Canada’s Express Entry program offering permanent residency to skilled workers is already making waves.
On January 31, 779 candidates were chosen from a pool of approximately 3,000 top-ranking skilled workers in fields like natural sciences, applied sciences, and industrial, electrical, and construction trades. On February 7, another 779 candidates were selected. More picks have been done since with similar numbers. The Canadian government plans to do between 15 and 25 draws this year, making this an incredibly opportune time for immigration.
The most crucial factor in the lucky candidates being given Invitation To Apply over others in the pool has been a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer. This documentation indicates that the worker provides an in-demand skill, and guarantees an automatic 600 points to candidates who receive it. The other 600 possible points are made up of factors including language, work experience, and education. The lowest score among the first round of picks was 886, and the lowest in the second round was 818.
What is Express Entry? It’s a new management system that creates a pool of high-ranking candidates from applicants in existing programs – Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trade, and Canadian Experience Class. The benefits to immigrants are massive, including speedy entry into Canada and a stronger system for connecting prospective Canadian employers with qualified foreign workers. Simply put: only ideal candidates are invited to apply, meaning no first-come-first-serve backlog while less desirable applications are processed and rejected. There is no cap on how many candiates can be in the Express Entry pool, and no occupation list limiting qualified areas of skill. The various Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) may also draw a portion of picks from the Express Entry pool.
How does Express Entry work? Employers must first attempt to fill positions with Canadians or permanent residents. If a desirable applicant can’t be found, they can then turn to the pool of Express Entry candidates. When a round of picks is done, select top-ranking candidates from the pool are given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence, which in 80% of cases will be processed within six months. Candidates can be nominated by a province or territory and then apply to Express Entry, or can be nominated from within the Express Entry pool. After receiving an ITA, candidates have 60 days to respond.
How can you dive into the Express Entry pool? All successful applicants must qualify under one of the three federal immigration programs (FSW, FST, CEC). An online profile and application can be created by candidates alone, or with the assistance of an experienced and government-authorized representative. The Express Entry system is new and complex, and the best way to ensure your application is accurate, complete, and exactly what they’re seeking is to speak with an experienced immigration consultant.