If you are currently a student or working in Canada on a temporary work permit, there will be new changes starting on January 1, 2015.  On December 1, 2014, Citizenship & Immigration Canada (“CIC”) has released details regarding the launch of the new express entry system which will be based on a rigorous points system. This new system will affect immigration programs such as Federal Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades and BC Provincial Nominees. CIC will choose the best applicants by inviting them to apply for permanent residence in Canada and process their application in about 6 months or less.

The Express Entry System will be an online portal where prospective applicants can create an online profile and provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details that may contribute to their ability to establish economically in Canada. If the prospective applicant meets the requirements, he/she will be put into a pool of applicants and the applicants with the highest scores in the pool will be issued an Invitation to Apply. It is anticipated that candidates who accept the invitations and submit their required documentation will have their applications for permanent residency processed within 6 months or less.

Prospective applicants will be assessed, scored and ranked on a point system that is out of 1200 points.  Based on the new points system referred to as the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”), the CRS consists of several factors which CIC would assess the prospective applicant such as:

  • age
  • level of education (ie: post-secondary degrees, post-graduate degrees, diplomas, certificates or trade certificates)
  • proficiency in one or both official languages (English or French)
  • past work experience or Canadian work experience
  • whether the applicant is in possession of a Nomination Certificate or a Letter of Acceptance from a Provincial/Territorial Nomination Program (PNP)
  • an Offer of Arranged Employment

Applicants who are in possession of a Provincial Nomination Certificate/ Letter of Acceptance or who has an Offer of Arranged Employment, will be allotted 600 points.

An applicant who has no accompanying spouse or common-law partner has the potential to be given higher scores for age, education, language, and Canadian work experience in comparison to an applicant who has an accompanying spouse or common-law partner. However, there is also potential to obtain a higher ranking score where the candidate has an accompanying spouse who also may have high points under the same categories.

As January 2015 approaches, it is very important for temporary foreign workers, Canadian employers and other prospective immigrants to Canada to maintain their knowledge of which programs may still be available before the end of 2014.

If you have any questions about the new Express Entry System or have any other questions regarding other immigration categories, please speak to any of our Immigration Professionals.