Has Express Entry Program fulfilled its Expectations for Canada Immigration In Five Years?

Express Entry Program was launched in 2015, has significantly made an imprint on Canada immigration since its introduction. It was introduced to manage the pool of skilled candidates who have applied for Canada Permanent Resident Visa.

Before the introduction of Express Entry, Canada used to manage the profiles of immigrants who have applied under Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) through first-come, first-served basis.

On the basis of previously used first-come, first-served basis – application of all the candidates who have been able to clear the minimum requirement (provided they also passed an admissibility check) to apply for Canada PR Visa was certain to be reviewed.

But under the Express Entry Program, all the profiles registered under Canada’s three major skilled economic immigration programs – FSWC, FSTC, and CEC, are ranked with the assistance of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

CRS awards points to the express profile based on factors like education, age, language proficiency in English or French and skilled work experience, and the express profile with the higher CRS score is issued the Invitation to Apply (ITA) to apply for Canada PR Visa to the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Following are some of the major benefits that the Express Entry Program has provided to Canada Immigration Process:

  • Previous System to Slow
  • Riddance of Backlogs
  • A Two-Tier System
  • Labour Market Integration

Previous System to Slow

First-come, first-served has the benefit of getting all the applications assessed when submitted for PR Visa, but it also has some shortcomings. There were fewer available spots for Permanent residency, but higher number of applications submitted. This leads to significant backlogs that can stretch into years and left the applicants with their accompanying family members in limbo. After effect of this is that the candidate profiles that were in demand at the time of submitting the application can no longer in-demand at the time of assessing the application

Riddance of Backlogs

After the arrival of the Express Entry program, the backlogs were all cleared and have reduced the wait time to around six months.

 There were some early criticisms for the Express Entry program that removed the certainty of eligible candidates for Canada PR Visa. But it has been shown with the use of CRS, all the eligible and skilled candidates have been given a competitive shot on getting the ITA (Invitation to Apply) to apply for Canada PR Visa.

This year CRS score requirement has been in a range between 439 to 472 points. This shows that the candidates with median score around 459 points have possibilities for getting the ITA or can check their possibilities for increasing their CRS score.

For candidates to increase their CRS score they can work on improving their language test results, Studying in Canada, gaining additional work experience, or obtaining a job offer or a provincial nomination, among other major factors.

Labour Market Integration

To tell whether the introduction of the express entry program had led to better economic outcomes, it is early to tell. But there is a strong chance that incoming immigrants from express entry program will have fare better due to CRS points.

Higher CRS points are awarded to the young candidates that have high language proficiency in English/French, a high level of education and have Canadian work experience.

Other than these factors, candidates with a job offer or a provincial nomination certificate are awarded extra points for a sibling living in Canada.

These all factors and points make sense in order to show the federal government that the candidates with high human capital integrate quickly into the economy of Canada.

A Two-Tier System

Express entry program also has some limitations, mainly its creation of a two-tier application management system across country. Candidates who have applied for Canada PR Visa through Express Entry Program can get it in six months, while those who have applied for PR Visa through other immigration programs as well as who apply to province of Quebec, have to wait for much longer waiting period.

The federal government has currently reported that an application under PNP (Provincial Nominee Programs) that is not linked to express entry program, take 18 months to get processed.

These delays in application processing hurt confidence in other immigration programs and Canada’s efforts to promote economic development. There are also other limitations like only 4% of Express Entry candidates that were issued ITAs in 2018 were proficient in French. This statistics is not in-line with Canada’s effort to strengthen its Francophone communities outside Quebec.

Expectations from Express Entry Program

If one takes in the limitations and strengths of the Express Entry program, Strengths completely overshadows its limitations and is able to meet the expectations of the system.

The changes made in express entry program show the flexibility to introduce reforms in order to reflect stakeholders’ feedback. For example, with changes introduced international students are now able to get 30 additional CRS points.

Reference is taken from CIC News

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