The Express Entry Program is a new online application system that was introduced by CIC in January 2015. The program is based on similar systems currently being used in Australia and New Zealand.
The program was intended to streamline the immigration process for economic class applicants and to fuel the growth and development of the economy. The program is also faster and more responsive to economic/labour market needs and enables employers to have a direct role in selecting economic applicants.
Candidates must meet the criteria for one or more of the federal economic programs in place: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class. Applicants must meet the requirements of (at least) one of these programs before they are eligible to apply.
The Express Entry program uses a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System. Potential candidates will be assessed and awarded points based on their skills, work experience, language ability, education and other details that CIC requests.
Candidates may also receive points for valid job offers supported by LMIAS or provincial/territorial nominations. 600 (out of 1200) points are granted for job offers and/or provincial nominations, so these candidates will automatically receive high rankings.
Draws are done by CIC every few weeks, and the highest-ranking candidates in the pool will be invited to apply for Permanent Residence. If an applicant is invited to apply, they will have 60 days to submit an online application for Permanent Residence.
CIC has advised that they will process the majority of complete applications in six months or less.
For more information about the Express Entry Program, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/express-entry/index.asp or contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.