Top lawyer calls for Express Entry amendments

by |
A leading immigration lawyer is calling on policy makers to amend the current Express Entry scheme, claiming adjustments could make the system far more effective for employers.

“Given the fierce global competition in attracting scarce talent to meet specific domestic business needs, it is critical for Canadian employers to have access to an efficient and facilitative immigration program,” says Naumaan Hameed, a partner and certified immigration law specialist KPMG Law LLP.

Introduced in early 2015, Express Entry was billed as a more efficient way of selecting economically valuable immigrants and, ultimately, the answer to Canada’s talent shortage but 18 months on and the scheme is still suffering from a number of teething problems.

“Unfortunately, it appears that the economic immigrants selected through Express Entry to date have not provided adequate solutions to employers’ talent and labour needs,” says Hameed.

Currently, Express Entry operates a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) which awards points to potential immigrants based on factors that are conductive to economic establishment in Canada – however, Toronto-based Hameed says the structure isn't perfect.

“It appears that the current ranking and selection methodology gives candidates in lower skill levels priority to apply for Canadian permanent residency over other higher skilled candidates simply based on the type of work permits they respectively hold,” he explained.

Hameed also noted that international students face considerable challenge and disadvantage under the current ranking system as they have insufficient work experience and rarely have arranged employment because companies struggle to obtain LMIA approval.

“There are likely more qualified Canadians available for these more junior positions,” he explained. “As a result, many international students have no option but to return to their country of origin or consider other destinations.”

It’s an outcome that Hameed says could Canada should be looking to avoid.

“Losing international students who wish to settle in Canada is clearly contrary to Canadian economic interests given the declining national birth rate and the need for skilled students to fill Canada’s pervasive, long-term skills gap,” he told HRM.

“Moreover, the restrictive nature of the current immigration system risks creating a barrier to permanent residence, which in turn threatens to dissuade students from investing in advanced education in Canada.  In short, Canadian employers lose out on a valuable pool of potential talent.”

In fact, Hameed has a stark warning of what the employment landscape could look like without a re-design.

“While it is equally important to develop and grow domestic talent pools, Canadian employers would derive significant advantage from being able to attract and retain ‘the best and brightest’ from around the world,” he said.

“Any delay or inaction to improving Express Entry would result in lost business growth opportunities, a hindrance to Canada’s potential of being a global innovation player, and a high likelihood of losing Canadian innovators to overseas markets where talents are more readily available.”

More like this:

Protests to be held over TFW program

Minister urges employers to use Express Entry

Changes ahead for Canadian Foreign Worker Program
  • Syed on 2016-09-06 10:41:45 AM

    The Express eEntry system has made it extremely difficult for international students like me to become a PR. After paying high tuition fees , having to leave this beautiful country is like a slap in the face. I came here about 9 years ago as a student and after facing difficulties was able to finish my education and found myself a good job. Now that i have built my life here, lived here for about a decade, I fear of having to leave this country as my permit expires in 6 months. Starting my life all over again in my home country that i haven't been to in a long time seems an tough challenge.
    I have worked for almost 2 years in the field that I went to school for, but I still dont have enough points to get myself an invitation to apply.
    I really hope the Express Entry system is changed in a way to give us (international students) advantage over people who have studied and worked else where. Throwing us in the same pool as someone who hasn't studied, worked and lived in Canada is unfair.

  • Reza on 2016-09-06 11:11:45 PM

    I got my masters in Canada and immediately started working as a software engineer. Unfortunately I had to change 3 companies to get LMIA and finally my application was not successful. I am very disappointed with the immigration system and I will defend consider other countries to live. Canada is not a place for skilled immigrants anymore.

  • Anitha on 2016-09-07 10:33:52 AM

    According to Express Entry's Comprehensive Ranking System, one can score higher points just by having Masters Degree and higher Language test scores regardless of your skills and expertise. A person who is very good at work with experience but having Bachelors degree and moderate language score will never be able to get a Invitation under current express entry system. Express entry system must be changed before it is too late.

  • Licensed/Regulated Profession on 2016-09-07 12:29:08 PM

    No points are awarded for the fact of being licensed within Canada (in a Canadian province) in a Regulated Profession such as Doctor, Lawyer, Optimetry, etc...

    Although you get your license to practice, you cannot get points like those under Skill Trade category as Doctor, Lawyer, etc... does not fall under Skill Trade

  • Victor Godin on 2016-09-07 12:47:22 PM

    Two observations.
    First, the economic forecast assumptions for sectors and regions underlying EE are never divulged.
    Second, while it's true that international students have been short-changed, it is questionable that those graduating from utterly whimsical program areas would add that much value to the economy.

  • Licensed/Regulated Profession on 2016-09-08 6:17:35 AM

    It is so unfair that those licensed in their profession In Canada and Outside Canada get the same amount of points.

    Those Licensed In Canada should be given Significant Additional Points, no matter the duration of their course (at least 8 months) as some applicants got Partially Exempted because their foreign education reflect the same syllabus in the Canadian educational system and also due to Mutual Agreement.

    So that's not their fault if the duration of their course got reduced.

    Unfortunately, in the present Express Entry system points are awarded for adaptability if your course is at least 2 years. This should be changed.

  • Licensed/Regulated Profession on 2016-09-08 6:26:14 AM

    Some barriers like the 1 year work experience requirement should be removed for those who get Canadian Education (degree, master, postgraduate course certificate,...) no matter the duration of their course

  • | on 2016-09-13 12:55:52 PM

    Express Entry is very discriminatory on age. I could be a nobel prize winner and never get an ITA because I'm 41. I'm actually an international PhD student working in water resources (pretty important in Canada), and I can't get in.

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions