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Becoming A Permanent Resident in Canada - Easier (And Quicker) Than You Might Have Thought

Considering the difficulties foreign workers are having in the United States these days, most people think of immigration processes as being lengthy, arduous and not worth the time or effort - to be fair, many can be.

But in recent years, Canada has created and is continuing to fine tune its process for handling permanent resident applications - leading to quicker processing, more foreign talent coming into the country and more opportunities for Canadian employers.

Express Entry

For skilled workers looking to come to Canada as permanent residents, the entire immigration process can now be done online through the Express Entry system.* Instead of the old system where applicants were handled on a first come, first serve basis, the Express Entry system first gives each applicant a score and prioritizes those who would be the best fit to work in Canada.

Ultimately, this means that qualified candidates can become permanent residents in as little as 3-6 months.

What Employees Need to Know

1. The application process itself is fairly straight-forward, although extreme care is required when filling out forms and providing the right documentation (there is a lot of it).

2. One of the more difficult steps is determine whether you are eligible and how high your score is. You’ll first need to take a language test and get your work experience and/or education (if applicable) assessed to get an accurate idea of whether it’s worth pursuing (and for help on all of the above, visit my Express Entry page here).

3. Everything is submitted or uploaded online and 80% of applications are processed within 6 months.

4. There is also a free online Government of Canada Job Bank for those looking to find a job during the application process, so you don’t need a job to apply or be accepted. It will help match you with employers looking for your skills and experience.

What Employers Need to Know

1. If you’re struggling to find Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill positions within your company, you can hire Express Entry candidates (there are plenty of them!).**

2. If eligible, you can access the Government of Canada Job Bank which matches your company with Express Entry candidates.

3. If you find the right employee, you must give them a job offer lasting at least 1 year from when their Express Entry application is approved. Your job offer will also improve the candidate's chances of being accepted to begin with.

4. You will likely require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to support your job offer, although there is no cost if it is for a permanent resident candidate.

Please note these are the very basics of the Express Entry process and everyone’s situation is different. To learn more or get started with the process, head over to my Express Entry page here.

*For the specific programs and eligibility requirements of Express Entry, see:

**There are other opportunities for companies looking to hire temporary workers as well, some of which can be done in as little as 2 weeks. For information on the Global Talent Stream, go here.

joshua schachnow