As Canadian businesses, and immigrants to the country, prepare for the January 1st arrival of the country’s new immigration program—titled Express Entry—the federal government has revealed details of the points system it will use to determine which immigrants will receive approval.
The basic premise of the Express Entry program is that, for the first time, immigrants to Canada will be admitted based how much they match up to the employment needs of the country. Under the program, immigrants will be required to apply online and register with the government’s job bank, after which they will be entered into the job pool. Points will then be issued to each applicant, based on their skills and history, and only those with a qualifying amount of points will be admitted under Express Entry.
Under the new points system, immigrants will be awarded up to a maximum of 600 points—and an offer of permanent residency–if they have received a permanent job offer from a Canadian employer or been ‘nominated’ for immigration by a province or territory. According to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, these immigrants will be “picked first” as Express Entry applicants; the first draw of these applicants is slated to take place in the last week of January.
Express Entry will also award skilled immigrants 1,200 points based on factors in two other categories:
- Up to 500 points will be allotted under “Core Human Capital Factors”, including things such as an immigrant’s age, education level, work experience in Canada and proficiency in either of Canada’s two official languages (English & French)
- A maximum 100 points will also be awarded to applicants for “Skill Transferability Factors” including a combination of foreign work experience, education level and a certificate in an established trade
By way of example, under the category of ‘age’, an Express Entry applicant age 20-29 would receive the maximum allotted points of 110 under the new program, while those under age 17, or over 45, will not receive any points.
In the area of education, Express Entry applicants with a PhD (doctorate degree) would be awarded 150 points—the maximum number allowed; applicants with only a high school degree will receive only 30 points.
Some immigration experts worry that the new Express Entry system does not allow for enough “transparency–or openness” and as a result may be subject to political interference. Richard Kurland, a nationally-renown immigration lawyer and analyst, said that the point system will allow the government to select which applicants are allowed in under Express Entry, and as a result “you will never know why one identically qualified person was selected over another.”
The federal government also revealed the caps it will be placing on Permanent Residency for the upcoming year. Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) federal officials confirmed the government plans to allow between 65,000-75,000 new permanent residents in Canada in 2015.
The new permanent residents will be admitted to Canada under one of three categories, with between 47,000-51,000 admitted under the Federal Skilled Workers and Federal Skilled Trades classes, and an additional 21,000-23,000 approved under the federal Canadian Experience class.