Express entry: early immigration data shows many already in Canada

May 12, 2015

By Susan Mas, CBC News | Link to Article

Nearly half of the skilled immigrants who qualified for a chance to obtain permanent residency within the first three weeks of the launch of a new immigration system were not applying from abroad but were already in Canada, CBC News has learned.

Canada launched a new system known as express entry on Jan. 1 as a way to recruit the best and brightest of foreign nationals to fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers.

The report, obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland through an Access to Information Act request, shows there were 775 candidates who made it to the top of the express entry pool in the lead up to the first-ever draw. The new data lists their country of residence and their citizenship.

Where did the candidates come from? Many — 346, or 45 per cent of “the top 775 candidates in the pool” — resided in Canada, according to the Jan. 22 report prepared by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Thirteen per cent were living in India, followed by 4.5 per cent in the United Arab Emirates. Smaller percentages resided in other countries.

“Please note that data is intended for internal CIC use only and has not yet been released to the public,” said an immigration official in an email dated Jan. 22. The cautionary note was underlined.

First draw in late January

The government offered permanent residency to 779 skilled workers in its first draw held on Jan. 31.

“Express Entry is already getting impressive results in its first month,” declared Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in a written statement issued on Feb.2.

“The fact that everyone who was invited to apply for permanent residence in this round of invitations already has a valid job offer or provincial nomination shows that Express Entry is working to fill Canada’s existing labour market gaps,” Alexander said.

The first 779 skilled workers, according to that same statement, included “professionals in natural and applied sciences, and industrial, electrical and construction trades.”

How does the new express entry system work?

  • ​Applicants can see how they rank in the pool based on a point system.
  • Skilled immigrants receive up to 1,200 points based on various factors.
    Up to 600 points are allotted to applicants with a job offer or a provincial nomination.
  • Up to 500 points are assigned for factors such as age, education level, language proficiency and work experience in Canada.
  • Up to 100 points for transferable skills such as education, foreign work experience and a certificate in the trades.
  • Individuals with the most points are considered top candidates.
  • A draw is held every two weeks to determine who receives “invitations to apply” for permanent residency.
  • Once an invitation is received, a prospective immigrant has 60 days to accept or decline.
  • If an applicant doesn’t receive an invitation after 12 months, he or she has to apply again.

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