A look at Immigration Minister Sean Fraser’s conversation regarding the future of Express Entry.
When asked when Canadian Experience Class (CEC) drawings would restart, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated they will resume “in the short future” and that he was looking for ways to make the Express Entry system more flexible.
Fraser met with Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, to discuss Canadian immigration. On February 16, the event was live streamed on the Canadian Club Toronto website.
While the immigration minister stated that there would be no announcement on when CEC drawings would restart, he did state that they will return “in the near future” and that Express Entry would become more routine in the coming years.
“We do need to resume drawings for federal skilled personnel in the near future,” Fraser said. “If you look at the immigration levels plan for the next several years, the balance is moving back, and by year three… a record number of federal skilled workers,”Welcome to Canada,” includes through the Canadian Experience Class.”
By no means do I intend to imply that there will be any sort of abandoning of what, in my opinion, is one of the most successful immigration programmes in the world.”
Fraser also stated that he intends to make the Express Entry system more flexible. He proposed that Express Entry be utilized to meet short-term demands such as welcoming individuals into smaller towns, industries in high demand, and “people arriving from a certain location that offers the sort of educational institutions that would teach the employees we need in strategically critical sectors.”
“To build this flexibility into the Express Entry system is something I’m personally looking at right now because I believe it will help us to adapt in a more fluid manner when we see the speed of transformation only rising over time,” Fraser said.
In a discussion with Canadian immigration lawyers, Fraser hinted that occupation-specific Express Entry lotteries would be possible in the future.
One of Fraser’s aims outlined in his minister’s mandate letter is to expand avenues to permanent residency for international students and temporary foreign workers through Express Entry. He is also responsible for ensuring that immigration better serves small and medium-sized communities by expanding the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and pushing forward with the Municipal Nominee Program. Fraser has already made the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which was one of the other things on the agenda, a permanent programme since assuming office in the autumn.
How Does Express Entry Work?
Express Entry was established to manage immigration applications for employees who are eligible for at least one of three programmes: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Candidates who are qualified for one of these programmes may be nominated by a participating Canadian province or territory and so become eligible for the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
In general, eligibility for Express Entry-managed programmes is determined by a candidate’s past work experience in “skilled” jobs. If an applicant meets the requirements for an Express Entry-managed programme, they can earn points for human capital indicators like as age, education, job experience, and official language competence, among others. The top scorers are asked to apply for Canadian immigration.
The status of Express Entry
Since September 2021, Canada has only invited PNP applicants to apply through the Express Entry method. Fraser has said on several times that the halt in CEC, FSWP, and FSTP drawings is only temporary while Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) handles with the pandemic-related backlog of immigration applications.
As of February 1, around 64,890 FSWP and CEC applicants awaited judgments on their immigration applications. The immigration levels plan for 2022-2024 calls for fewer Express Entry immigrants this year than there are in the backlog. Canada expects to accept 55,900 immigrants through Express Entry in 2022, not includes PNP applicants. Canada is presently planning to accept 75,750 Express Entry immigrants the following year.
Through Express Entry, Canada expects to receive a record number of 111,500 immigrants by 2024.
In the fall of this year, Fraser will present the second immigration levels strategy for 2023-2025. The objectives for 2023 and beyond may have shifted by then.
(Source CIC News)