Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) established an Express Entry system in January 2015 aimed at reducing the time needed to process qualified applicants. The goal of this program is that 80% of the accepted applicants will be processed within six months.
The Express Entry system is aimed at fast tracking applicants who have job skills needed within Canada's economy. In fact, to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker you must use the Express Entry system. The following three Federal immigration programs participate in the system:
- Skilled Worker Program
- Skilled Trades Program
- Canadian Experience Class
A portion of the Provincial Nominee program also participates in the Express Entry system.
Step one of the system requires candidates to complete an online Express Entry profile. This profile is designed to assess the applicant's work experience, education, language skills and other skills and abilities.
At various times throughout the year CIC reviews the Express Entry profiles and invites the highest ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
In the first year of the program, nearly 200,000 Express Entry profiles were completed. Of these, almost 1/2 did not meet the criteria set out by one of more of the economic immigration programs.
Top ranked profiles tend to be those applicants who already have job offers in Canada. This is because jobs supported by the Labour Market Impact Assessment are able to contribute up to 600 points toward the candidates overall score.
In 2015, there were 23 rounds of Express Entry invitations, with most rounds resulting in about 1,500 Permanent Residency invitations being extended to applicants. In total, there were over 31,000 invitations issued. This number is substantially lower than the number expected in the future because many of the 2015 applications processed related to backlogged files received prior to the Express Entry program. Once this backlog has been cleared, most of the economic applicants will come through the Express Entry system.
This underscores the importance of making your Express Entry profile as positive and accurate as possible and seeking ways to improve your comprehensive ranking score. Improving your English and/or French skills is one thing you can do to help raise your overall score. Striving to achieve score of CLB9 or higher on your language test will ensure that you have optimized your language rating. If you have not completed your university education, doing so will also result in an increase in your score.
Contact our office for other ideas on increasing your Express Entry score, specific to your situation.
Read more about the Express Entry system on our page that describes Permanent Residence Applications.