not include the application caps featured in many other Canadian immigration programs, including the FSW program.  Without a cap on the number of applications being accepted for processing, applicants can apply to Express Entry at any time without fear that the program will close or fill up before their application is completed.

Read more and register today!