Canada’s express entry immigration linked to the employment
Posted on October 30, 2014
With the new ‘express entry’ skilled immigration system that Canada is set to launch from January 2015, applicants from India who have the right educational qualifications, skills and work experience may have to wait only months rather than years to move to Canada. For those in senior management positions, with experience in various fields and international exposure, immigration to Canada will very likely become a faster process, considering that it will be linked to the employment needs of the country.
The new immigration programme, which is similar to Australia’s Skill Select and New Zealand’s point-based system, is moving away from “passive processing to active recruitment”. Canada’s immigration and citizenship minister Chris Alexander recently explained at conference in Regina, Canada, that rather than the present first-come, first-served basis, express entry was focused on the job market in Canada.
“We have been stuck in the 1970s, maybe even the 1960s, in immigration, receiving applications in a mechanical, robotic way from whoever happened to apply,” Alexander said at the HR conference.
But from next year, as in the Australia and New Zealand skilled immigration categories where applicants are invited to apply based on certain selection criteria, express entry will also follow the ‘expression of interest’ model. Earlier, during a visit to Delhi, Alexander had described the new system as a game changer that would help some of the skilled successful applicants in the economic and business immigrant categories to get their papers processed in as little time as six months.
Under the express entry system, applicants will be able to submit an ‘expression of interest’ to the Canadian government; their resume and details will be entered into a database. Employers seeking foreign skilled workers will have access to such information on the database, allowing them to select suitable candidates. If a Canadian employer cannot find Canadians to do the job after a labour marketimpact assessment, they can go online to the Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) database of applicants and look for the likes of welders, project managers etc in India or anywhere in the world and make a job offer. Those with job offers will get priority when it comes to invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The express entry system will cover all of Canada’s existing skilled immigration programmes including skilled worker programme, skilled trades programme and the Canadian experience class.
Not everyone, though, is happy about express entry since, once it kicks in, those candidates who are not chosen after their profiles have been on the database for some time will be removed. The idea behind the scheme, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is to “allow the government to select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada rather than those who happen to be first in line”.
A recent study released by the CIC showed that new immigrants were apprehensive about the new system. The respondents in the study, conducted by research company Ipsos Reid, felt that the government should first ensure that those skilled immigrants already in Canada without jobs be given support in finding suitable employment. Immigration experts, meanwhile, are waiting for more details on the system once it is rolled out.
In India, the interest among skilled Indians in moving to Canada is very high with over 33,000 immigrating in 2013. Of the total number, 55% were in the economic and business categories and the rest in the family reunification category.
“Some of our provinces, such as British Columbia, already have a large Indian diaspora and are thus very welcoming to new immigrants. In Vancouver, we are looking for skilled immigrants in different areas such as technology. For young Indians who come here, our province is very warm and welcoming,” says Amrik Virk, minister of advanced education of British Columbia.
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