Express entry is Canada’s immigration process for choosing highly skilled workers (professionals, skilled tradespeople and senior managers).
In the past, too many immigrant foreign skilled workers already in Canada were not able to find suitable jobs, even while some Canadian employers were complaining they could not find the kind of workers they needed.
In those days skilled workers were selected on the basis of who applied first rather than who had a better chance of finding appropriate work in Canada.
There was a mismatch between the kind of skills Canada needed and what specific kinds of migrants Canada was selecting.
So, rather than allowing highly skilled workers to come to Canada whether their skills and work experience were in demand in Canada or not, Canada has tried to design a process where Canadian employers will do most of the work identifying which kinds of workers are in demand at any time
And they have tried to make this process very accessible by putting important parts of Canada’s “Job Bank” online.
Under today’s system, skilled workers are selected in one of two ways.
First, Canadian employers who cannot find Canadian workers to do necessary work can apply to the Canadian government for permission to hire a foreign worker or workers.
The Canadian government keeps a close eye on this process to make sure that no Canadians will lose their jobs to foreign workers, or see Canadian wages, salaries and opportunities decline because of competition from foreign workers.
The way this is done is, in theory, quite simple.
First, a Canadian employer has to make a genuine effort to find a Canadian worker to fill any job position, and will be expected to justify not hiring a Canadian worker.
Only when all reasonable efforts to find a Canadian worker have failed will the Canadian government allow the Canadian employer to hire a foreign worker.
Moreover, the employer will be required to pay an appropriate wage or salary to any foreign workers so that the employer does not have an incentive to hire foreign workers because they are cheaper.
The Canadian government facilitates this process by managing what they call a job bank. The job bank is a way to make it easy for workers and employers to find each other. Both workers and employers can post information about themselves in the job bank. This resource is open to all workers and employers, including both Canadian and foreign workers, and workers inside and outside of Canada.
The job bank can be found online at www.jobbank.gc.ca/home-eng.do?lang=eng.
Employers and workers can go to the job bank to see what workers and employers and jobs are in demand, and which ones are available.
As I write this there are over 91,000 job postings in the job bank. Many of those postings have been made by foreign workers outside of Canada who are trying to connect with Canadian employers. Other postings have been made by Canadian employers.
The process is intended to make it easier for workers and employers to find each other inside and outside Canada. That makes for better choices on both sides.
The Express Entry system gets a lot of attention. It is important to remember that there are many different immigration programs. If you are focussing only on the Express Entry program, you might be overlooking other immigration programs that might be better suited to you.
I hope you are successful in your search.
– Gregory James
• Gregory James of Gregory James Immigration Law Firm is an immigration lawyer with over 29 years of experience, a former senior manager at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is based in Toronto and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-538-1301.