Express Entry and the MPNP
By Michael Scott
The early news on “Express Entry” is that it appears to be a positive addition for immigration to Manitoba. The federal program, set to open on January 1, 2015, has a strong connection to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). (Editor's Note: The opening of this programme has been postponed until March 2015. See the addendum below.) In an article published recently in the Winnipeg Free Press, staff writer Carol Jenkins heralds the additional immigrant applicants to Manitoba who may benefit from the federal program. “Skills fast-track begins next year” is the title of the piece with the subtitle “500 more immigrants may come under the new federal program.”
Express Entry in review
Express Entry is the new recruitment model promoted by federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. The selection model intends to match the education and experience of people interested in immigrating with the qualifications needed by Canadian employers. The federal minister said it is a “major step forward in the transformation of Canada’s immigration system into one that is fast, flexible and focused on meeting Canada’s economic and labour needs.” Applications will be collected in a pool and arranged according to a ranking system.
Potential applicants will be able to apply online once the system is up and running. There will be no deadlines or caps on the number of applicants. Anyone who is accepted into the pool could get an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Draws to invite the highest-ranking candidates will be made at regular intervals over the course of the year. It is important to note that selection is not based on a first-come-first-served basis but rather how well the applicant ranks in terms of points
Comprehensive Ranking System
The Express Entry – Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) criteria have been released to the public. It appears that users are awarded points based upon core/human capital factors, such as age, level of education, proficiency in English or French and Canadian work experience. There are also skill transferability factors that reward education, official language proficiency and post-secondary degree, Canadian work experience as well as foreign work experience. Arranged employment and provincial or territorial nomination can add further points. The maximum number of points available is 1200.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program
Manitoba will be able to process a portion of nominations through Express Entry. On December 5, 2014 the MPNP web announced, “the province of Manitoba has been allocated a maximum of 500 potential immigrants to endorse from a new national pool of international skilled workers who have expressed interest in immigrating to Canada.” This number is in addition to the yearly allotment of nominations negotiated for the province with the CIC. “Manitoba’s Express Entry allocation is separate from and in addition to the allocation of 5,000 immigrants that Manitoba can nominate each year under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program.” The reference on the provincial web site is linked with the Winnipeg Free Press article noted above.
The MPNP can be expected to set forth clearer instructions about how it connects with “Express Entry” in 2015. We have some early indications of how the system might work. The MPNP has contacted several applicants who submitted their applications to the overseas application stream before July 31, 2014 and advised them that they have “the potential to meet the eligibility criteria for processing through Express Entry,” but they have to complete an Educational Credential Assessment to verify if their foreign education is “valid and equal to credentials completed in Canada.”
The advantage of the selection is speed of processing. The MPNP encourages selected applicants to complete the Educational Credential Assessment because “in most cases, applications will be finalized in only six months, compared to current federal processing times that have been increased to over 15 months.”
In conclusion, 2015 appears to be an interesting time with the introduction of the Express Entry and how it works in concert with the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class and provincial nomination programs. It is one thing to be informed that the MPNP may be able to issue an additional 500 nominations for 2015 under Express Entry but another thing to understand how this approval process will take place. Make a habit out of checking new announcements on the MPNP website. The New Year is upon us and the immigration process continues to be both challenging and changeable both to Canada in general and Manitoba in specific terms.
The following notice appeared on the MPNP website on December 22, 2014:
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program has been given an allocation of 5,000 total nominations for 2015 by the Government of Canada.
The MPNP will reopen the skilled worker overseas stream in early spring 2015. Please continue to visit our website for updated information announcing a new intake period for the skilled worker overseas stream in March 2015.
MPNP applicants whose connection is Manitoba Employment or Manitoba Invitation (from the skilled worker in Manitoba stream or from strategic recruitment initiatives) continue to be accepted at all times.
Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org