'Express Entry' to create new barriers for permanent residence

The government is pressing on with its overhaul of the immigration system, and major changes coming in the new year will make permanent residence applications more difficult. Starting January 2015, applications for PR under the Economic Class programs (Federal Skilled Worker/Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and the Provincial Nominee programs) will be processed under the new Express Entry system.

Under the Express Entry system, candidates will complete an online profile, and be placed in a pool where they will be ranked against other applicants. Only the highest-ranked candidates will be allowed to apply for permanent residence.

Although the final criteria are not out yet, the program is designed to be much more restrictive. Here is why: 

  • Individuals that do not have job offers or provincial nominations will be ranked low in the pool.
  • If your application has remained in the pool for a year you will have to re-apply.
  • It will be impossible to determine how long your application will stay in the pool.
  • Those applying without a job offer will have to register with the federal government's Job Bank. Positions obtained through the Job Bank will be subject to Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs).
  • Although the government has not yet made it clear, there are strong indications that even those that have job offers will need LMIAs.

Time is running out to apply under current programs. Many applicants that qualify under current programs will not qualify under the new system. It is critical that if you qualify now, you should apply immediately.