Next year, Canada plans to hold Express Entry draws for applicants based on labor market requirements in the first quarter of 2023. According to the latest update, IRCC plans to introduce new categories in the Express Entry system. The latest Bill C-19 allows Canada’s Minister of Immigration to welcome Express Entry applicants based on regional economic requirements.
It will allow Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to conduct Express Entry invitation rounds based on the applicant’s language skills, work experience, or educational achievements rather than Comprehensive Ranking System scores.
The new reform also stipulates that the minister must participate in a public consultation process and report annually to the administration on the details of the lottery, including the financial goals.
Why is it necessary to make changes to the Express Entry System?
Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser mentioned in a recent interview that “the current Express Entry system does not allow IRCC to modify Invitations to Apply (ITA) to meet the skills or qualifications requested.”
Fraser also added, “In a scenario where we get a lot of applications that are a good fit for a particular sector, and that sector doesn’t have high demands, then that’s likely to bring in candidates that may not be a perfect fit for the Canadian economy.”
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada proved during the pandemic that it invited a large number of applicants. A popular example occurred on February 13, 2021, when Canada offered 27,000 invitations to Canadian Experience Class applicants in the pool.
With reforms during that time, Canada is changing its strategy during the pandemic travel restrictions to welcome Express Entry applicants based on the program they qualify for. Primarily, it was done to target Express Entry applicants who qualify for both programs: Canadian Experience Class applicants mostly in Canada and therefore not subject to travel restrictions, or those with a PNP nomination.
Although, before Bill C-19 was passed, Canada could not target Express Entry applicants based on the applicant’s occupation, language skills, or educational credentials. However, PNPs have introduced more specific criteria that allow them to apply to Express Entry applicants who qualify. To be eligible for a PNP, a candidate must complete a separate application process with a province or territory.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser also mentioned that “the federal government aims to prepare newcomers for success in the provinces where they will live. Canada expects to see an exponential increase in retention rates because people arrive where they know they have tremendous opportunities .”
The minister also acknowledged the need for a clear selection process. One of the main criticisms the bill faced was that it could allow special interest groups to pressure the government to welcome a certain type of Express Entry applicant. Therefore, reform is being introduced that will require the Minister of Immigration to have a public consultation process with stakeholders to get input on how the lotteries can be implemented to close the financial gap.