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Express Entry Explained: 7 ways to look at the new way to immigrate to Canada

A seven-point introduction to Canada’s new Express Entry immigration processing system:

1. Under Canada’s new Express Entry immigration process, applicants will still apply in the existing economic categories:
Federal Skilled Worker
Federal Skilled Trades
Canadian Experience Class Provincial Nominees

Express Entry candidates must meet the minimum requirements of at least one of those programs.

2. Express Entry will not be the only way to migrate to Canada. For example, family sponsorships will not be processed by way of Express Entry.
Quebec applications will not be processed by way of Express Entry. There are still other examples. So people who do not fit under Express Entry may fit under another of Canada’s immigration processes. In a business category, as a student, or by way of a family sponsorship, for instance.

3. The Express Entry immigration process requires a candidate to show that he or she has the minimum qualifications (training, experience, language, etc.) to qualify for permanent residence, but having those qualifications is not enough to be approved, or even to formally apply. Instead, an applicant’s credentials will be posted on a government web-site where they can be seen by potential employers, and provincial and federal immigration officials, who can then approach the candidate(s) that interest them.

4. If a Canadian employer wants to hire a foreign worker through the Express Entry path, the employer has to give the applicant an Invitation to Apply. Under this program, until the worker has received an Invitation to Apply, the worker is not able to formally apply for permanent residence.

5. Under Express Entry, it is not only Canadian businesses that can offer an Invitation to Apply. Canada’s federal and provincial governments can also extend an Invitation to Apply to a foreign worker (except Quebec, which has its own system, and Nunavut which has none).

6. If a candidate does not receive an Invitation to Apply, that candidate’s application will not be processed in the Express Entry system. However, some candidates may still qualify under another of Canada’s immigration programs such as the Quebec immigration program, or a family sponsorship program.

7. It is important that hopeful applicants accurately identify which (if any) of Canada’s many immigration programs might best suit their qualifications and ambitions. Identifying the wrong program can result in lost opportunities and a waste of resources. Also, make sure that anyone you approach for help is licensed and experienced.

– Gregory James

• Gregory James of Gregory James Immigration Law Firm is an immigration lawyer with over 27 years of experience, and a former senior manager at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. He can be contacted at cc@GregoryJamesLaw.com or 416-538-1301.

Posted: Mar 30, 2015

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