The Canadian Government recently announced that Express Entry, Canada’s newest immigration program, will officially be launched and opened to applications in January of 2015. This program, modelled from similar programs in New Zealand and Australia, will attempt to streamline Canada’s immigration system, making it more competitive, flexible, and efficient.
The Express Entry program will replace some of the immigration programs Canada is currently using, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Replacing these programs with Express Entry is expected to significantly increase processing times for applicants, and wait times are expected to be reduced to six months or less.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to the new Express Entry program is that it will be available to applicants without a valid job offer in Canada, and will be open to individuals working in any profession. While many current immigration programs use an occupation list to restrict eligibility by profession, as the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program does, Express Entry has no such occupation list. This means that individuals in all industries and occupations can apply for this new immigration program. Unlike the FWS program, the Express Entry program is not expected to include caps on the number of accepted applications either, making this program a very accessible option for Canadian immigration.
It is important to note that the Express Entry program is distinct from the immigration programs that are currently available, and the program will have a separate application process. This means that skilled workers with an application being processed under an existing immigration program will need to apply separately for Express Entry, as their application will not be shared among programs.
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.