Following a recent discussion with Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, immigration minister Sean Fraser stated that Canadian Experience Class(CEC) draws will restart “in the near future” and that he is exploring methods to make the Express Entry system more effective.
“We do need to resume, in the near future, draws for federal skilled workers,” Fraser suggested. “If you actually look at the immigration levels plan over the next couple of years the balance is shifting back and by year three… a record number of federal skilled workers, including through the Canadian Experience Class, will be welcomed to Canada. By no means do I want to communicate that there will be any kind of abandonment of—what I would argue—is one of the most successful immigration programs anywhere in the world.” Fraser alluded to the potential of occupation-specific Express Entry draws in another conversation with Canadian immigration lawyers.
Expanding Express Entry possibilities to permanent residency for international students and temporary foreign employees is one of Fraser’s priorities, as stated in his ministerial mandate letter. He’s also in charge of growing the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and taking the Municipal Nominee Program forward to guarantee that immigration benefits small and medium-sized municipalities more effectively. Since accepting the position in the fall, Fraser has already made the Atlantic Immigration Pilot a permanent program, which was one of the major goals on the agenda.
The present condition of Immigration and Express Entry
Since September 2021, IRCC solely hosted Express Entry (EE) draws only for PNP applicants. According to IRCC internal briefing materials, Canada will be able to conduct Express Entry draws for FSWP and CEC candidates once half of the backlog of applications has been processed.
Individuals who would like to apply for a provincial nomination through an enhanced PNP stream must first create their Express Entry profile. Many, though not all, PNP streams are aligned with Canada’s Express Entry (EE) system. PNP draws have a higher CRS cut-off score requirement due to the automatic addition of 600 points to the candidate’s Express Entry profile on receiving a nomination from the province.
As of February 1, around 64,890 FSWC and CEC candidates were awaiting outcomes on their immigration applications. According to the immigration levels plan for 2022-2024, there will be fewer Express Entry immigrants this year than there are in the backlog, as hoped. In 2022, Canada aims to admit 55,900 immigrants through Express Entry, excluding PNP candidates. The next year, Canada intends to admit 75,750 immigrants using Express Entry. The next immigration levels plan for 2023-2025 will be addressed in the fall of this year, as the targets for 2023 and beyond may change before then.
Express Entry is an electronic selection system used by the Federal as well as Provincial governments of Canada [to select], as well as designated Canadian employers [to nominate] candidates for Canadian permanent residence under three of its popular economic [skilled] immigration programs:
Candidates eligible for any of the above programs are given a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in the Express Entry Pool. It is based on their Core/Human capital factors such as age, work experience, education, and language ability in English and/or French, etc. And, based on scores, candidates are periodically invited (or nominated) for permanent residence.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are fast-track Canadian immigration programs and provide a unique pathway to immigrate to Canada. There are two types of provincial nomination programs:
Base nominations: these streams work outside of the Express Entry system and are managed by the provinces themselves. Base nominations are subject to streams and processing standards. The candidates opting for base nomination should meet the criteria for a PNP pathway, then apply and if successful receive a nomination certificate. Once the nomination certificate is received the candidate can apply for permanent residence status with the IRCC.
Enhanced nominations: these streams are linked with the Express Entry system suitable candidates are searched by the provincial immigration officials who match specific criteria. These provinces then invite the eligible candidates to apply for provincial nomination.
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