Qualifying for the pending Express Entry programme

Wednesday, April 16, 2014    

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Dear Mr Brown,

As a business administrator, I realise that I am not eligible for Canadian permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Class. I was doing some research and learned a little bit about the new programme called 'Expression of Interest.' When will this programme start and how do I apply? Would I be qualified?

-- CG

Dear CG:

It was announced earlier this month by the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration that the programme which was previously known as 'Expression of Interest' will be officially called 'Express Entry.'

This Express Entry is a model of economic immigration that entails the active recruitment of desired individuals to benefit the Canadian Economy. It is expected to be launched in January 2015.

As I have already mentioned in a previous article published in the Jamaica Observer in December 2013, this new system is designed to address the inadequacies of the present system which is characterised by the passive processing of all of the submitted immigration applications, which leads to long wait times and backlogs. The Express Entry will select immigrants based on employment skills and experience that satisfy the needs of Canadian employers, which will lead to better integration of new immigrants. The main distinction between 'Express Entry' and the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme is that the latter is only used to fill temporary labour shortages.


The first stage entails prospective immigrants submitting a form to indicate their interest in migrating to Canada. Individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria will have their expressions of interest placed in a pool and ranked against others in the pool, based on official language proficiency, level of education, occupation, work experience, age and other measures of adaptability.

The second stage entails the issue of an invitation to Apply for permanent residence. The invitation would be based on either direct selection by a Canadian employer or achieving a certain rank or a combination thereof.

In this new system, there would not be an obligation to review all applications in the order they are received. Instead, candidates would be selectively identified on the basis of relevant qualifications and experience to address regional labour shortages. Not everyone will be qualified or invited to apply for permanent residence. However, for those who are qualified there will be shorter processing times, which reduces the frustration of long waits and ensures that Canadian labour market demands are actually met, rather than an immigrant getting through after several years when the particular job may or may not remain in demand.

Job offers

An individual who receives a bona fide job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Programme will be invited to apply for permanent residency. The Government would be able to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line.

In response to your specific question, Canada is in consultation with provincial governments and employers to discern the economic and labour needs. I will assist with disseminating more information about the programme in due course as more details are revealed before the expected launch of the programme in January 2015.

For further information visit

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM -- a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to





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