The Government of Canada launched the Express Entry operation on January 01, 2015. It was designed for the management of new electronic applications at the federal, provincial, and Canadian employer’s level. The Government made it compulsory for all economic applicants to use the Express Entry system including Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, although it is optional for Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Applicants make an ‘expression of interest’ for immigrating to Canada and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, then they 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’ (ITA) under one of the programs. Express Entry moves Canada from a first come, first served (supply-driven) system to an invitation to apply (demand-driven) system. Express Entry aims to fast track the processing of skilled immigrants deemed most likely to succeed in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process applications within six months from the date of submission after being invited, hence the name Express Entry. Potential candidates make an expression of interest in coming to Canada by creating an Express Entry profile and providing information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other personal information. This profile is self-declared; that is to say that the material provided by the potential candidate is based on his or her own assessment. There are up to 600 points available under the system for a candidate’s core human capital and skills transferability factors. An additional 200 or 50 points will be awarded to anyone with a confirmed job offer (i.e. having received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment) in a skilled occupation or received a certificate for a provincial nomination.
A qualifying job offer is now worth 200 points if the offer is in an occupation contained in a Major Group 00 of the National Occupational Classification (senior managerial level position). These occupations are:
- 0011 Legislators
- 0012 Senior government managers and officials
- 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
- 0014 Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations
- 0016 Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities
A qualifying job offer is now worth 50 points if the offer is any other qualifying offer of arranged employment. Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment were worth 600 points under the CRS. As of November 19, 2016, candidates with qualifying job offers will be awarded either 200 or 50 points, depending on the position. Moreover, certain work permit holders may be awarded points for their job offer even if they have not obtained a LMIA (note: LMIA holders will also continue to be awarded points for a job offer).
In addition to LMIA holders, the new regulations also allow the following individuals to be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:
- Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-Company Transfers.
In both above cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit.
Finally, the job offer duration requirement has also changed from ‘indeterminate’ to at least one year in duration.
The points that are to be assigned for a Canadian educational credential are the following:
- 0 points, if the foreign national has a secondary school educational credential;
- 15 points, if the foreign national has an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program; and
- 30 points, if the foreign national has either:
- an eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three years or more,
- an eligible credential from a university-level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required, or
- an eligible credential from a university-level program at the doctoral level.
Points are only assigned for Canadian study experience if, for the purpose of obtaining the credential, the foreign national:
- studied in Canada at a Canadian educational institution;
- was enrolled in full-time study or training for at least eight months; and
- was physically present in Canada for at least eight months.
Before these changes, there were no additional points available for international students/graduates who had completed a study program in Canada. The changes reflect the government’s goal of providing simpler pathways to permanent residents to international students and graduates in Canada.
Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence will have additional time to submit a complete application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you received an ITA before June 26, 2018, you have 90 days to submit your application. Whereas, if you received an ITA after June 26, 2018, you now have 60 days to submit your application.
This system purposefully issues invitations to apply only to candidates who are best positioned for economic success in Canada – not the first in line.
As of January 2015, skilled foreign workers have access to Express Entry, which covers Canada’s key economic immigration programs:
- the Federal Skilled Worker Program
- the Federal Skilled Trades Program
- the Canadian Experience Class, and
- a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has revamped the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for its Express Entry immigration selection system. The changes came into effect on November 19, 2016.