Canada launches express entry immigration selection system
On 1 January 2015, the Canadian government officially launched the express entry selection system (“Express Entry”) for immigration to Canada.
Eligible candidates can create their online profiles and maximize their chances of being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”, the online platform of the Canadian immigration and citizenship authority), first invitations to apply for Express Entry will be issued before the end of January 2015. Hence, candidates who act promptly may have better chances of receiving early invitations. The launch of Express Entry will change the way how the Canadian immigration system is operated, by switching it from supply-driven to demand-driven system.
The Canada federal government, provincial governments and Canadian employers are able to select immigration candidates from the Express Entry pool, which is made up of candidates who must qualify for either one of the following programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class. The key requirements of these programs are summarised below:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
Applicants under this program must:
(a) have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation (National Occupational Classification skill lever 0, A or B); or
(b) qualify for Arranged Employment with a Labour Market Impact Assessment and a full-time, permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; or
(c) have completed a PhD in Canada, or have completed two years of study in Canada towards a PhD, in both cases at a recognized institution; and
(d) pass a minimum threshold of language ability for one of Canada’s two official languages (English/French).
In addition, applicants under this program must attain at least 67 points based on CIC immigration selection factors.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
Applicants under this program must:
(a) have offers of employment from up to two employers in Canada of at least one year duration OR a Certificate of Qualification from a provincial or territorial body;
(b) provide proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing organization, demonstrating that the applicant meets the minimum threshold set by the Minister (Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, 4 for reading and writing);
(c) have obtained twenty-four months of qualified work experience in the skilled trade in the last five years; and
(d) be able to demonstrate the skills and experience and that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.
90 eligible occupations will be eligible for this program.
- Canadian Experience Class
This is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents. Applicants under this program must:
(a) obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience in Canada within 36 months of the application date;
(b) met or surpassed a Canadian Language Benchmark threshold of 5 (“initial intermediate”) or 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”) depending on the level of the job; and
(c) plan to live and work outside of the Province of Quebec (individuals who plan to reside in Quebec may apply to the Quebec Experience Class).
Selected candidates will be issued an invitation to apply and must submit a completed application within 60 days. CIC aims to process the applications within 6 months.
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