Starting from January 1st of this new year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada launched a new program called “Express Entry/Entrée Express” to provide more opportunities to prospective skilled immigrants.
This program will cover Canadian key economic immigration programs, such as the FSW (Federal Skilled Worker), FST (Federal Skilled Trader), CEC (Canadian Experience Class) and part of the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program).
Since the launch day, 4 days ago, many candidates tried to make their own profile online to be able to participate to this program and “seek an easy way out” with Express Entry, because the name sounds like you can move to Canada in the blink of an eye.
When you read through the instructions to create your profile on the myCiC portal, you will then realize that the procedure has not changed and that there are requirements that must be met, in order to be selected from the huge pool of candidates.
The most important requirement to be eligible for Express Entry is a Language Test. The problem is that not everyone can afford those standardized tests such as IELTS (Italy charges €210, for example), and recently this has become a money making machine for the organizations which provide these types of tests, to the disadvantage of students or recent graduates who are trying to build up their career somewhere in the world. The test is mandatory even for native speakers of English and French, regardless of their country of origin, citizenship or residence. For more information about language requirements, please see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/language.asp and for a clearer view of the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark), use this PDF as your reference: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/language-benchmarks.pdf
The other requirements are Education and Work Experience. Those who are lucky enough to have passed the Language Test phase, can continue through the application, giving information about these two criteria.
If you studied in a country which is not Canada, you might need to have a Credential Assessment, which means, you must send your credentials to an accredited Center which will assess your Degree or other Diploma according to Canadian standards. This center must be accredited by CIC, in order to be eligible.
CIC does not make a list of countries where education must be recognized by an accredited body, but it probably does give you that kind of information once you apply to Express Entry.
Many people must keep in mind that degrees in Jurisprudence/Law, Medicine, Nursing and others which are regulated by the country of issuance and require a State Exam, require the graduate to get an accreditation in Canada, and that leads to a period in which the person might not work in the field they studied for!
Now, the most important one. Work Experience. Canada welcomes many immigrants, but they always clarify that they look for skilled workers. A skilled worker is a person who has a high qualification and has relevant work experience of at least a couple years. Many people think that they must work in Canada before joining Express Entry, but this is not true.
CIC website, on Express Entry eligibility criteria page, states that:
“You must have at least 12 months of full-time, or an equal amount in part-time, skilled work experience. Full-time work means at least 30 hours of paid work per week.”
No one ever stated that these 12 months must be in Canada! What this sentence wants to say is that someone can apply to this program if they have skilled work experience in the sector where they want to work in Canada, and this sector must be approved by LMIA and be on the NOC skilled type 0 (for managerial jobs), A (for professional jobs) or B (for technical jobs and skilled trades). That is to say, if a person has work experience in neither of these categories, they are not eligible for this program.
Something that has to be cleared up is that CIC does not consider as work experience any unpaid work, volunteering and internships. Therefore, the candidate must actually work full-time or part-time in the field for at least one year, without including the training period.
To sum up, before thinking that Express Entry is an easier way to move to Canada, please read the CIC website and have a look at the type of requirements they have. Most importantly, have a look at the NOC Classification (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/noc.asp) and see if your occupation is eligible for applying in any of the programs that CIC offers to potential candidates. Language tests are mandatory as well, therefore it is important that each candidate can prove their English and/or French skills.
Express Entry is not the easier way out, it is a program which fastens the bureaucracy of applying for Permanent Residence in a country that still impose strict criteria to immigration.
Source: CIC Website: http://www.cic.gc.ca