New rules are coming into force through the express entry system that will allow the Canadian government more discretion to issue permanent residency to skilled applicants.
Starting on January 1, the new system fast-tracks immigration applications from highly skilled foreigners, matching them to available vacancies with Canadian employers for which there are no available Canadian workers. The express entry system has been in the making for years, pushed through by the governing Conservatives in an attempt to make Canada more competitive in the race to attract global talent to its citizenry, while at the same time attempting to gain more control and having more of a say over who can settle in the country.
The current program does not have a priority system and processes applications in the order they are received. While the new system will address this, analysts have pointed out that it will also be open to abuse as it grants the federal government’s department of immigration a lot of discretionary power. The apparent lack of transparency is disconcerting to many as well.
But defending the express entry program, Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Sonia Lesage said that the new system will make sure that “only the candidates who are most likely to succeed – not simply the first to submit their application – are able to apply to immigrate to Canada.”
The government will also be able to change the type and makeup of immigrants allowed in, as and when needed, making it better placed to meet industry demand for skilled employees.
The express entry system introduces a new points system of ranking applicants. High-scoring applicants will be allowed to apply for permanent residency, with the government promising to process all applications within six months from the date of submission, which is a significant improvement from the current waiting times.
All express entry applicants will be registered in the government’s ‘Job Bank’ to be matched with vacancies for which no Canadian jobseekers are available. According to Simon Rivet of Employment and Social Development Canada, “The system will be utilized to match Canadians with available jobs, and if no Canadian is available, the system will match jobs to candidates under express entry.”
The express entry job matching will be done only by the government and employers will not be allowed full access to the records of the applicants. The job matching mechanism, however, will not be ready at the time of the system’s launch in January, but will be implemented a few months down the line.
The first selection of express entry applicants will take place in late January, and according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, applicants with jobs offers will be picked first.
A pre-existing job offer at the time of application will provide a big boost to an applicant’s ranking. Additionally, points can be gained if the applicant is seeking express entry for study or work experience, and also if they are aged between 20 and 29. Further points are given if their skills are easily transferable or if the applicant has a nomination by a provincial government.
Selected applicants in the express entry system will be invited by the government to apply for permanent residency. Which is another big incentive for prospective applicants who are considering applying for the scheme, as permanent residency is a step towards obtaining Canadian citizenship.
Source: The Globe and Mail