The Canadian government is considering changes to the Express Entry system, which would allow the Minister of Immigration to invite applicants based on an economic objective.
Aiden Strickland, spokesman for the Minister of Immigration, said in an email to CIC News that these proposed changes will improve Canada’s ability to select candidates that match its economic needs.
“With our growing pool of applicants seeking to become permanent residents, this will allow IRCC to conduct targeted draws aimed at selecting those in the queue who have certain language skills or healthcare qualifications to name a few. examples,” Strickland wrote. “This will be key to addressing labor shortages in Canada.
The changes are currently being discussed in the Canadian Parliament. On May 19, Philip Somogyvari of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) presented the proposed changes to the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship, an elected committee that studies issues related to Canadian immigration.
Somogyvari, who is director general of IRCC, explained that the changes would allow the immigration minister to invite candidates for Express Entry on a new basis, which would support an economic objective identified by the minister.
“Eligibility requirements to be a member of a category would be established by the minister and could be based on factors such as work experience, educational background or language skills,” Somogyvari said.
“For example, if there was a desire to leverage immigration to support the growth of Canada’s tech sector, an Express Entry candidate category would be created based on criteria such as their possession of work experience in their sector of activity and/or their possession of a related diploma. Invitations could then be sent to the highest ranked applicants in that category.
Draw details, including unique eligibility criteria, would continue to be published on the IRCC website. The Minister should also identify the economic objective he seeks to support and report annually to Parliament on the use of these drawdowns. Asked by NDP Immigration Critic Jenny Kwan what professions would be specified in those draws, Somogyvari said the government currently has no listed professions.
Currently, the Minister of Immigration does not have the ability to invite candidates from the Express Entry pool who have specific work experience, an educational credential, or who are Francophones destined for an official language minority community . If the proposed changes to Division 23 of Bill C-19 are passed, that could change.
“The changes themselves would, for example, allow the minister to focus on all French-speaking candidates in the Express Entry pool,” Somogyvari said. “Currently, while French-speaking candidates receive bonus points which will increase their ranking score, it may not invite all French-speaking candidates into the pool. Theoretically, with the proposed permissions in effect, if the Minister choose to do so, the department would be able to conduct a round of invitations that would invite virtually all Francophone candidates identified in the Express Entry pool.
The process of determining which groups would be selected is still being worked out. Somogyvari said the government would likely make such decisions after consultation with employer groups, stakeholders, the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Employment and Social Development Canada, and provincial and territorial governments. .
About Express Entry in 2022
Express Entry is an application management system for three immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
To immigrate through one of these programs, foreign workers must express their interest in Canadian immigration by completing a profile in the Express Entry system. Applicants eligible for one of the three programs are scored based on their work experience, education, language skills, age, and other factors. IRCC invites top-scoring applicants to apply for permanent residence.
Recently, IRCC only held invitation rounds for applicants who received a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) nomination. After building up a backlog in Express Entry applications during the pandemic, IRCC suspended invitation rounds for the FSWP in December 2020, then suspended CEC draws in September 2021. The Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, recently announced that the draws for these candidates would resume in July, and processing standards would revert to six months for new candidates.
Somogyvari has confirmed that the changes do not impact current or future processing times.
The current debate
Kwan called on the government to draw up a list of groups that will be affected by the proposed law.
“I’m troubled that there’s no parliamentary oversight of what these groups will be,” Kwan told the committee. “There is no process to know if these groups will be fair or to what extent [the government] will be to select individuals who will make an economic contribution to Canada.
“Without a transparent selection process where industries are able to provide formal submissions on occupations in need and an objective committee to determine the needs of those occupations, the process could become fodder for lobbying industries,” Kwan continued. “That’s not what we want. I think we need to have established criteria and a transparent process.
Standing committee chair Salma Zahid of the Liberal Party agreed to seek changes to the proposed amendments by May 27. The Department of Finance will receive the request, because it was the department that asked the immigration committee to conduct the study on the amendments. at Express Entry.
The letter will be received by the Standing Committee on Finance, which will decide whether the proposal contained in the letter should be converted into amendments to be proposed during its clause-by-clause study of the bill, which is due to begin on Monday, May 30. at 11 o’clock
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