The Canadian government is planning changes to the Express Entry system, which would allow the immigration minister to invite candidates based on an economic goal.

The changes are currently being discussed in the Canadian parliament. On May 19, Philip Somogyvari from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) presented the proposed changes to the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship, a committee of elected officials that studies matters related to Canadian immigration.

Somogyvari, who is an IRCC Director General, explained the amendments would authorize the immigration minister to invite Express Entry candidates on a new basis, one that would support an economic goal identified by the minister.

Eligibility requirements to be a member of a category would be established by the minister and could be based on factors such as work experience, educational background or language skills.

About Express Entry in 2022

Express Entry is an application management system for three immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

To immigrate through one of these programs, foreign workers must express their interest in Canadian immigration by completing a profile in the Express Entry system. Candidates who are eligible for one of the three programs get a score based on their work experience, educational background, language skills, age, and other factors. IRCC invites the highest-scoring candidates to apply for permanent residence.

Recently, IRCC has only been holding invitation rounds for candidates who have received a nomination from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). After accumulating a backlog in Express Entry applications during the pandemic, IRCC paused invitation rounds for the FSWP in December 2020, and then paused CEC draws in September 2021. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently announced that draws for these candidates would resume in July, and processing standards would return to six months for new applicants.

Immigration to Canada via Express Entry is classified into three classes

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Workers
  • Federal Skilled Traders

Canada is set to resume its Express Entry draws for all three classes in early July, and expects the wait time for new applications to be 6 months – as was the case pre-pandemic.

Canada had halted Express Entry draws for the CEC category in the latter half of 2021 and draws for FSWP candidates were halted since December 2022.

Recently, the country also announced additional benefits for international students.

Starting in summer 2022, international students in Canada and have a post-graduation work permit expiring between January and December 2022 will qualify for an additional open work permit valid up to 18 months. “We are exploring a simplified, expeditious process for this, and details will be made available in the weeks ahead,” states IRCC.

About 95,000 PGWPs will expire in 2022, and as many as 50,000 PGWP holders could benefit from this new open work permit.







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