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Express Entry System: More discretionary power for Canadian Government

Submitted by on January 3, 2015 – 10:34 amNo Comment | 2,109 views

The government is granting itself more discretionary power to decide who gets permanent residency in Canada through a new Express Entry system that will fast-track applications for the most desirable economic immigrants and allow Ottawa to match highly skilled foreigners to prospective employers.

The new system, which debuts Jan. 1, is the culmination of years of overhauls by the governing Conservatives who want Canada to be more nimble in the global scramble to recruit foreign talent and more hard-nosed about choosing newcomers who are of benefit to this country.

Some critics worry the changes grant too much discretion to the federal department of immigration compared with the old system, where newcomers were processed on a first-come, first-served basis and the earliest applicants in line got first priority.

Under Express Entry, those applicants ranked highest by Ottawa under a new points system are the most likely to be invited to apply for permanent residency. Ottawa is vowing a processing time of six months for Express Entry applicants – a huge improvement over past queues.

Foreign nationals accepted into the Express Entry pool will register with the same federal Job Bank used to find employment for Canadians. The difference is they can only be matched with jobs for which no Canadian workers can be found.

Ottawa will function as matchmaker under the new system, pairing prospective economic immigrants with the needs of private-sector employers. Companies won’t have unfettered access to search the pool of Express Entry applicants for hires but will rely on the government to offer them potential matches.

This matchmaking function, however, will not be running as of Jan. 1, the federal government says in a November presentation given to stakeholders and obtained by The Globe and Mail. This feature will come in spring, 2015, a spokesman for Employment and Social Development Canada said Tuesday evening.

A job offer in hand is a real bonus under the ranking system for applicants. Up to 1,200 points will be awarded to those seeking Express Entry for “human capital factors” such as education, work experience and whether they are relatively young – 20 to 29 being the ideal age – whether their skills are easily transferable and whether they have an employment offer or are being nominated by a provincial government.

Source: STEVEN CHASE, OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail, Published Wednesday, Dec. 03 2014

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