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Express Entry Almost Half Way Through Year One

Launched in January, 2015 Canada’s Express Entry program was created to speed the process of economic immigrants coming to Canada to meet the needs of Canadian employers. Expected to play a major role in helping about 2/3rd of the 250,000 immigrants who arrive in Canada on average each year Express Entry is now 5 months old. So far this year Express Entry has been off to a very slow start.

With 10’s of thousands of immigrants expected to arrive in Canada this year at the 5 month mark just under 10,000 economic immigrants have received an “Invitation To Apply’ (ITA) to obtain a Permanent Residency in Canada. This number is far below the pace many expected.

The table below demonstrates the Express Entry data as of the end of May.

Draw # # of ITA’s Cut-Off Score Time Intervals in days
1 779 886 0
2 779 818 7
3 849 808 13
4 1187 735 7
5 1620 481 21
6 1637 453 7
7 925 469 14
8 715 453 7
9 1361 755 35
Total 9852

How Does Express Entry Work?

Express Entry enables entry to Canada for three existing economic immigrant class categories:

  • Federal Skills Workers (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Additionally some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) have also started to align their immigration programs with Express Entry.

Qualified immigrants are able to join the Express Entry pool and then wait for a draw by the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) from the pool to see if they have enough points to qualify to receive an IA (Invitation to Apply) for their PR. Using the Comprehensive Ranking System immigrants receive points based on factors of Human Capital (age, education, experience, language skills) and having an arranged offer of employment and/or a PNP. 1200 points are the maximum allowed, with 600 received for an arranged offer or employment or PNP and 600 for human capital factors.

Those who enter the Express Entry pool are required to demonstrate their experience, educational qualifications (by obtaining an ECA, Education Credentials Assessment) and English language skills.

Employer’s Role In Express Entry

The purpose of Express Entry was to be an employer driven and not a government driven way to bring needed talent into Canada. Ideally employers are engaged in the process of Express Entry by actively identifying and then offering employment to immigrants to fill hard to fill positions within their organizations.

With previous economic immigration programs organizations were limited in what they could do to bring talent to Canada quickly. The process of bringing in an employee could take months and years in the old system, organizations often turned to the Foreign Temporary Worker program as a stop gap measure. Express Entry promises to bring employees to an organization in about the same time as the Temporary Worker Program could. When an employer makes an offer of employment a qualified applicant will have enough points to receive an ITA and in theory within 12 week an employee is on the way (currently CIC indicates that 5 months is most likely but the goal is 12 weeks).

Hard To Fill Jobs and Arranged Offer Of Employment

The challenges for employers it to find qualified applicants efficiently. Some organizations such as Skills International.com help employers by pre-qualifying a pool of potential international candidates making the process of finding and qualifying potential foreign workers a little easier.

Thus far the majority of immigrants who have come through Express Entry have already had an arranged offer of employment, most likely already working as foreign temporary workers. CIC has indicated that in 2015 the majority of immigrants who will be accepted to Canada will be based on the backlog of cases already within the system, including those who applied previously through the FSW, FSTP or CEC programs.

Organizations who have hard to fill positions and are open to looking outside Canada for employees will find the Express Entry program a good match for their needs. Organizations will first need to demonstrate that they have a position that cannot be filled by a Canadian by obtaining an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). Once the LMIA requirements have been met an Offer of Arranged Employment is given to a potential immigrant who then applies to Express Entry and within a few months arrives in Canada.

Express Entry is still in they early stages of rolling out. CIC expects that 2016 and 2017 will see more impact from Express Entry as the backlog of existing cases takes front seat in 2015.

If your organization is looking to fill hard to fill positions in 2015 head over to the Canadian Job Bank and post a job or contact an organization who is working to bring qualified immigrants to Canada.

For more information visit Hire Permanent Workers on the Government of Canada Website or join the governments Employer Liaison Network (ELN).

For more information on Express Entry visit the Canadian Government page called ‘Express Entry What Employers Need To Know”