Ontario Chamber of Commerce Calls for Increased EOI System Efficiency
In order to more effectively attract the best and the brightest workers, Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is implementing the new “Expression of Interest” EOI system for skilled immigrant workers in early 2015. The EOI system, which we first blogged about here, operates by allowing interested individuals to electronically provide information regarding their educational and work background. Those with skills that match labour market demands would be placed in a pool and ranked. Candidates not chosen from the pool will be automatically removed from the system, theoretically avoiding any backlogs.
The new system represents a significant departure from the current skilled-immigrant selection method. As it stands now, the federal skilled worker program operates as a “first-in/first-out” system, sometimes resulting in wait-times of 2 years or more. Many Canadian employers are anxious to take advantage of the new system, voicing their support through various organizations. Employers with questions about the new EOI system should contact a Canadian immigration attorney.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) recently issued a report supporting the new system and providing recommendations as to how it should be implemented. Some of the recommendations are as follows:
- Improved processing times – The OCC posits that slow processing times are hurting Ontario’s productivity and competitive potential. In addition, the report indicates that slow processing times are discouraging the most desirable workers from to Canada, and also discouraging employers from looking abroad to fulfill labor needs.
- Speed up Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) for “trusted employers” and certain in-demand occupations – LMOs gauge the impact that foreign labour will have on the Canadian labour market and ensure the integrity of the employer and position being offered. While it is unclear whether LMOs will be part of the new EOI system, the OCC is calling for an accelerated process for employers who use the system often and have labour needs where there are known shortages.
- Allowing Employers to Access the Candidate Pool Directly – According to the OCC, the government has indicated it will not allow employers to access the database directly, but rather will match employers and candidates using a series of algorithms. The report calls for direct access, and argues that such access would better match employers and potential employees.
- Allowing Canada Immigration Lawyers and Consultants to Assist Employers with the EOI System – Many Canadian companies employ the services of Canadian immigration lawyers and consultants to help navigate immigration processes. The OOC is calling for the federal government to allow such lawyers and consultants to assist employers in using the new EOI system.
- Treat both employers and prospective immigrants as customers – The OOC is calling on Canada immigration officials to regard users of the new EOI system as customers. Specifically, the process should be straightforward and easily navigable. The system should track user behavior and should be transparent and engaging, with new service standards.
The specific details of Canada’s new EOI immigration system have not been revealed. If you have questions or to schedule a free consultation with a Canadian immigration attorney, contact First Immigration Law Firm toll-free @ 1 (855) 360-4333 from North America or @ 1 (514) 360-4333 internationally.