This has been trailed for the last year under the title “Expression of Interest”.  The most recent press release from CIC makes impressive claims for the impact it will have on Canada’s immigration system, particularly for employers experiencing labour and skill shortages, so the team at Red Seal Immigration took a look to see what the reality is today.


To date all of the information released feels has been more like an advertisement for a big-picture plan and lacks the specifics that will provide us with any greater understanding of how it will actually work so we are looking forward to the cross- Canada information sessions in the hope that CIC will be able to demonstrate how “Express Entry” will deliver the claims it makes for it.


From our experience of working with employers that have labour and skills shortages we find that their highest priority is to get an international employee a work permit as soon as possible. Currently the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s) are the most often used means of achieving this.


CIC claims that qualified applicants can expect faster processing times of 6 months or less. We recall the re-launched Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) being promoted by CIC as providing “Fastrack” processing and note that the current average processing times for those programs range’s between 13 and 32 months depending on the visa office where the application is made (honorable exceptions being Morocco – 3 months, Hong Kong – 8 months and France – 10 months).


So we have some concerns that the claim of faster processing will be met. We also have concerns about the criteria that CIC will employ to determine who will be “invited” and who will not. Will this be based on the applicant, the occupation, the employer, the industry, the region or all of these?


What will happen to those who do not receive an “invite” to the Express Entry stream, yet have job offers from employers who genuinely need them as soon as possible? It is unknown at this time if their application will then sit in processing for a period longer than what is currently in place and result in another kind of backlog that will later need additional resources to resolve.


The Red Seal team came to the following conclusions:

  • Currently we cannot see how “Express entry” will help employers meet their labour and skills needs any more effectively than the programs currently available
  • At present “Express Entry” is still in its formative stages and CIC needs to work out the detail
  • Current Performance of the FSWP and FSTP do not support CIC’s claims for faster processing
  • There is a risk that “Express Entry” will add further complexity to an already complicated set of programs and that resources will be diverted into non value added activities


Red Seal Immigration welcomes workable and value added initiatives from CIC and it is our desire to see these initiatives make a positive impact that prompted us to write this blog. Thank you for reading and please do share your comments and feedback.


John Soden, RCIC

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant