Canada Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage applications for Canadian permanent residence through certain economic immigration programs. The Express Entry system is used to manage applications for skilled and qualified workers. Express Entry is designed to facilitate the immigration of skilled workers “who are most likely to succeed economically” to Canada. The system boasts efficient processing times, with 80% of applications processed in 6 months or less.
Those who are eligible for one of the programs managed by Express Entry submit an entry and the Canadian government issues and successful candidates can submit an application for permanent residence. A positive result on this application will grant the applicant, and their accompanying family members, Canadian permanent resident status.
Economic value versus “first-come first-served”
Express Entry replaced the original “first-come first-served” immigration selection system. Express Entry was expected to be more responsive to regional labor shortages. It systemically favours qualified immigrants by prioritising such individuals, and avoids the arbitrary selections of the previous system which, in some cases, were based on a first come basis. According to Colin Singer, an immigration lawyer, the ideal candidate for Express Entry is “someone in their 20s that’s very proficient in one of Canada’s official languages [English and French], and is highly educated, likely at a master’s [degree] level.
Concerns have also been expressed about the Express Entry system. Morton Beiser and Harald Bauder (2014) of Ryerson University wrote “Canada’s once pathbreaking immigration policies are being transformed into a system that mainly serves employers, treating immigrants not as future citizens or members of Canadian communities and families but merely as convenient or cheap labor.” Others fear that Express Entry gives too much power to politicians and bureaucrats. Advocates of Express Entry claim that Express Entry can reduce the number of migrants who fail to get work by better fitting immigrants to existing jobs vacancies.
The total amount of immigrants invited depends on the quota the Canadian government has set for itself. For 2018, the quota set is 310,000 immigrants. This quota is then reached by skimming from the top of the express entry pool and inviting the highest ranking candidates. For example, on February 7, 2018, the quota was 3,000 immigrants. Thus, the top-ranked 3,000 individuals were invited. In the past the government has repeated this draw multiple times per year