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How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool

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Canada’s economic immigration programs are integral to the country’s labour market growth, accounting for close to 100% of all increases in the national workforce in recent years.

Due to the integral role that immigration plays in Canada’s economy, employment initiatives are often connected to immigration programs to help Canada’s employers fill vacant positions that they may not be able to hire for within the country. One key example of this is the ability of employers to hire candidates within the Express Entry candidate pool.

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When do employers hire through the Express Entry system?

Employers must be within certain contexts and meet Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) standards before they can hire a foreign national in the Express Entry pool.

Specifically, employers must:

  • Make sure they are hiring for a position that qualifies as skilled work. Skilled work includes jobs classified under Canada’s TEER (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibility) system as category 0,1, 2, or 3 of the National Occupation Classification (NOC)*; and
  • Show that they cannot fill the job domestically including proof that they have advertised the job posting on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website, and in “two other places”.

*Canada’s NOC system is used to describe and categorize professions that exist within the country. It includes the TEER system, which then distinguishes job levels based on the training, experience, education, and responsibilities needed to perform the roles of the job.

How do employers hire through Express Entry?

To find candidates and make job offers through Express Entry, employers in Canada use the “Job Match” feature of the national Job Bank. The Job Bank is the federal platform for job postings in addition to a host of other employment-related services and resources like career planning tools, labour market information, and hiring help (among others).

With the Job Match feature, the Job Bank’s system will work to pair an employer’s job posting with profiles within the system that match the job description within a posting. Once these candidates are identified (and hiring processes are followed), an employer can choose whether to consider them for the position. Note that the Job Match feature considers all individuals within the Job Bank system—not just those in the Express Entry pool.

If an employer decides (after having met all pre-conditions) that they would like to make a job offer to a foreign national within the Express Entry pool, they may first require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). LMIAs are government assessments to determine what the impact of hiring a foreign national will be on the Canadian labour market. The document must return a positive or neutral result to support the hiring of a foreign national by a Canadian employer. There are also certain conditions under which an LMIA is not needed.

Once an LMIA has been procured (if needed), the employer must make a valid job offer to the candidate, under Express Entry standards.

How can newcomers be considered for jobs while in the Express Entry pool?

Newcomers in the Express Entry pool, looking to use to “Job Match” feature of the Job Bank must:

  • Have a valid Express Entry profile with a profile number and job seeker validation code*; and
  • Create a Job Match account (this is separate from a Job Bank account, though the services fall under one umbrella). The Job Match platform will prompt users to enter their Express Entry information when creating a profile.

*Job seeker validation codes are codes provided by IRCC that allow eligible profiles to begin looking for work in Canada. These (along with the profile number) are generated once a valid profile is submitted to the Express Entry pool. Candidates who do not receive a job seeker validation code are advised to contact IRCC.

Once both accounts are set up and connected, newcomers will be matched with job postings within the Job Bank. Express Entry candidates will only be shown job postings advertised on the Job Bank for over 30 days.

Individuals who have problems connecting their Express Entry and Job Match accounts are advised to follow certain steps.

For more information on the Job Match feature, and to sign up for the service, find the government’s dedicated webpage here.

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