Since January 1, 2015, almost all prospective economic immigrants to Canada must apply through Express Entry. Express Entry is an application intake management system in which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) controls immigration application intake by requiring applicants be issued an invitations to apply for permanent residency (“ITAs” before they can actually submit their applications. The purpose of Express Entry is to minimize processing times. Indeed, when Express Entry was launched IRCC guaranteed that it would be able to process permanent residence applications within six months.
On March 31, 2016, IRCC released its Express Entry Year-End Report 2015 (the “Express Entry Report”). The Express Entry Report shows that IRCC in 2015 met its six-month processing goal. However, the Express Entry Report also revealed that IRCC has been bouncing (or rejecting, as IRCC likes to describe it) many Express Entry applications due to incompleteness.
Prior to the introduction of Express Entry, while a bounced permanent residence application was frustrating for applicants, they could for the most part easily simply re-submit their applications. However, with Express Entry there is no guarantee that an individual whose permanent residence application is rejected for incompleteness will be issued another Invitation to Apply. As such, until IRCC adopts a more flexible approach to handling technical deficiencies in applications, it is imperative that applicants check and double-check that their permanent residence applications meet all IRCC requirements.
The Express Entry Report and Application Bouncing
The Express Entry Report shows that IRCC was able to process most Express Entry applications in under six months. Specifically, for Federal Skilled Worker Program applicants the processing standard was 4.7 months, for Canadian Experience Class applicants it was 3.5 months, for Federal Skilled Trades Class applicants it was 4.9 months, and for Provincial / Territorial Nominees it was 3.8 months.Read more ›