Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander met with business leaders and stakeholders in Toronto yesterday about the January 2015 launch of the Express Entry electronic application management system. The system will serve as a faster and more economic way for skilled immigrants to come to Canada.

Express Entry will help the government to actively recruit, assess and select skilled immigrants through three of Canada’s existing economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. The system will also apply under a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs, in order to meet labour market needs of certain provinces. Employers will select qualified candidates through the Government of Canada’s new and improved job bank, and through select provinces and territories.

Express Entry candidates who receive a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer, or a nomination through the Provincial Nominee Program, will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residency shortly after. This is a key distinguishing figure between Express Entry and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which exists only to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.

“Our government is reforming Canada’s economic immigration system to make it faster, fairer, and more flexible to ensure Canada’s labour market needs are met,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “Express Entry will connect candidates for permanent residents with employers who have been unable to find skilled Canadians or permanent residents for the job, and bring them here quickly. Our government is working closely with provincial and territorial partners, as well as employers to ensure January’s launch of Express Entry is a success.”