Bring Back the Canadian Experience Class Program


US and Canadian Immigration Lawyer Andy Semotiuk:  News of the Express Entry program’s effectiveness is less than great, but I’m not entirely suprised:

Less than half of immigrants to Canada this year will be selected through the much-vaunted new Express Entry system introduced by the Conservative government, which promised to match skilled, economic migrants with employers’ needs.

So far, slightly more than 6,850 prospective immigrants have been invited to apply for permanent residency under Express Entry. It will not be until 2017, two years after its launch, that a majority of immigrants are processed through the new system, Citizenship and Immigration Canada said. The shift to the new economic immigration system was announced in 2012 and has been in place since Jan. 1….

CIC would not say whether it has annual targets or expectations for Express Entry admissions at this point. The number of new permanent residents coming through the program is expected to grow in 2016 to about half of all admissions. By 2017, most, if not all economic admissions should be through Express Entry, Ms. Nadeau said.

The government introduced Express Entry with much fanfare as a selection mechanism that would make economic immigration more responsive to the needs of employers and the labour market. It was heralded as a revolution, compared to a dating site and described as a way for employers to find the skills they needed, and for prospective immigrants to test the waters in Canada before committing to a move.

Processing continues to be the main irritant in immigration matters. The slow take off of the Express Entry system is not helping much in this regard.
I continue to be of the view that the subordination of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) to the Express Entry program was a mistake that still needs to be corrected. I have written before that the CEC was one of the best programs in Canada’s immigration canon, not only for the immigrant, but also for the Canadian economy and culture.
There is no reason for these CEC candidates to have to endure the added hardship associated with the Express Entry program, such as creating a profile, waiting for selection, and rolling the dice on whether they will be able to live and work in Canada when they’ve already been living here, sometimes for years. Their time and experience in Canada needs to be given far greater weight than the Express Entry system allows.

Andy Semotiuk is a Canadian and US immigration lawyer with immigration law firm Pace Immigration. You can learn more about Andy at My Work Visa.

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