Take the Express Way to Canada
Posted on January 20, 2015
Starting January 2015, the Canadian government has kicked off a new electronic system – Express Entry – to manage immigration applications for permanent residency in certain economic programmes. The system is being described as a much faster, more effective and more efficient way to welcome economic immigrants to Canada than any tool that existed before and will apply to the federal skilled worker programme, federal skilled trades programme and the Canadian experience class.
“Even though the new system has just been opened up, we already have thousands of applications through it. India has been the top country in terms of immigrants to Canada last year and I feel that the Canadian experience class will greatly benefit applicants from India,” Canada’s immigration and citizenship minister Chris Alexander told ET from Ottawa.
Under the new Express Entry system, applicants who have the right educational qualifications, skills and work experience may have to wait only months rather than years to move to Canada. In fact, for those in highly-skilled categories, with the right work experience and international exposure, immigration to Canada is likely to become a faster and employment-linked process. Canadian provinces and territories, too, will be able to recruit Express Entry candidates for a portion of their provincial nominee programmes to meet local labour market needs.
“We know that for qualified Indians who are scouting for overseas opportunities, there are many choices such as Asia, Europe and the US. We hope that with this new system we will fast track the immigration process for such candidates from a few years to a few months,” Alexander said. He added that the skills that the Canadian economy is looking for are wideranging including management, technology and services sector. “And while various skills are required across Canada, which many Indians have, the English language skills will be an added advantage for candidates from India,” he said.
While critics of the Canadian immigration system feel that for many highly-qualified and skilled people from India, life in Canada becomes a nightmare because of unavailability of jobs that are in synch with their qualifications, the minister is of the opinion that the new system could help to tackle this problem too. “Life in a new country will always be challenging for immigrants to begin with, however through Express Entry many applicants from India will be entering the job market as soon as they make their application and get their profile in the pool, rather than wait till they get to Canada,” Alexander said.
Through Express Entry, applicants can now submit ‘expression of interest’ with their résumé and details into a database. Employers seeking foreign skilled workers have access to the database, allowing them to select suitable candidates.
Indian students who are enrolled in Canadian colleges and universities, too, will benefit from the new system, according to the minister. “Students from India and young professionals with jobs in Canada already have a big advantage. The expression of interest system will now give them a better edge in Canada,” he said.