Canada’s Express Entry: expected program changes.

by Northen Road, May 27th, 2022
Canada’s Express Entry: expected program changes.

Author: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director

Canada’s government is working on changes that would revamp and enhance the Canadian Express Entry program. These changes will bring a larger and greater ability to target the invitations sent to potential migrants wishing to immigrate to Canada under the skilled categories, not only based on their Express Entry score but by directly addressing a labour shortage in Canada. 

These changes would better support Canada’s economic growth and labour market needs. 

Why does the current Express Entry program need changes?

The current Express Entry program is in fact not deficient. It has continuously helped Canada meet its goal for both population and economic growth. However, in recent months and years, especially in a post-pandemic world, labour shortages are definitely more pressing in certain industries or markets. 

The new Express Entry program will allow the Minister of IRCC to select candidates with a qualifying Express Entry score and who have certain in-demand skills or language abilities. For example, Canada’s health workers’ labour market has been greatly affected by the pandemic years. With the new Express Entry program, IRCC would be able to select candidates with skills and experience in the field. 

The same concept would apply to all other markets with a shortage of qualified labour. The new and improved Express Entry program would allow a fast and effective response to the labour needs while supporting skilled and qualified immigration to Canada. 

Supporting francophone communities with the Express Entry program.

Canada is a bilingual country where both the English and French languages are commonly used. With the new iteration of the Express Entry program, the Minister of IRCC will have the ability to target those who wish to immigrate to Canada under the skilled categories and who have sufficient French-speaking abilities. 

Currently, candidates in the Express Entry program pool with French language abilities can only get additional Express Entry scoring points. There is currently no way for the Government of Canada to individually invite those candidates unless they have the required Express Entry score threshold determined before each draw. The proposed changes to the Express Entry program would help francophone communities, in or outside of Québec, to grow and attract a skilled francophone workforce. 

How will I know if I am eligible for the new Express Entry program draws?

While the expected changes to the Express Entry program are still going through the amendment process in the Canadian parliament, the suggested approach is that IRCC would define a specific category for a specific draw. Along with the required Express Entry score, the eligibility criteria could be based on work experience, education, or language skills.

The new unique eligibility criteria will be posted on the IRCC the same way as other previous Express Entry program draws. These new ‘unique’ draws would be in addition to the regular, more general draws.

Why have there been limited Express Entry program draws lately?

Since 2020 and due to the worldwide pandemic, Canada has discontinued draws for the Federal Skilled Workers and Skilled Trades while focussing solely on the Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program. 

However, some encouraging news came from IRCC. The department recently announced an additional budget and resources to support the resumption of all of the Express Entry programs draws for the above categories and to reduce the current application backlog. 

Are you looking to relocate to Canada with the Express Entry program?

Are you a skilled individual? Are you looking at starting a new life in Canada? If you want to know if you can qualify to immigrate to Canada under the skilled categories, look no further. Northern Road Canada’s team of experts can help you navigate the procedure to apply for a permanent residence visa in Canada. 

Contact us today for a consultation.