Vol. 148, No. 24 — November 19, 2014
SI/2014-99 November 19, 2014
ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2013 ACT, NO. 2
ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2014 ACT, NO. 1
Order Fixing January 1, 2015 as the Day on which Certain Sections of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 and the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 Come into Force
P.C. 2014-1241 November 6, 2014
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,
- (a) pursuant to section 293 of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2, chapter 40 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, fixes January 1, 2015 as the day on which sections 290 to 292 of that Act come into force; and
- (b) pursuant to section 307 of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1, chapter 20 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, fixes January 1, 2015 as the day on which sections 300 and 301 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes January 1, 2015 as the day on which sections 290 to 292 of the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2, chapter 40 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, and sections 300 and 301 of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1, chapter 20 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, come into force.
This Order brings into force provisions that amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and establish the Government of Canada’s new Express Entry system. Express Entry is an innovative immigration application management system that will facilitate the selection of skilled immigrants to Canada from a pool of qualified candidates who best meet Canada’s economic and labour market needs. This includes candidates who have been nominated by a province or territory or who have a qualifying offer of arranged employment.
One of Express Entry’s key objectives is to connect top candidates from around the world with provinces, territories and Canadian employers in order to match skills needs which are not met by the domestic workforce. The Express Entry system will move away from the first in, first out processing principle and will help Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to prevent a backlog of new applications by only inviting those who best match Canadian labour market needs to formally apply for permanent residence. Under the Express Entry system, applicants will benefit from faster processing times. Canadian businesses will also benefit from faster processing times by being able to recruit skilled immigrants more quickly, which will allow eligible candidates to come to Canada sooner. Ultimately, this new innovative system will maximize the contribution of immigrants to Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.
Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2 (EAP 2013, No. 2)
The provisions being brought into force in the EAP 2013, No. 2, which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2013, establish the legislative foundation for the Express Entry system.
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration committed to launching the new Express Entry system by January 2015. In addition, the 2013 Speech from the Throne and budgets 2013 and 2014 confirmed the Government’s intention to make Canada’s immigration application management system more innovative and efficient.
EAP 2013, No. 2 adds a new division to the IRPA, which requires a stand-alone pre-application stage as the first step to immigrating to Canada under specific economic programs, to be set out in instructions issued by the Minister. This division also includes broad provisions relating to the process for submitting applications, required information-sharing measures, and the role of third parties under the Express Entry system.
The provisions of EAP 2013, No. 2 create a two-step application process under the Express Entry system. In step one, foreign nationals who wish to obtain permanent resident status under the included economic programs must submit an online expression of interest to come to Canada. Foreign nationals, if pre-screened as eligible based on self-declared information, will be entered into a pool. Candidates will then be scored and ranked against others in the pool. In step two, an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence may be issued to the highest-ranked candidates, such as those with scores that reflect their human capital and ability to succeed in the Canadian economy.
Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 (EAP 2014, No. 1)
The provisions being brought into force in the EAP 2014, No. 1, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, are additional amendments to the legislative foundation for Express Entry, established under EAP 2013, No. 2.
To maintain the integrity of the Express Entry system, the provisions stipulate that an officer may not issue a visa or other document to a foreign national in respect of an application for permanent residence if, at the time an ITA was issued, or at the time the officer received his or her application, the foreign national did not meet the criteria for Express Entry or did not have the qualifications on the basis of which they were ranked and issued the ITA.
Furthermore, the provisions provide the authority to prescribe, by regulation, who will be required to submit their applications and other documents electronically, which includes candidates who hold a valid ITA for permanent residence. These provisions also establish the authority to prescribe, by regulation, the electronic system to which an application or documents may be submitted, and the circumstances where exemptions and alternatives to the prescribed electronic system would be permitted, including prescribing the alternative means.
The provisions will also ensure that third-party determinations, like language test results or educational credential assessments, can be required at the expression of interest submission stage. In addition, they will enable the application of Express Entry to a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program, so as to encourage provincial and territorial use of the Express Entry system.
The provisions enabling the new Express Entry system will not apply to applications received before January 1, 2015. All applications in the inventory received before the coming into force of the Express Entry system will be processed under the rules in place at the time that a complete application is received by CIC.
Express Entry will apply to a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It will open up a new source of high skilled immigrants for provinces and territories. Building on their PNP allocation from 2014 as a base, provinces and territories will also have the option to search the Express Entry pool and nominate high skilled candidates. PNP nominations under Express Entry will be made from an additional, enhanced allocation approved by the Minister, which will provide a means of increasing overall provincial and territorial nominations within an approved limit.
CIC has been consulting with employers, provinces and territories, and other stakeholders on the Express Entry system since fall 2012. A nine-member employer technical reference group, with representatives from small, medium and large Canadian employers in key sectors of the economy, was established in 2013 to provide CIC with input on the development and implementation of Express Entry.
In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, senior CIC officials hosted information sessions with employers across the country from April to June 2014, reaching over 250 employers. Webinars are also being conducted to reach additional employers and other stakeholder groups. Another set of information sessions with employers will take place in larger cities across Canada in fall 2014.
Overall, employers have indicated support for the changes, and have acknowledged that the new pool of candidates will help them recruit foreign nationals when they cannot find Canadians to fill vacancies.
Express Entry Policy
Strategic Policy and Planning Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West