Modifications have been proposed to Canada’s Express Entry system, which would change the way foreign workers are selected to be invited to apply for permanent residency. Under current rules, the immigration minister does not have the ability to invite candidates from the Express Entry pool based upon certain work experience, educational credentials, or language skills. The proposed changes, however, will allow the immigration minister to invite candidates based on these criteria to fulfill a stated economic goal.

Currently the amendment is being addressed in the Canadian Parliament… but what might it mean for you? Continue reading for more information on the proposed changes to Canada’s Express Entry system.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry refers to an application management system for three Canadian immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). In order to immigrate to Canada through one of these programs, foreign workers must express their interest by completing a profile in the Express Entry system.

Due to the pandemic, FSWP and CEC draws have been temporarily paused, and only candidates from Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have received invitations to apply. However, the programs are on track to reopen for candidates in the summer of 2022.

After completing their applications, eligible candidates will receive a score based on their work experience, educational background, language skills, age, and a variety of other factors. Currently, candidates who receive the highest scores are invited by the IRCC to apply for permanent residence. With the proposed amendment, the way that candidates are selected to apply for permanent residence would change; they would be assessed according to criteria additional to their application score.

What are the Proposed Changes?

The changes are meant to improve Canada’s ability to select applicants that match its current economic needs. Under the amendment, Canada would be able to conduct targeted draws aimed at selecting individuals who possess skills that address areas like Canada’s labour shortages, or that would help Canada reach other economic goals as defined by the immigration minister.

Those who fit these criteria would be added to a preferred category within the immigration pool, and invitations would be sent out to top-ranking candidates within that category. Factors such as work experience, educational background, or language skills could become eligibility requirements to become a member of a specific category, and therefore prioritized for immigration. For example, if there was a desire to support Canada’s tech industry, category criteria could be based on work experience in the sector or a specific educational credential. This categorization could be applied to any industry in which Canada is experiencing a shortage or need, such as the healthcare industry.

Express Entry Criteria & Transparency

You might be wondering how you will know if you fit into an Express Entry category under these proposed changes. Draw details, including unique eligibility criteria, would still be published on the IRCC Website. The specific economic goal that the category is seeking to fulfill would also be disclosed, and the immigration minister would report annually to Parliament on the use of the draws.

However, critics believe that further oversight will be needed, including a transparent, formal, and established criteria for determining the categories. This oversight would ensure fairness in selecting the categories, what criteria would be prioritized, as well as prevent the draws from becoming overtaken by lobbyists. Currently, the proposed changes are being researched, and requested changes to the amendment will be considered on May 27.

If you are looking to enter Canada as a skilled worker applying under the Express Entry system, these proposed changes will affect your application. To understand how these changes may affect you, or how to submit a complete and competitive application, you should consult with a Canadian Immigration Lawyer. Brace Law’s Immigration Lawyers can assist you in your immigration application, whether you would like to work, study, or live in Canada. Contact Brace Law at 905-815-6555 for a consultation, and Consider It Handled!

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