Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has begun the highly anticipated expression of interest program. The new program, known as “Express Entry”, has drastically changed the way economic-class candidates are selected for immigration to Canada.

Express Entry is intended to improve the Canadian immigration application process. Some of the improvements touted are faster processing times, increased accessibility for candidates from a broader range of occupations, and a greater emphasis on application quality control. While no one knows exactly how the new Express Entry system will perform in the beginning, its implementation is expected to make the application process more competitive.

What is the expression of interest and “Express Entry” model?

The expression of interest model is a program whereby candidates submit credentials that conform to existing economic program selection criteria, for example, Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class Program. Canadian immigration authorities are then able to select from that pool whichever applicants they feel are the most likely to establish themselves economically and contribute to Canadian society. Candidates selected from the expression of interest pool will be slated for Express Entry. Canada’s expression of interest program (Express Entry), is modeled after similar systems implemented in Australia and New Zealand.


How Does the Program Work?

Step 1: Submitting an Express Entry profile online

Expression of interest applicants must submit their candidacy online after creating an online profile. Candidates must provide information outlining their work experience, language proficiency, education, and other personal information. If an applicant does not already have a Canadian job offer, he or she must enlist with Canada’s Job Bank, so that Canadian employers can consider their employment. Here!

Note: Providing false information on an application could disqualify a candidate from the process for a number of years.

Step 2: Apply for Canadian permanent resident status

Federal and provincial governments of Canada, as well as Canadian employers, will access the Express Entry candidate pool when selecting qualifying applicants. The most appealing candidates (i.e. those deemed likely to successfully establish themselves economically in Canada), along with applicants holding Canadian employment offers or provincial nominations, will be summoned to apply for Canadian permanent resident status.

When an applicant is selected, he or she is provided an invitation to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. The applicant then has 60 days to respond by submitting an electronic application for permanent resident status.

CIC has stated that all expression of interest applications will be processed within 6 months from the date they were submitted. Applicants should ensure that all requisite forms and supporting documentation are submitted well within this timeframe. Upon completion of the Express Entry process, selected applicants and their dependent family members will land in Canada as permanent residents.

Applicants to the expression of interest candidate pool, who do not succeed in obtaining an invitation to apply for permanent resident status may resubmit their candidacy, provided they still meet the selection criteria of at least one Canadian economic immigration program.

 

How does Express Entry differ from Canada’s previous economic immigration model?

Firstly, Canada’s new Express Entry program enables candidates from any occupation to submit an application for consideration (instead of eligibility being limited to a short list of high-skilled occupations, as was done in the past). The expression of interest system has no eligibility occupation list whatsoever.

Also, Canada’s Express Entry system does not include application caps. Candidates can therefore submit an application without worrying that the expression of interest pool will fill up before their application can be processed.