E-newsletter – Past Editions

Fall 2012

Expression of Interest – Transforming Canada’s economic immigration programs

A major next step in building a fast and flexible immigration system will be the creation of a pool of skilled workers ready to begin employment in Canada, a commitment made in Economic Action Plan 2012.

Inspired by an approach developed by New Zealand – and now also being used in Australia – an Expression of Interest application system is the model the Government of Canada plans to use to create this pool of skilled workers.

Under an Expression of Interest system – or EOI – prospective immigrants fill in an online form indicating their “interest” in coming to a host country as permanent residents. The form can include information that relates to, for example, language proficiency, work experience and assessed education credentials.

Assigned a points score and ranked, these expressions of interest would then be entered into a pool from which candidates that best match a country’s national and regional skills needs can be drawn and invited to submit an immigration application, subject to priority processing.

In effect, the EOI form submitted by a prospective immigrant is not an application itself but only a first stage in the assessment of a potential candidate. Not all candidates who file an expression of interest are invited to apply for a permanent resident visa.

Consultations with provinces, territories and stakeholders on the development of an EOI system for Canada are underway. Of interest to CIC is the potential for a larger role for employers in the immigration program, leveraged through EOI.

As part of ongoing consultations, CIC has held roundtables with employers in a number of cities to discuss how such a system could help meet employer needs. A report on these recent discussions will be available on the consultations section of the CIC website soon.

With the elimination of the Federal Skilled Worker backlog, CIC anticipates being able to move to an EOI system that will: avoid the build-up of inventories and improve processing times; and make the immigration system more responsive to labour market needs and increase the likelihood of skilled immigrants’ success.

 
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