In the 2018 Canada Immigration Summit, the Director of Express Entry & Digital Policy with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Patrick McEvenue stated that the department will be conducting an evaluation of the Express Entry very soon. This initiative is to understand the system’s impact and also the potential areas that need improvement. In this context, the official in-charge of Canada’s main economic immigration application system said that though Express Entry is attracting high-skilled candidates as it was planned, there are several improvements required in order for it meet the necessary skills targets, on a longer run.
The Director, McEvenue pointed onto the major improvement of Express Entry, i.e. its application timeline. He also said about the government’s plans on expanding the Provincial Nominee Programs.
Talking about the overall health of the Express Entry and the system’s functionality, the director said “We have a lot of people to choose from. In fact, we’d like to go deeper into our pool. We know how talented the people are below the cut-off scores,” he said.
Future Improvements to Express Entry and the CRS
Along with increased targets, future changes to the system may also help different candidates succeed. With the possibilities of increased admission targets, there are possibilities of lowering the minimum score requirement. A key focus of the upcoming Express Entry evaluation will be what McEvenue called “the changing nature of work” and how that could influence the kind of skills Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS, should be targeting.
“How is the changing nature of work changing the type of skills we should be going after and our approach to selection? We based the CRS on what worked in the past — it’s great, it’s based on the best evidence available, but are those the same things that will work in the future? It’s one of the major things we’ll be thinking about this next year in the lead up to our evaluation,” he said.
The evaluation will also consider who is currently succeeding under Express Entry and how the system can work better for “groups who are not benefiting yet from Express Entry who we want to see come to Canada,” he said.
How Express Entry can better engage Canadian employers and cater to their labour needs is another area of interest, he said. McEvenue said the coming months will involve a more profound reflection on the role Express Entry will be required to play in the years ahead and the kind of questions the evaluation should be asking.
“What questions do we need to be asking ourselves this year so we can evaluate the Express Entry system in a way that is meaningful to the broader Canadian community and is going to help guide this government and subsequent governments,” he said. “Where are we going to take the system next?”
“As the yearly Express Entry targets continue to grow, IRCC continues to learn from data and improve the system,” says David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian law firm.