Next year, Canada is planning to hold Express Entry draws for applicants based on labour market requirements in the first quarter of 2023. According to the latest update, IRCC is planning to introduce new categories to the Express Entry system. The latest Bill C-19 permits the immigration minister of Canada to welcome Express Entry applicants based on regional economic requirements.
It will allow Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to hold Express Entry invitation rounds based on the applicant’s language proficiency, work experience, or educational accomplishment instead of the Comprehensive Ranking System score.
The new reform also states that the minister must get engrossed in a public consultation process and inform the draw details, including the economic objectives to the administration annually.
Why there is a need to make changes to the Express Entry System?
Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser mentioned in a recent interview that the “current Express Entry system does not allow IRCC to make amends to Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to fulfill the in-demand skills or qualifications.”
Fraser also added, “In a scenario where we receive an abundance of applications that are suitable to one particular sector and that sector doesn’t have high requirements, then it’s likely to bring in candidates that might not fit perfectly to the Canadian economy.”
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada showcased throughout the pandemic that it invited a handsome number of applicants. One popular example took place on February 13, 2021, when Canada offered 27000 invitations to Canadian Experience Class applicants in the pool.
With the reforms during that time, Canada changes its strategy during the pandemic travel restrictions to welcome Express Entry applicants based on which program they qualify for. Primarily, it was done to aim at Express Entry applicants who qualify for either of two programs: the Canadian Experience Class candidates were mostly in Canada, and thus were not subject to travel restrictions, or the ones with a PNP nomination.
Although, before Bill C-19 was passed, Canada was not able to target Express Entry applicants based on the applicant’s occupation, language proficiency, or education credential. However, PNPs have introduced more specific criteria that permit them to apply to qualifying Express Entry applicants. In order to stand eligible to get a PNP, a candidate is required to complete a separate application process with a province or territory.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser also mentioned that “the federal government aims to set newcomers up for success in the provinces where they’re going to live. Canada expects to witness an exponential increase in the rate of retention because people are coming in where they know they have immense opportunities.”
The minister also recognized the requirement for a clear selection process. One of the major criticisms the bill faced was that it could permit special interest groups to lobby the government to welcome a certain type of Express Entry applicant. This is why reform is being introduced which will require the immigration minister to have a public consultation process with stakeholders to get information on how the draws can be conducted to bridge the economic gap.