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NEWS: The Future of the Express Entry Program
Express Entry is an extremely popular immigration program among Canada’s currently running programs. The idea of speeding up the process has lots of charm and appeal.
You can read more about the Express Entry program in its current form in our article “You Have a Date With Canada in 2 Weeks“.
While the program appears to be a success, recent developments are hinting at changes this program is about to undergo.
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Basic Introduction to Express Entry
As you already read our article about the Express Entry program, you know that each candidate who applies for the program is given a score based on their “human capital” – their education, their language proficiency, their work experience, their age, and more. If the candidate’s score is above a pre-defined cut-off score, the candidate will be invited by the Canadian government to apply for a permanent residency in Canada.
Candidates whose score was below the cut-off score remain in the pool for future draws. “We have a lot of people to choose from. In fact, we’d like to go deeper into our pool. We know how talented the people are below the cut-off scores,” McEvenue said.
The program is designed to bring skilled workers to Canada. However, according to the official in charge of Canada’s main economic immigration application system, the skills that the program targets may require some changes.
The Canadian Immigration Summit of 2018
On the 30th of last May, The Canadian Immigration Summit of 2018 took place in Ottowa. During this Summit, Patrick McEvenue – Director of Express Entry and Digital Policy with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – talked of his department taking on the task of evaluating the Express Entry program in the near future.
Their aim would be to understand the system’s influence on Canadian economy as well as the program’s strengths and it’s potential for improvement.
Mr. McEvenue said the Canadian government is satisfied with the program, mostly due to its role as an attraction for highly skilled and educated candidates who have a strong potential for success in the long term in Canada. The program is designed to attract candidates who have Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics backgrounds (or STEM). McEvenue noted there’s triple the amount of candidates STEM backgrounds entered in the Express Entry pool at the moment.
Great news for scientists
While some of the changes McEvenue’s department is going to consider will only be on a cosmetic level, such as process time or the transparency of the program, some changes may go deeper into the pool. According to McEvenue, the pool continues to grow and isn’t seeing a shortage of candidates.
Canada’s immigration targets are growing and require even more candidates to fill. According to recent information, Canada is about to welcome nearly 1 million immigrants over the next 3 years thanks to its Multi-Year Levels immigration plan. By 2020 there should be a year-by-year admission increase, which won’t skip over the Express Entry program.
The three programs managed by the Express Entry – the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class – should also see a 20% increase over the next 3 years. This might mean larger draws, which will result in a lowering of the cut-off score.
Canada Immigration Goals 2016-2019
The Most Significant Change
McEvenue discussed what he called “the changing nature of work” and how it would effect the variety of skills candidates would require to be eligible for the Express Entry program. According to McEvenue, the program has so far been targeting what worked in the past, but as work is changing, what used to work in the past may not be what works in the future. McEvenue explained this will be one of the main elements his department’s evaluation will focus on.
Under this evaluation, there will also be an examination of ways to attract more desirable candidates who are not taking advantage of the benefits of this program, while strengthening the contact with more Canadian employers and finding solutions for their needs via an enlarged pool of workers with more specific skills.
McEvenue is interested in taking the program into the future and improving it so that it will better suit the needs of the Canadian government, Canadian employers and more candidates.
This seems like excellent news for anyone who’s considering immigration to Canada in the next couple of years. No one knows, however, which skills will take part in the changed program, and which skills will be cut. So if you qualify now you shouldn’t wait.
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