Canada has introduced a new system of Immigration from Jan 2015, called the Express Entry Program. The information regarding how this program will work is continuously being updated by the govt of Canada.

How this program works:

Under Canada’s Express Entry system, after an application is received it will be entered into a pool or database of candidates for review or selection by an interested “selector”. The Express Entry Process can be divided into 5 steps:

1. First, all potential candidates will create an Express Entry profile using an online platform that identifies their skills and qualifications, taking the form of an online resume. All Express Entry profiles will be ranked against the other applicants in the system based on a variety of factors, including their language proficiency in English and/or French, their education, their Canadian work experience (if applicable), and other factors that indicate the candidate will be successful in Canada.

2. Applicants to the program without a job offer from a Canadian employer will be required to register with the newly upgraded Canada Job Bank. The Job Bank is a platform where individuals can post their credentials and Canadian employers seeking workers can search for an applicant who meets the requirements of their position in order to offer them a job.

3. After each profile in the system has been assessed, the candidates who meet the criteria of a federal economic program will be placed in the pool of candidates for Express Entry.

4. If their application is selected by an employer through the Job Bank, the applicant will be issued an “Invitation to Apply,” and will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence.

5. The successful candidate will then apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), the Federal Skilled Trade program (FST), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or through a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). After being offered an invitation to apply applicants will still be required to meet the criteria of the program they are applying under. The entire process of applying for permanent residence will be online.

After an individual has recieved an Invitation to Apply (ITA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has committed to processing these applications in six months or less.

the highest-ranking candidates in the pool will be invited to apply for permanent residence

Who Can Apply?

Under the new Express Entry program, anyone can apply. Instead of needing to have experience in an occupation on a strict list of eligible occupations as with many other immigration programs, Express Entry will have no occupation list and applicants can present their impressive credentials regardless of what industry or profession they are in.

Canada’s most popular immigration program for foreign workers without a job offer is the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) eligible occupation stream. Only a limited number of applicants can apply (maximum 1,000 per eligible occupation) and they must have work experience in one of 50 eligible occupations within the last 10 years. Canada needs workers from more than 50 occupations, and many people in occupations not on the list would benefit Canada’s economy and workforce.

Unlike the restrictive FSW program, the new Express Entry program allows people from all occupations to apply without limiting availability to those fortunate enough to have their occupation included on a small list.

Additionally, Express Entry will also not include the application caps featured in many other Canadian immigration programs, including the FSW program. Without a cap on the number of applications being accepted for processing, applicants can apply to Express Entry at any time without fear that the program will close or fill up before their application is completed.

Getting Prepared for Express Entry

Even before the final details of the program are announced, there are many measures that prospective applicants can take to prepare for Canadian immigration through the Express Entry program. Applicants can begin updating their resumes, obtaining references and documenting their credentials. By looking at Canada’s current immigration requirements, applicants may be able to predict some of the documentation that will be useful under Express Entry.

Below are some of the many steps that prospective applicants might take in anticipation of Express Entry, or another Canadian immigration category.
IELTS: a language test is required for almost every immigration stream that leads to a Permanent Resident visa. Documenting one’s language ability may help them immigrate, and even if an IELTS is not required for Express Entry, the score may still help an applicant convey their English language proficiency to a potential employer.

Credential assessment: Under the current FSW programs, foreign diplomas are given an equivalent value in Canada. The credential assessment can also be an important first step towards licensing or certification in their field in Canada.

Resume and reference letters: Many people do not have an up to date resume and have not needed to ask their employer for reference letters. Beginning to update and edit a resume, as well as starting to determine how to obtain references may be useful for job searching or immigrating to Canada.

It is important to note that applications currently in the system or awaiting processing will not be transferred to Express Entry when it opens, and each application will be assessed based on the application caps and other requirements in place when that application was received by CIC. Applicants who have already applied to an existing Canadian immigration program will need to apply separately for Express Entry to be considered under this expedited program.