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Canada - Five Years of Impressive Performance in Express Entry System

Canada - Five Years of Impressive Performance in Express Entry System
The system Express Entry was launched in January 2015 and it has changed the approach in immigration of skilled workers. It is also markedly different from the earlier approach to managing applications in the Economic Class immigration. Before its launch, Canada processed all the applications on the basis of the timing of arrival in the following categories:

  • Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • Canadian Experience Class

In the Express Entry, all eligible candidates in the FSTC, FSWC, and CEC and some of the Provincial Nominee Program get a ranked supported by the score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System. Also, it considers education, age, work experience, and language proficiency after which the top-ranked aspirants get invited for applying to receive permanent residence in the regular draws.

Old system versus the new system

  • Although the earlier approach gave certainty to applicants, it had major inadequacies.
  • The Applications outnumbered the permanent residence available spots, and major backlogs were created stretching into years.  
  • After the delays, Canada had a possibility that the people gaining permanent residence did not meet the requirements of labor market.

Backlogs removed

With the arrival of Express Entry the backlog was cleared and the waiting time was reduced to six months.

Even the draws in Express Entry gave candidates transparency. Through the CRS points, they had a competitive edge to get the ITA for permanent residence. Also in 2019 candidates having the scores between 439 and 472 received the ITA. The fact is that the candidates with a CRS score below 459 (median score) had a chance to increase the CRS Score or think of other options. The method to improve the CRS score is by improving the results of the language test, achieving extra work experience, pursuing the studies in Canada, obtaining the job offer, or the provincial nomination.

A case for the labor market integration

  • Immigrants fare better because of the way of awarding points in Express Entry.
  • Young Candidates, who have a high level of education and language proficiency, besides the Canadian experience as overseas workers, or global students, can get high CRS. Also, the candidates having the provincial nomination get 600 extra points and a job offer, plus having the siblings in Canada makes it easy for them.
  • High human capital and the Canadian experience help to integrate into the economy.

Two-tiered system

  • A limitation of Express Entry is the creation of two-tiered application system in Canada.
  • Applicants in Express Entry obtain permanent residence in six months, but under other programs not covered by Express Entry, and the Quebec, Applicants must wait for a longer period.
  • Moreover, as per the federal government report,   the current time is 18 months to process the PNP application not linked to Express Entry. This hurts the PNP and undermines its efforts for promoting economic development in its different regions.
  • Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Atlantic provinces rely on PNP for the economic class immigrants. Processing delays are a major constraint in welcoming more immigrants for economic growth.
  • The other limitation is that just four percent among the Express Entry candidates, receiving the ITA last year, had proficiency in French. This jeopardizes efforts of strengthening the Francophone communities outside Quebec.

Express Entry Meeting Expectations

The federal government is flexible in its policy, and has introduced several reforms, reflecting the feedback from the stakeholders. The changes also show that, after completing five years of an amazing performance, the Express Entry needs recalibrations and improvements, for making progress. 

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