Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently announced that Canada’s long awaited expression of interest program will be opening in January 2015. The new program, “Express Entry,” is exciting for skilled workers around the world who are interested in immigrating to Canada. In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will launch a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence in certain economic programs. Canada needs high levels of immigration to meet current and future labour market needs, which will ensure our economic growth and long-term prosperity. Express Entry will allow us to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants under the following federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Provinces and territories will also be able to recruit candidates from the Express Entry system for a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs to meet local labour market needs. Under this new system, employers will also have a key role in selecting economic immigrants. Employers will access candidates through Canada’s new and improved Job Bank and through provinces and territories where applicable. The Express Entry system involves two steps: Step 1) Potential candidates complete an online Express Entry profile Potential candidates will complete an online Express Entry profile where they will provide information about their skills, work experience, language ability, education, and other details. Those who meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programs subject to Express Entry will be placed in a pool of candidates. Candidates will be ranked against others in the pool. Only the highest-ranked candidates (those deemed to have the best chances for economic success), and those with qualifying offers of arranged employment or provincial/territorial nominations, will be invited to apply for permanent residence. If a candidate does not already have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer or a provincial/territorial nomination, he or she must register with the Government of Canada’s Job Bank which will connect him or her with eligible Canadian employers. Where applicable, employers will be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada. There will be no fee for Labour Market Impact Assessments for permanent residence applications under the Express Entry system. Completing an online Express Entry profile does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. Step 2) Citizenship and Immigration Canada will invite certain candidates to apply for permanent residence and process their electronic applications within six months. Candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence if they rank among the top in the pool, based on their skills and experience. Candidates who have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process in place at that time) or have been nominated by a province or territory will be given high scores in the ranking system. Candidates will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence through one of the following programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP); Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); Canadian Experience Class (CEC); or, A portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Citizenship and Immigration Canada will process the majority of complete applications (i.e. applications including all the necessary supporting documents) within six months or less. Candidates in the Express Entry pool who do not receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence after 12 months may resubmit their profile and re-enter the pool if they still meet the criteria. This provision will prevent backlogs and ensure quick processing times. Express Entry will result in faster and more efficient service to potential skilled immigrants. It will also allow the Government of Canada to be more flexible and responsive to Canada’s changing economic conditions and priorities. How Will the Program Work? Under Canada’s Express Entry system, after an application is received it will be entered into a pool or database of candidates for review or selection by an interested “selector.” The Express Entry Process can be divided into 5 steps: First, all potential candidates will create an Express Entry profile using an online platform that identifies their skills and qualifications, taking the form of an online resume. All Express Entry profiles will be ranked against the other applicants in the system based on a variety of factors, including their language proficiency in English and/or French, their education, their Canadian work experience (if applicable), and other factors that indicate the candidate will be successful in Canada. Applicants to the program without a job offer from a Canadian employer will be required to register with the newly upgraded Canada Job Bank. The Job Bank is a platform where individuals can post their credentials and Canadian employers seeking workers can search for an applicant who meets the requirements of their position in order to offer them a job. After each profile in the system has been assessed, the candidates who meet the criteria of a federal economic program will be placed in the pool of candidates for Express Entry. If their application is selected by an employer through the Job Bank, the applicant will be issued an “Invitation to Apply,” and will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence. The successful candidate will then apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), the Federal Skilled Trade program (FST), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or through a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). After being offered an invitation to apply applicants will still be required to meet the criteria of the program they are applying under. The entire process of applying for permanent residence will be online. After an individual has recieved an Invitation to Apply (ITA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has committed to processing these applications in six months or less. Who Can Apply? Under the new Express Entry program, anyone will be able apply. Instead of needing to have experience in an occupation on a strict list of eligible occupations as with many other immigration programs, Express Entry will have no occupation list and applicants can present their impressive credentials regardless of what industry or profession they are in. Canada’s most popular immigration program for foreign workers without a job offer is the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) eligible occupation stream. Only a limited number of applicants can apply (maximum 1,000 per eligible occupation) and they must have work experience in one of 50 eligible occupations within the last 10 years. Canada needs workers from more than 50 occupations, and many people in occupations not on the list would benefit Canada’s economy and workforce. Unlike the restrictive FSW program, the new Express Entry program allows people from all occupations to apply without limiting availability to those fortunate enough to have their occupation included on a small list. Additionally, Express Entry will also not include the application caps featured in many other Canadian immigration programs, including the FSW program. Without a cap on the number of applications being accepted for processing, applicants can apply to Express Entry at any time without fear that the program will close or fill up before their application is completed. Below are some of the many steps that prospective applicants might take in anticipation of Express Entry, or another Canadian immigration category. IELTS: a language test is required for almost every immigration stream that leads to a Permanent Resident visa. Documenting one’s language ability may help them immigrate, and even if an IELTS is not required for Express Entry, the score may still help an applicant convey their English language proficiency to a potential employer. Credential assessment: Under the current FSW programs, foreign diplomas are given an equivalent value in Canada. The credential assessment can also be an important first step towards licensing or certification in their field in Canada. Resume and reference letters: Many people do not have an up to date resume and have not needed to ask their employer for reference letters. Beginning to update and edit a resume, as well as starting to determine how to obtain references may be useful for job searching or immigrating to Canada. This long awaited program aims to make immigration faster, more efficient and result in satisfied employers and applicants. At this time, the program appears to be making Canada an option to a greater number and variety of skilled workers who are interested in immigrating to Canada. We encourage anyone who is interested in the program to check news updates regularly, about Express Entry and other programs, as many details have not yet been revealed. If want to evaluate yourself then you can visit this site and evaluate your self and be prepared for Express Entry.