CANADA’S Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander on Tuesday 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, he said.
“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 new system.
* 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.
* The Government of Canada’s new and improved Job Bank will help facilitate matches between Canadian employers and Express Entry candidates.
* Having a valid job offer or provincial / territorial nomination will guarantee Express Entry candidates an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Alexander 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.”