Immigrants usually make more money and are more likely to get jobs in their fields when they come to Canada under the Express Entry system, a study shows.
“Early economic results for Express Entry principal applicants are positive. They are demonstrating high levels of labour market participation and solid results in terms of their employment income, as well as the type of occupation in which they are employed,” notes the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada report.
In Evaluation of Express Entry: Early Impacts on Economic Outcomes and System Management, the authors of the report prepared for the immigration ministry’s research and evaluation branch note immigrants who came to Canada through the Express Entry system earned 20 per cent more than non-Express Entry applicants.
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The Express Entry immigration system was kick-started almost six years ago, on January 1, 2015. It manages skilled worker applications under Federal Economic programs. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program the Canada Experience Class and parts of the Provincial Nomination Programs.
The system attempts to provide:
- flexibility in selection and application management;
- responsiveness to labour market and regional needs, and;
- faster processing of applications.
It uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which assigns points to candidates based on their characteristics in an attempt to identify those most likely to draw high salaries and who do well in the Canadian labour market.
So far, the system seems to be working.
“These early results show that 95 per cent of Express Entry principal applicants have become established economically and incidence of employment is high across the four immigration categories,” notes the report.
Express Entry immigrants who landed jobs in Canada were 72 per cent more likely to be working in positions that required a university education than other newcomers.
“Forty-three per cent of Express Entry principal applicants were in occupations usually requiring university education for their first job as permanent resident compared to 25 per cent for non-Express Entry principal applicants,” states the report.
Those who went through the Express Entry system were also more likely to get jobs in their fields, with 83 per cent working in their primary occupations.
Although these early results clearly show the Express Entry system has led to positive outcomes in the short term, the authors of the study make four recommendations to ensure it also serves to new Canadians in the longer term.
“The skills transferability factors and spouse factors in the CRS were not found to have clear impact on short-term economic outcomes,” the authors note. “These findings point at the need to continue monitoring the capacity of the CRS to identify (Express Entry principal applicants) who will have positive economic outcomes in the longer-term.”
The report’s first recommendation is that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continue to monitor the impact of the CRS on earnings in the longer term, revalidating and streamlining it as needed, to focus on key predictors of economic success.
Since the new arrivals’ educational levels are a key predictor of economic success in Canada, the authors also recommend that this information should be collected from all principal applicants and their spouses.
Protecting the integrity of the Express Entry system is also a concern for the authors of the report.
“Given the potential for fraud as changes to both the Express Entry system and the CRS are made and as economic immigration grows, there is a need for a more purposeful approach to monitoring integrity and emerging risk areas,” they note.
They recommend that Ottawa develop and implement a systematic approach to manage the integrity of the Express Entry system.
Ever since that system was implemented, a number of challenges related to the accessibility of client and application information.
“Clients are not able to review their supporting documents once they have uploaded them and before submitting to IRCC, rendering them unable to rectify any errors that may have been made, such as uploading an incorrect document,” the authors state. “In addition, it was noted that the system generates a new set of client information each time a client updates their EE profile.
“Such challenges have in turn led to complications related to litigation and (Access to Information and Privacy) management. The complex nature of the electronic application system has made it difficult to produce evidence when litigation occurs,” the authors note.
In their report, they point out the electronic nature of the system makes it more difficult to produce a Certified Tribunal Record for the court and there are issues that have been identified for Access to Information and Privacy) requests due to the system’s technical design for extracting profile information.
They recommend the immigration department develop and implement methods to:
- Allow Express Entry clients to view their applications and uploaded documents prior to, and after applying, and;
- Improve accessibility of Global Case Management System information to support the production of complete records for operational, litigation and Access to Information and Privacy request purposes.
In mid-October, Canada equalled its largest Express Entry draw of all time, issuing Invitations to Apply (ITAS) to 4,500 candidates.
By issuing such a large number of ITAs in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Canada’s immigration department sent a clear message regarding Canada’s commitment to immigration.
Canada has now issued 82,850 ITAs so far in 2020, after issuing a total of 85,300 in 2019. The record for annual Express Entry ITAs was set in 2018 at 89,800. Canada is on target to break this record in 2020.
Canada’s high-skilled immigration admission target for 2020 is 85,800, up from 81,400 in 2019. However, it is likely that permanent resident admissions will be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.