CIC’s Express Entry Completely Overhauls All Economic Immigration Programs in Canada

January 2015 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) is launching a new electronic system called Express Entry.  Express Entry will significantly and fundamentally change economic immigration programs in Canada.  CIC has not provided complete details as to what Express Entry will look like.  They have provided enough information that we know it to be significant and important to understand now.
The immigration programs that are impacted include the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”), Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”), Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”) and the Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”).  Currently these programs process applicants that meet specific and well defined eligibility requirements.  Express Entry will move to selecting candidates from an applicant pool and those candidates will be ranked against each other in the pool using a Comprehensive Ranking/Scoring system to determine their eligibility to be processed for immigration.  Express Entry CIC will no longer be using the “eligible occupations lists” for FSWP and CEC.
Express Entry is an online application process that involves two steps:

  1. The first step is for the potential candidate to complete an online Express Entry profile
  2. The second step is CIC will invite certain candidates to apply for permanent residence

The applicant will complete an online profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability and testing results, education, and other details.  Applicants who meet the criteria of one of the economic programs will be placed in a pool of candidates and given a score out of 1200.  Only candidates that rank the highest in the pool will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.
If an applicant receives the Invitation to Apply they will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence in their selected program (FSWP, CEC, FSTP and PNP).   CIC indicates that the permanent residence applications will be processed in 6 months.  CIC will no longer accept paper based applications for CEC, FSWP or FSTP programs.  PNP will still have the option to submit a paper based application.
It is important to understand that even if an applicant meets the eligibility requirements of a program it does not guarantee that they will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.  Only those that rank the highest in the pool, or have secured arranged employment or a provincial nomination will be offered an Invitation to Apply.
Specific to arranged employment, employers will have to secure a positive Labour market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”).  In the case of a Provincial Nominee, they may bypass the Express Entry and submit a paper application to the Central Intake Office of CIC.  The processing time of a paper application will be longer than electronic submission, however if an Express Entry electronic submission is made for a provincial nominee they will have to meet additional criteria to benefit from the faster processing time.
Express Entry moves economic immigration processing to a faster, electronic system with the intention of improving Canada’s ability to attract, select and fast track skilled immigrants.  The changes are significant.   Please contact Whistler Immigration if you have questions or want to know how these changes affect you.
For more information on Express Entry please visit:
The information contained in this website is for matters of interest only and is not to be interpreted as legal advice.  As such it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with an immigration professional.  The information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind.  Whistler Immigration and related ICCRC professionals do not accept any responsibility, liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality or reliability of the information contained on this website.