Canada is to introduce a new visa application process in 2015 with the aim of attracting the best and brightest immigrants.

The process, provisionally entitled Expression of Interest (EOI,) is being described as a move from a passive economic immigration system to one that actively recruits skilled people to move to Canada to work.


‘We are getting ready to treat most immigration applications in a revolutionary new way. Having a job is the best path to economic integration and EOI will select immigrants based on their skills,’ said a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC.)

‘EOI will select immigrants based on the skills Canadian employers need and they will be encouraged to pursue citizenship and be welcomed as equal members of the Canadian family,’ he added.

Planning for the change will be undertaken next year with the full system ready for launch in January 2015. There will also be a concerted effort to reduce backlogs in the current system.

‘As of January 2015, the EOI system will help switch from passive processing of applications in the order we get them to a prioritised system that gets in-demand people with the skills to succeed to Canada faster than ever before,’ the spokesman explained.

The 2014 Immigration Levels Plan is to make way for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to transition to the new system in January 2015.  EOI will operate in two steps. Prospective immigrants would indicate their interest in coming to Canada by providing information electronically about their skills, work experience and other attributes.

Individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria will then have their ‘expressions of interest’ placed in a pool and ranked against others already in the pool. CIC would only invite the best candidates, including those with in-demand skills or with job offers, to apply for a visa. Expressions of interest that are not chosen after a period of time may be removed from the pool. As a result, application backlogs would not accumulate and processing times will be kept to a minimum.

‘We will also assess applicants on a variety of other factors such as education, work experience and language ability with a greater emphasis on the ever changing needs of the Canadian labour market,’ the spokesman added.

The Canadian government is to work with provincial and territorial partners to make EOI a success and partnering with Canadian employers so they will be ready to find candidates in the EOI pool that meet their skills requirements when the domestic labour force cannot.

Further details about EOI will be released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in due course and as they become available.