The announcement of the Express Entry immigration selection system by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has resulted in a surge of applications under the current Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP). Under the current program, applications are submitted based on a list of eligible occupations, which will be eliminated under the Express Entry program. Only 1,000 applications are accepted under each occupation for review by the CIC. Due to the increase of applications, three of the eligible occupations have already capped out: 1) software engineers and designers, 2) financial and investment analysts and 3) computer programmer and interactive media developers. Despite the fact that Express Entry will allow many eligible candidates to apply under the renewed FSWP, many applicants are rushing to apply before the Dec. 31st deadline, and also before the remaining occupational categories cap out.

As mentioned in our prior post, Express Entry will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. Express Entry will not include a list of eligible occupations. Individuals who are viable candidates under the current FSWP, have not capped out, and have at least one year of work experience in the last ten years may apply for Canadian permanent residence directly under the current FSWP until Dec. 31, 2014. Applicants who want to apply under the current FSWP should also keep other eligibility criteria in mind when considering the time line for applications. In particular, individuals must obtain educational credential evaluations, and must take a language test to prove proficiency in one of the official languages of Canada. Scheduling and passing the required language test will undoubtedly take additional time and add to the overall time frame for application submission.