September 6, 2016

Express Entry – Why People Should Not be Surprised

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Various concerns continue to circulate about the point threshold rising for Express Entry (EE) draws and how surprising the overwhelming reliance on Canadian work experience for point allocation seemingly to the exclusion of all other factors.  But there should be no surprise.  As I have written on several occasions, EE as currently constructed, is an inland selection program.[1]

EE was largely derived from New Zealand and Australia. A few years ago, 87% of applicants approved within the NZ Expression of Interest (EOI) program are onshore while only 13% are offshore.[2]  Onshore landings include applicants in possession of temporary migrant visas.  This number has since climbed to about 89%.[3]

In Australia, the 2013-2014 Migration Programme Report[4] lists the total number of landings at 190,000, 126,550 or 68% of which were in the economic class.  Over 50% of those landings were the result of Regional, State, or Territorial visas (similar in certain respects to the Canadian provincial nominee immigration programs) and the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).  In total, on shore immigration landings climbed to over 50% and in the ENS subclass 83.6% were on shore landings.

Canada, by comparison in the Report on Plans and Priorities 2014-2015[5], notes a target of 261,000 landings, 164,500 of which or 63% are to be in the economic class.  My estimation that the onshore or inland permanent resident immigration visas issues would likely not exceed 30%.  So it stood to reason, given the focus on Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) in the EE roll out, its reliance on the Australian and NZ models and the noted streams for active recruitment, the federal government, provinces and employers like the Australian program, the focus would be onshore landings.

So those in Canada with experience, work and/or nominations are the bread and butter of this program.  This is likely not to change unless the new Government substantially changes the focus of the EE program.  Initially any shortfalls in inventory could likely be obtained from students on post graduate work permits but again this will likely be fleeting and the  focus will remain on in land applicants.  If the focus does not remain on inland applicants, than what?  Occupations?  Exploration of fused economic/family class categories?  Perhaps all of the above.

But as it stands, the EE program is built for employers and provinces and for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to drive the program and the inland ITAs will continue to heavily out number off shore invitations.  Only missteps in terms of issues I have commented upon extensively – transparency, respecting privacy rights, coordination with Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC), lack of innovative processing paradigms and the rule of law in administering the system – would prevent the flourishing inland program IRCC likely envisioned from the outset, unless of course that vision changes.

Fore more information on Express Entry, please click here.