“If you can’t find a Canadian to do the job, you can come to us and apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and recruit someone through Express Entry to come as an immigrant,” Chris Alexander said Friday, at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada.
The minister for immigration and citizenship acknowledged that the process for obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can be a tedious one but insisted it was worth it for a “higher calibre of immigrant.”
The new program, which was launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) this January, has no cap on the number of applicants who can complete online profiles about their age, education, language skills and work experience.
The highest-ranking applicants who meet the criteria for one of four specific federal economic immigration programs get into the Express Entry pool – the four programs are the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
Successful applicants then receive an invitation from CIC to apply for permanent residence – since January, approximately 11,000 have been sent out.
The new program runs parallel to the traditional permanent residence program, which takes 12 to 14 months to process applications – CIC expects that by 2017, most economic immigrants will have entered via express Entry.
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One government minister has urged employers to include the new Express Entry immigration program in their HR strategies – saying it offers access to highly-skilled and highly sought-after applicants.