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Major EE changes for Francophones

Express Entry Draws further will invite candidates on the basis of their occupation, language, or education.

The Canadian government is considering modifying the Express Entry system to allow the immigration minister to invite candidates based on a specific economic purpose.

In an email to CIC News, Aiden Strickland, a spokesperson for the immigration minister, stated that the proposed reforms will strengthen Canada's capacity to choose candidates who match its economic needs.

"This will allow IRCC to conduct targeted drawings aimed at picking persons in the queue who have certain language skills or health care qualifications, to mention a few examples," Strickland wrote. "This is critical in dealing with Canada's labor problems."

The reforms are now being debated in Canada's legislature. On May 19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCCPhilip )'s Somogyvari presented the proposed modifications before the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship, a panel of elected officials that investigates immigration issues in Canada.

The revisions, according to Somogyvari, an IRCC Director-General, would allow the immigration minister to invite Express Entry candidates on a new basis, one that would promote the minister's economic goals.

"Eligibility conditions for membership in a category would be set by the minister and may be based on characteristics like work experience, educational background, or language skills," Somogyvari explained.

"For example, if leveraging immigration to promote the expansion of Canada's tech industry is desired, a category of Express Entry candidates would be developed based on criteria such as job experience in the field and/or the holding of a comparable educational certificate." The top-ranked candidates in that category could then receive invitations."

The IRCC website would continue to post the draw information, including the unique eligibility conditions. The minister would also be required to identify the economic purpose they are attempting to assist, as well as to report on the use of these draws to Parliament on an annual basis. Somogyvari said the government currently has no occupations identified when asked by NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan which occupations would be indicated in these draws.

Currently, the immigration minister lacks the authority to invite individuals from the Express Entry pool who have certain work experience, educational credentials, or are French speakers destined for a linguistic minority group. That might change if the proposed revisions to Bill C-19's division 23 succeed.

"The reforms would allow the minister, for example, to focus on all French-speaking individuals in the Express Entry pool," Somogyvari added. "At the moment, while French-speaking candidates receive extra points that improve their ranking score, it is possible that not all French-speaking candidates in the pool will be invited." With the suggested authority in place, the department could theoretically conduct an invitation round that would practically invite all of the recognized French-speaking individuals in the Express Entry pool if the minister wanted to do so."

The method for deciding which groups will be chosen is continuously being refined. Somogyvari stated that such choices would most likely be made after consultation with employer organizations, stakeholders, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act's objectives, Employment and Social Development Canada, and provincial and territorial governments.


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