Canada is planning to use a new model called ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) for its immigration system.
With the use of the EOI system, the government expects to be able to target with greater accuracy skilled immigrants who can fill shortages in the country’s labor market. With a more careful approach, both the Canadian economy and the immigrants will benefit from immigration.
The EOI system is set for implementation anytime in 2014 according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The current system has been viewed by many as rigid and stagnant, but with the EOI model, this perception is likely to vanish.
CIC is carefully laying the groundwork for the transition into the new system with the hope of maintaining Canada’s position as the world’s biggest and most attractive destination for the most qualified immigrants.
‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) System Defined
CIC has so far released information that gives hints on how the EOI model is going to work in Canada. With an EOI program in effect, potential immigrants will be filling out a form where they express their interest in living permanently in Canada.
However, the EOI is not to be confused with an application for a Canadian permanent resident visa application. Instead, it is merely designed to show an individual’s interest in becoming a candidate permanent resident.
In the EOI form, the applicant will enter vital information about himself, such as his employment background, education credentials as assessed by a CIC-designated body, and proof of language abilities (English or French).
On top of this, EOI candidates will be given a score and rank. It is important to note, however, that not all those who submit an EOI application will be given an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency, and an invitation does not guarantee a visa.
Under the Australian EOI system, Australian employers or state/territorial governments nominate potential immigrants. There is a good chance that the same process will be used in Canada.
According to Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, EOI applicants will compose a pool where employers and the Federal, provincial and territorial governments will pick the most qualified candidates.
The EOI Immigration System in Canada
No specific details have yet been announced as to how the EOI system will be implemented in Canada. However, consultations have been made among Federal, Provincial and Territorial stakeholders.
The EOI model is expected to provide valuable assistance to provinces in terms of augmenting labor shortages by giving their governments a wide choice among highly qualified skilled professionals. Many provincial stakeholders have approved of the new system.
Expression of Interest Immigration to Canada was patterned after immigration programs of Australia and New Zealand
According to Stephen Khan, Alberta Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, immigration is crucial to economic progress, and that Canada must ensure that its immigration system is globally competitive. Khan says, the provinces and territories are continually cooperating with the Government of Canada to make the system more efficient and responsive to provincial and territorial needs.
There has also been no announcement as to how the EOI system will be integrated into the Federal Skilled Worker, Quebec Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee immigration programs. The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the most popular among others, is scheduled to reopen on May 4, 2013 after being put to a halt around middle of last year.
What the EOI Immigration System Means for Workers
If everything transpires as planned, the implementation of an the EOI system could be favorable for both potential immigrants and the Canadian government and its economy.
Applicants who qualify for permanent residency will probably arrive in Canada secure that they have a job waiting for them. Coupled with faster processing time, the system is, indeed, of great advantage. Minister Kenney says, those who will be arriving in Canada as immigrants with prearranged employment will, in a matter of days, be able to start earning through jobs that are appropriate for their skill level.
There are many people who would like to migrate to Canada but are intimidated by the thought of finding a job there. With the EOI system, this becomes unlikely because Canadian employers will now be getting in touch with qualified potential immigrants, instead of the other way around.
Following the EOI immigration model is one of the last steps in the Canadian immigration system’s shift from rigidity to one that is highly adaptable to the country’s needs. “This is the future as opposed to the past,” says Minister Kenney.