Immigration Minister Sean Fraser discusses Express Entry reforms


The Canadian government is on track to pass a bill that would allow the Minister of Immigration to invite candidates for Express Entry based on an economic objective.

Bill C-19 is currently before the Senate. If passed, it will give the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the authority to invite candidates for Express Entry by occupation, language proficiency, intended destination or any other group that supports Canada’s economic objectives.

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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said CIC News in a face-to-face interview that he hopes it will go through the Senate and the new authorities will be implemented soon. The minister said that while Express Entry gives Canada a competitive advantage, there is room for improvement.

« Where [the Express Entry system] could be improved is at this time if there are any particular challenges your economy is facing it may face in the long term we do not have the ability to tailor invitations to apply to the Express Entry system for meet those in-demand skills or qualifications,” Fraser said.

« If you’re in a situation where you have an abundance of applications that are all in a particular sector, and that sector doesn’t have a great need in Canada, the Express Entry system as it exists today is likely to attract people who may not be perfectly suited to the needs of the Canadian economy.

The new authorities would allow IRCC to include selection factors that would meet Canada’s labor needs based on sector, region and language skills. The Minister said that by doing so, Canada would be able to select more immigrants who are already poised to succeed in the job market.

“The goal is really to maximize the contribution that a newcomer can make to their community so that they are ready to succeed when they arrive, but also meet the needs of the community where they will reside.”, Fraser said. « I think we’re going to see a potential increase in retention rates opening up because people come to where they know they have opportunities because that was the basis of their invitation to apply. »

Critics of the bill say the new authorities could allow special interest groups to lobby for a certain type of candidate. Changes were made in earlier versions of the bill to reflect the need for a transparent selection process. Fraser acknowledged this concern.

“If I sat down at my desk in Ottawa and started making decisions about which regions and sectors should benefit from this new policy, I would be walking down a very dangerous path,” Fraser said. “I need to engage with people at the local community level. I have to dialogue with my provincial and territorial counterparts. I have to engage with business councils and sectors that have high needs so that we can understand what their needs are. »

The Express Entry reforms contained in Bill C-19 will not become law until they receive Royal Assent from the Governor General of Canada.

Special Interview Series with Minister Fraser

CIC News met with the Minister 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:

  • Part 1: Draws for all Express Entry programs tentatively resume July 6
  • 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 becoming a minister

Minister Fraser was in Toronto to speak at Collision, one of the largest technology conferences in the world.

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