In an interview with CIC NewsImmigration Minister Sean Fraser has said Canada intends to resume Express Entry draws for all programs on Wednesday July 6.
Special Interview Series with Minister Fraser
CIC News met with the Minister in Toronto on June 21, 2022 to discuss the future of Canadian immigration.
Over the next few weeks, CIC News publishes a special series of articles on the interview with Minister Fraser on topics such as:
- Express Entry Reforms
- improve the processing of applications and the customer experience
- Canadian citizenship fees
- legalize undocumented workers in canada
- the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan
- creating more immigration pathways for foreign workers and students, and
- how his life has changed since he became a minister
Minister Fraser was in Toronto to speak at Collision, one of the largest technology conferences in the world.
IRCC on track to meet Express Entry commitment
Fraser confirmed that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is on track to standardize Express Entry draws in early July. IRCC made that commitment in April and has also committed to bringing the Express Entry service standard down to six months when draws for all programs resume.
IRCC suspended Express Entry Application (ITA) invitations for permanent residency to Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) applicants in December 2020 amid the pandemic. It did the same for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applicants in September 2021.
Recent Express Entry Developments
Prior to the pandemic, IRCC generally considered all applicants in its bi-weekly Express Entry draws. This meant that IRCC would invite applicants with the highest Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, regardless of their program eligibility.
IRCC has temporarily changed its approach during the pandemic. The pause in the FSWP and FSTP draws was justified on the grounds that it made strategic sense to prioritize applicants for economy class immigration to Canada as the country had restrictions on international travel in place. For much of the past year, IRCC has prioritized CEC applicants to meet its goal of welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of 2021.
However, this and other developments have resulted in a significant growth in applications to IRCC’s inventory. In order to control its inventory and improve its Express Entry service standard, IRCC has decided to also suspend Express Entry invitations to CEC candidates in September 2021. In the meantime, Express Entry invitations to Provincial Nominee Program candidates ( PCP) continued throughout the pandemic. as IRCC sought to advance the economic development of provinces and territories across the country.
How draws from all programs will affect Express Entry candidates
The return to draws for all programs will be welcome for FSWP, FSTP and CEC applicants.
From its inception in 1967 until the onset of the pandemic, the FSWP was the primary pathway for economic class immigrants to Canada. Before the pandemic, it represented about 45% of all people invited for permanent residence through Express Entry.
Research conducted by World Education Services (WES), one of IRCC’s designated Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) providers, suggests that there remains high demand for PFQ applicants to continue the immigration process. Canadian despite what happened during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the resumption of the draws for CEC applicants will help those in Canada maintain their legal status to reside in the country. When an Express Entry candidate to Canada obtains an ITA and then submits their application for permanent residence, they also have the option of applying for a Transitional Open Work Permit (BOWP). The BOWP allows them to maintain their legal status in Canada while their application for permanent residence is being processed.
CEC applicants have not been able to benefit from the BOWP in the absence of an ITA for them since September 2021. Recognizing this, IRCC also announced in April that it would offer an extension of the open work permit to the main cohort of applicants. CEC starting this summer. . This cohort includes those who have recently seen or are about to see their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) expire. It is not yet known when IRCC will begin accepting open work permit applications for these individuals.
How does Express Entry work?
Introduced in 2015, Express Entry is an application management system for the FSWP, FSTP, CEC and part of the PNP.
Eligible applicants upload their profile on the IRCC website. They then receive a CRS score based on their human capital characteristics such as age, education, language skills and work experience. When draws for all programs resume, IRCC should invite those with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residency, as was the norm before the pandemic.
Looking ahead, IRCC is proposing a major change to Express Entry that would give the department the authority to issue ITAs to certain groups it believes will be well-positioned to meet Canada’s diverse economic needs.
The minister explained the rationale for the proposal while on stage at Collision, saying: “If we can project the skills needed over the next 20 to 30 years, we can bring in people who can start and to have a major economic impact.
However, the minister said in his interview with CIC News that this proposal is still under consideration in the Parliament and Senate of Canada and therefore he is not in a position at this time to provide a timeline as to when IRCC might begin to use this new approach.
Still, “hopefully we’ll have those powers soon,” Fraser said.
© CIC News All rights reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your options for immigrating to Canada.