Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has conducted the first draw from the Express Entry pool. CIC had previously announced that the top ranked Express Entry candidates would be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence as a result of a draw that would occur during the final week of January.
True to its word, the first invitations to apply were issued on the last day of January. 779 candidates, each of whom had 886 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System, received invitations to apply for permanent residence.
Good News — The System Works
News of the draw is promising for people interested in immigrating to Canada. This draw shows that the new Express Entry system is working and that submitting a profile can truly lead to permanent residence.
While the new Express Entry system continues to be improved and tested, the government of Canada has prudently kept the first draw quite small. These first invitations will likely be the first real test subjects for the system and help the government spot and fix potential glitches or problems.
Who Was Invited?
Only the highest ranked candidates were invited to apply. Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Since this draw was particularly small, the candidates selected had relatively high scores. The scores of invited applicants was so high (a CRS of 886 was required) that a candidate would have needed a provincial nomination or qualifying job offer in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence.
Larger And More Frequent Draws Are Expected
CIC has indicated its intention to conduct up to 25 draws this year and plans on meeting its immigration targets under the 2015 immigration plan. Future draws are expected to occur more frequently and the government is expected to issue a much greater number of invitations to apply to a wider array of candidates in the Express Entry pool.
Indeed, future draws are expected to select candidates with high points for human capital factors under the Comprehensive Ranking System, but who may not necessarily have a job offer or provincial nomination. CIC expects that a significant proportion of invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence will be issued to people without job offers from Canadian employers. This is because the job matching facility for Canadian employers is unlikely to be in place for a number of months, yet the government of Canada aims to admit approximately 180,000 new immigrants in 2015 through the economic immigration programs
“Keep in mind that what we are working within, in terms of a ceiling, is the admissions target in the immigration plan. So the 180,000 for 2015 is the ceiling that we are working within,” stated a CIC spokesperson at a recent Law Society summit. “We expect that, certainly as of implementation and early days, it will take some time for that employer take-up to happen, so we expect there will be nominees from the province and so those will automatically be pulled from the pool. What we expect in the early days is that the department will be pulling those candidates with the highest scores, even though they don’t have job offers, because we need to be looking at meeting those admissions targets for the economic classes.’
“This draw is good news to all candidates and employers. Candidates know that the program is working and that they may be issued an invitation to apply for permanent residence, while employers know there are, and will be, candidates coming to Canada to help address labour market needs,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“I’m quite surprised that there were only 779 candidates with a Comprehensive Ranking System score of 886 or greater. If CIC could only get that number from people who have obtained a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or provincial nomination, it seems unlikely that the targets set under the 2015 immigration plan can be met without both increasing the number of candidates selected in each draw and lowering the required score under the Comprehensive Ranking System.
“This is positive news for people currently without job offers or provincial nominations, but I would encourage any eligible candidates to create their Express Entry profiles so that they may take advantage of this potential opportunity.”
To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, including the federal economic programs that will be conducted under Express Entry, please fill out a free online assessment today.
Candidates eligible to enter the Express Entry pool can increase their chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence by:
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