Dear Miss Powell,
I wanted to apply under the Federal Skilled-Worker Programme this year, however, by the time I was ready to submit my application, I realised that I was too late to apply as a skilled worker as they were not accepting any more applications under my occupation. I'm very disappointed as I was looking forward to relocating as soon as possible. Are there any other ways that I can move to Canada and find gainful employment?
I'm sorry that you were not able to submit your application in time under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP). Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been receiving applications under the FSWP all year, and there is a limit to the number of applications they will accept under any one occupation. The cap has been reached for computer programmers, interactive media developers, and financial and investment analysts. That programme in its current format will come to an end in December 2014.
However, all is not lost as in January 2015, CIC will launch a new programme called the Express Entry.
This new programme has been creating much excitement around the world as many skilled and professional persons are looking forward to the revamping of the way one is selected to become a permanent resident. No longer will one be selected on "a first come, first serve" basis, but one will now be selected based on how one ranks against other applicants around the world.
Processed in six months
This new immigration model is heralded as a more efficient system, one that will ensure that Canada attracts the right professionals and skilled trade persons that satisfy the need of the employers in Canada. It is expected that persons who are granted permanent residence under this programme will have a greater chance of being successful and be able to support the economic needs of Canada.
Under the old system, employers would spend exorbitant sums of money hiring agents, sponsoring job fairs, and advertising internationally, at their own expense, to attract skilled personnel. The processing time was longer and the immigration system was deemed very difficult to navigate.
Under the express system, Canadian employers will play a significant role in the recruiting and the selection of economic immigrants. CIC will match employers to prospective employees, and CIC promises that once an individual receives an invitation to apply (ITA) and all the relevant documents are submitted within the time stipulated, that an individual could have a permanent resident card in his hands in six months or under.
To date, CIC has not unveiled the programme in its totality; however, the programme will be open to persons who qualify under the revamped Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trades Programme, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the existing Provincial Nominee Programme.
The application will be done in two stages. First, if you are interested, you will be required to show an expression of interest in being considered under this programme by submitting an online application to CIC. This initial stage is very critical as this online application will be the basis on which one is ranked among the pool of individuals worldwide and will determine whether one receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
This first stage is not an application for a visa or permanent residence. This is merely an indication to CIC and prospective employers that one would like to be considered. At this stage, one must be accurate and truthful about one's personal information, current occupation, education/qualification, work experience, language ability, and also indicate whether one has any business and investment experience.
This online application will form the basis on which one is selected to proceed to the next level. One must bear in mind that this first stage will form a part of one's overall application. Consequently, one cannot submit false or inaccurate information at this level just to be able to move to the next level as one's application could be later rejected and one may not be allowed to reapply.
Secondly, one will be ranked based on the pool of applicants received by CIC. This system will be highly competitive only the highest-ranked individuals will be matched with prospective employers. Those with job offers from legitimate Canadian employers, or those receiving provincial nominations, will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.
Persons who receive an ITA will, therefore, need to be prepared to submit a full application with supporting documents within 60 days of receiving the invitation.
Once CIC receives a complete application and all the supporting documentation, then they promise to complete the application for permanent residence within six months.
If you have other questions or concerns about the new Express Entry programme, I suggest that you contact an immigration lawyer to provide you with more detailed information.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, real estate, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration Tel: 613-695-8777. Find her on facebook.com/JamaicanLawyer