Express Entry is a new immigration program to be introduced in January 2015, whereby the Canadian federal government intends to ensure potential immigrants possess skills that are in demand in Canada. Newcomers to Canada expressed reservations about the program in a recently released government survey.
The general doubts about the program arise from a lack of sufficient resources for already-landed and qualified immigrants to find jobs. Those who responded to the survey are frustrated that the Canadian government is focusing more on those who may come to Canada, instead of those who are already here and cannot get hired. The main reason for the lack of opportunity for newcomers is the requirement of experience with work in Canada.
The new Express Entry program will allow Canadian employers who cannot find Canadians or permanent residents available for work to hire skilled candidates from abroad. Candidates who are offered jobs or nominated under the provincial nominee program will also be invited to apply for permanent residency. The government has introduced this system with hopes that the need for temporary foreign workers will be reduced, and Canada’s skills shortage will be addressed.
Though Minister Chris Alexander and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) believe “it will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants,” there are many questions surrounding the program. Newcomers in 14 focus groups located in seven communities across Canada inquired about these issues in an Ipsos Reid study by CIC earlier this year.
Issues addressed by the participants included the difficult accessibility of job opportunities for already-landed immigrants, which does not seem to be within the government’s focus. Further, the potentiality for fraud on part of the application or the prospective employer could quickly become an issue.
The government has begun accepting 25,000 applications under the federal skilled worker program, and is also recruiting skills immigrants in 50 different occupations (some of which are filling the quota quickly).
In contrast, another Canadian government study conducted by Environics Research suggests skilled newcomers already in Canada struggle with obtaining a job even when all of the requirements are filled. Language barriers and requirements for Canadian experience are the biggest obstacles faced.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.