As of January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under certain economic immigration programs. The Express Entry system is the first step to immigrate to Canada under these programs. Potential candidates can complete an Express Entry profile at any time.
Anyone who is accepted into the Express Entry pool could get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. According to CIC, draws to invite candidates to apply will take place regularly over the course of each year.
CIC has conducted the first draw from the Express Entry pool during the final week of January 2015. As a result, 779 candidates, with a minimum point of 886 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), received invitations to apply for permanent residence.
Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to a CRS. Since the first 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 with Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to be invited to apply for permanent residence. In CRS, at least 600 points are given to a job offer with LMIA.
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.
Future draws are expected to select candidates with high points for human capital factors under the CRS, 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.
“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.”
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