Canada Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the country would resume Express Entry draws for skilled workers “in the near term” and that he was looking into ways for making the Express Entry system more flexible. He revealed this during a discussion on Canadian immigration with Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, which was streamed on the Canadian Club Toronto website. The minister also said that Express Entry would start to look more normal in the coming years.
As of now, the Express Entry draws are exclusively targeting Provincial Nominee Program candidates and this has raised several questions in the minds of the aspiring immigrants to Canada. But allaying these fears, the minister pointed out that the recently announced Immigration Levels Plan of Canada for 2022-2024 revealed how the balance will be shifted back and by year three, a record number of federal skilled workers will be welcomed to Canada through Express Entry.
Making Canada Express Entry more flexible
The minister further said he was looking to add more flexibility to the Express Entry system. Express Entry could be used to meet short-term needs such as welcoming people into smaller communities, sectors that have high demand for workers and to admit “people who are coming from a particular region that has the kind of educational institutions that will train the workers we need in strategically important sectors.” Earlier, the minister had also hinted at the possibility of launching occupation-specific Express Entry draws. Further, as per the mandate letter to Fraser issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, expanding pathways to permanent residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through Express Entry is one of the priorities for him.
Since 2021, Express Entry draws have been exclusively targeting Provincial Nominee Program candidates. Minister Fraser has already made clear that the pause on Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Skilled Trades Program-specific Express Entry draws is only temporary. This pause is for enabling the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC) to deal with the backlog of immigration applications.
Though the immigration target for Express Entry is low for 2022 as per the immigration levels plan for 2022-2024, Canada will be welcoming a record number of 111,500 immigrants through Express Entry by 2024.