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Express Entry is up and running! Back in November when I first wrote about this scheme, details were sketchy. However, the launch went ahead on January 1st as planned and affects the way applications are processed in the following immigration categories:

Federal Skilled Worker,
Federal Skilled Trades,
Canadian Experience Class.

Once you’ve applied for Express Entry,  your profile is valid for twelve months, after which you have 60 days to resubmit. Any later than that and you’ll need to send in a completely new profile. To be accepted into the “express entry pool,” you have to meet the requirements of at least one of the above mentioned immigration streams.

If you don’t already have a job offer from a Canadian employer, or a nomination from a province or territory (via the Provincial Nominee Scheme), you’ll also be required  to register for the government Job Bank site.

Once you’re “in the pool,” you stand a chance of being invited to apply for permanent residency. Regular “draws” will take place throughout the year to select applicants. Those invited to apply will be those considered the best qualified to match current labour market needs.

Candidates are ranked via the Comprehensive Ranking System. This is a points system based on education, work experience and skills, and language ability. The knowledge and skills of your spouse are also taken into account. If you’re a qualified candidate with a Canadian job offer, or you’re being nominated through the PNP, you’re in prime position and guaranteed the first chances to apply.

If you receive a coveted invitation, you then have 60 days to send in your application for permanent residency plus the all-important application fee. The promise is that “the majority of” express entry applications will be processed within 6 months. We will see!

Also new in 2015 – specially for all those millionaires reading my blog :) – is the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital program. The time-frame for applications is ridiculously short (Jan 28 – Feb 11), but only 60 immigrants are being accepted initially through this pilot scheme. If judged successful, it’ll then be expanded. Apparently the old scheme, rife with accusations of fraud, was labelled as “cash for citizenship,” so it’s not surprising they’re going for a relaunch.

For most of us though, Express Entry is the main focus and it’ll be interesting to see whether it delivers on its promises. Have you applied through Express Entry? Do you think it makes it easier or harder for potential immigrants to get into Canada?

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