Express Entry: What you need to know ahead of July 2022
The announcement was made by Canadian Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, on April 22.
It represents a major change in the recent Canadian immigration landscape and comes as very positive news as Express Entry is the primary means by which the Canadian government manages skilled worker applications.
The onset of the pandemic resulted in a significant decrease in Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) application processing capacity and several policy shifts, among them a temporary pause in all-program Express Entry draws.
Up until that point, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) had been Canada's flagship and most popular economic immigration program for well over 50 years.
Through the FSWP, Canada was admitting tens of thousands of professionals and skilled workers from around the world each year on the basis of the likelihood that they will be able to establish themselves successfully in the Canadian labour market. But since December 2020, in order to reduce the number of applications that were piling up in processing centers, Canada introduced a pause in invitation rounds under the program.
Months later, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), another major federal immigration program, faced the same fate and has now not seen a draw since September 2021.
With Canada having the lowest unemployment rate and the highest number of job vacancies on record, an aging population, and a low birth rate, the importance of reopening the country to qualified skilled workers has now become an ever more pressing goal for the Canadian government.
"With the economy growing faster than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and labour needed to fuel our growth" said Canada's Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
This is why, by July, Express Entry is poised to once again become Canada's primary means of attracting international talent. In fact, the Canadian government will gradually increase its annual Express Entry admissions to more than 110,000 immigrants in 2024.
Why you should submit your Express Entry profile early
Though July may seem like a long way off, there are several reasons not to delay submitting your profile to the Express Entry pool. Here are the main ones:
Be in a position to receive an ITA by early July
Preparing and submitting your Express Entry profile will take time.
The sooner you start preparing and gathering your documents, the sooner you can enter the Express Entry pool. For example, you may need information related to travel documents, language tests, educational credential assessment reports, etc.
By starting the process now, you are more likely to have your paperwork in order by July and be in a position to receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence (PR) when draws resume in July.
Take advantage of the tie-breaking rule
Under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates from around the world who are seeking to immigrate to Canada are awarded points for a range of human capital factors such as age, education, language, and others. If there is a tie in points between candidates, IRCC uses the time and date of entry into the pool as a tie-breaker. Hence, the earlier you enter the pool, the more likely you are to be invited to apply in a draw.
Leverage the benefits of the PNP
The Provincial Nominee Program is one of Canada's primary immigration pathways. The program is designed both to encourage the immigration of skilled workers and to facilitate settlement in provinces across the country. Originally, each Canadian province had a selection process of its own.
However, since the introduction of the Express Entry system, many provinces and territories have created pathways aligned with the federal system as a way to expedite the immigration process.
When you submit a profile in the Express Entry pool and select a province of your choice, you will have a double benefit: you can receive a direct Express Entry invitation and also be selected by the province of your choice. Receiving a provincial nomination will give you an additional 600 points toward your CRS score. The increased score will virtually guarantee that you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian PR in an upcoming draw.
How does Express Entry work?
Introduced in 2015, Express Entry is the application management system for Canada’s three most popular immigration programs: the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Candidates eligible for any of these programs can create a profile on IRCC's website, where they will be awarded a CRS score based on their human capital characteristics.
The top-scoring candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in draws held approximately every two weeks, and can then apply for permanent residency. Once approved, IRCC issues them a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).
The past two years marked by the pandemic, have created great challenges for prospective immigrants seeking to come to Canada through the Express Entry system.
Now, the borders have finally reopened, Canada's main immigration pathway is only months away from a full resumption, and the country is expected to see an increase in the number of newcomers over the next few years.
This means that potential immigrants can finally approach their immigration plans with a great deal of optimism.
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