Citizenship and Immigration Canada Preparing to Launch Express Entry

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today Express Entry will begin accepting online applications in exactly one month. Beginning January 1, 2015 applicants will be able to create online profiles, with the initial round of Invitations to Apply for permanent residence scheduled to be released during the last week of January 2015.

Express Entry is an electronic system that will allow qualified foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada in under six months. Potential candidates will be able to complete an Express Entry profile at any time once the system goes live at 12 p.m. EST on January 1st. There will be no deadline to complete a profile and there will be no limit on the number of candidates that will be accepted to the pool.

Only the highest ranking candidates will be invited to apply for permanent residency. Applicants with valid job offers or provincial/territorial nominations will be selected first and skilled immigrants will be matched with vacant jobs in over 50 occupations based on “scores that reflect their human capital and ability to succeed in the Canadian economy.” CIC Minister Chris Alexander noted that the Express Entry program will “select the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically in Canada, rather than passively process all applicants in a queue.” More details on selection criteria can be found here.

The new Express Entry program was created with the goal of increasing flexibility and in response to Canada’s rapidly changing labour market needs. Express Entry will also allow employers to have a key role in selecting economic immigrants. Employers will access candidates through Canada’s Job Bank and through provinces and territories and will be able to view profiles that highlight the skills, experience and educational qualifications of applicants.

Additional information was published on the CIC website to assist potential immigrants and employers in navigating the new system.

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