Commencing January 1, 2015, there will be significant changes to
Canada's immigration system which will impact any individual
wishing to become a Canadian permanent resident. Employers
should take note of these changes if they have any temporary
foreign worker employees or potential employees who want to remain
in Canada or come to Canada on a long-term basis.
Effective January 1, 2015 Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC) will be overhauling its permanent residency program and
introducing a new immigration system called "Express
Entry". This is not a new immigration program, but
rather it is a new way to manage certain permanent residency
applications online. The practical effect for employers is
that certain candidates will be able to receive permanent residency
There are currently various paths towards permanent residency
– Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominee Program,
Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Federal Skilled Worker
Program. Each of these streams currently have their own
processing times and unique requirements. Applications under
each stream are currently processed in the order in which they are
received with no applicant receiving any preferential
treatment. As a result, highly qualified candidates must
often "wait in line" for almost two years until CIC
processes their applications. These programs will close on
December 31, 2014.
Under the new Express Entry system, in order to apply for
permanent residency, applicants must first create an online profile
setting out their skills, experience, ability to speak English,
whether they have a job lined up already, etc. Based on that
profile the applicant will receive points from CIC. The more
skilled the employee, the better their English, the fact that they
have a job lined up, and Canadian work experience will mean they
will receive more points. CIC will review each
applicant's profile and if they have enough points, will issue
an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency
("ITA"). It is unclear how long it will take for
CIC to issue ITA's after an applicant creates a profile.
However, CIC has indicated that the more points a profile earns the
quicker it will receive an ITA. Once an applicant receives an
ITA, CIC is indicating that they will process that permanent
residency application within six months. This is a
significant reduction from the current 12-17 month processing times
for most permanent residency applications.
The overall effect of this new system is supposed to be that the
best candidates will be picked first for permanent residency
instead of having to wait in line for their application to be
processed. The downside, however, will be that applicants
with lower levels of points might have to wait longer to have their
A second key feature of this new system is that employers can
search the online profiles in the Express Entry Pool and select
potential foreign skilled worker candidates. This may allow
employers to pick the best candidates for employment knowing that
they will be able to receive quicker processing of their permanent
The Express Entry system will not affect the temporary foreign
worker program. Employers seeking to bring in workers on a
temporary basis will still be able to do so using the current
temporary foreign worker program rules.
In conclusion, beginning January 1, there will be new processes
for applicants seeking permanent residency in Canada. Both
applicants and employers should be familiar with these new
processes as they could result in quicker processing times for
qualified candidates. We will monitor this new immigration
system as it is unrolled and will provide future updates when we
get a better sense of what impact it is having on employers and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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