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Alternatives to Express Entry: No FSW or CEC Draws For 6 Months Due to Backlog

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Permanent Residence and Express Entry Permanent

Alternatives to Express Entry: No FSW or CEC Draws For 6 Months Due to Backlog

Due to the backlog and delays in processing Express Entry applications, many people who want to move to Canada are looking for alternatives to Express Entry. An internal memo from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada written November 24, 2021, which was obtained under the Access to Information Act, said that due to the backlog in permanent residence applications created by the pandemic, there will be no new Express Entry draws of Invitations to Apply for Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST) applicants for at least 6 months, until mid-2022. There has not been an Express Entry FSWP since December 2020, due to pandemic-related travel restrictions and border closures. Since this time, there have been no draws under the Canadian Experience Class since September 2021. The memo on the pause on new EE draws also predicted that processing time for FSW would go up to 36 months in 2022 due to the current backlog, beyond the current 20 months and far beyond the published 6-month processing time service standard.

The IRCC memo also said Canada's new TR to PR Pathway for CEC candidates led to an increase in the number of CEC Express Entry applications and caused an even greater increase in processing time for the EE applications already in progress. The memo also said CRS scores are projected to increase to above 500 and remain at that level for at least 6 months.

75% of new Canada permanent residents
are accepted through programs other than Express Entry

Watch: Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah Explains the 6 Month Pause on FSW and CEC Express Entry Draws

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Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah, the Founder and Managing Lawyer of Ackah Business Immigration Law, advises that if you are not eligible for Express Entry, there are alternatives for you to immigrate to Canada. Canada's current Immigration Levels Plan calls to welcome over 400,000 newcomers from 2022-2023:

  • 2022: 411,000
  • 2023: 421,000

If Express Entry is not currently an option for you, there are alternatives for you to move to Canada.

Alternatives to Express Entry

There are other ways to immigrate to Canada when Express Entry is not an option. Here are some Express Entry alternatives to move to Canada. There are many opportunities and programs for individuals to move to Canada. An immigration professional can review your qualifications and help identify immigration opportunities that fit your education, skills and specific situation.

Find a Canadian Job

Many Canadian employers are looking for temporary skilled foreign workers to fill open jobs. If you find a job with a Canadian employer who wants to hire you and they give you a written job offer, they can sponsor your immigration to Canada.

ICT: Intra-Company Job Transfers

An intra-company transfer (ICT) is when an employee is currently working for a company and that company wants to move the employee temporarily to a different country while they continue to work for the same company. Intra-company transferees require a temporary Work Permit to work in Canada.

Read More: How to Apply For an Intra-company Transfer to Canada in 2022

Investment and Economic Immigration

Canada has put into place programs to increase economic immigration to improve Canada's economy due to the aging workforce. Economic immigrants are admitted to Canada based on their education, skills and work experience. In addition to Express Entry, Canada's economic immigration programs include:

  • Canada’s Start-Up Visa targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale.
  • The Self-Employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently as self-employed people.
  • The Global Talent Stream fast-tracks visas for skilled immigrants.


PNP - Provincial Nominee Program

Each province has unique, specific worker needs based on their labour market. Canada gives each province control over the qualifications for foreign workers through their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The PNP system allows each territorial and/or provincial government to select immigrants based on the specific economic needs of that territory or province. PNP immigration programs include:

PNP can improve your Express Entry score by up to 600 points.

Read More: Accelerated Tech Pathway: New Tech Immigration Program for Alberta, Canada

Family Class

Canada places a priority on family reunification. If a family member - spouse, parent, or grandparent - already is a permanent resident or citizen in Canada, they can sponsor you to move to Canada through Family Class Sponsorship programs include:

  • Parents and Grandparents Program
  • Spousal Sponsorship
  • Super Visa
  • Spousal Open Work Permit

Study Permits

Advanced education in Canada is a good alternative for individuals who do not qualify under the Express Entry selection criteria. A Canada study permit allows you to attend an approved, accredited university for an advanced degree. International graduates already living in Canada have priority and a special application process for many in-demand occupations in Canada.

FREE DOWNLOAD: HOW TO GET A STUDY PERMIT TO ATTEND UNIVERSITY IN CANADA

  • Enroll in a graduate study program for post-graduate work to gain Canadian education credentials.
  • Accompany your spouse or common-law partner while they study in a University with a Canada study permit.

Discuss Alternatives to Express Entry With An Immigration Lawyer

Don't let the Express Entry backlog derail your plans to move to Canada! An immigration lawyer can review your qualifications and help identify immigration opportunities that fit your education, skills and specific situation.

An experienced immigration lawyer can save you time and stress - and prevent costly mistakes and missed deadlines. With 50+ years of combined immigration experience, our immigration legal team can identify and resolve potential problems BEFORE they happen. Contact Ackah Business Immigration Law today to discuss your situation at 403-452‑9515.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

More About Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

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When I decided to open a Canadian branch of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, my CPA found two attorneys who could assist me. One was Evelyn Ackah. The other attorney was part of a very large, well-known law firm in Vancouver.

I spoke with both of them and chose Evelyn Ackah -- and I do not regret it.

Evelyn responds rapidly and personally, by phone or email -- even on weekends.

She explained my options in easy-to-understand layman's terms, she created everything I needed quickly, and she helped prepare me for the business immigration interview.

Everything went extremely well, and I was granted the maximum length work permit.

Evelyn Ackah's firm helped me complete that entire process within 2 months. It took the other large law firm more than 3 weeks just to schedule an initial phone call -- and I finally got their bill for that phone call AFTER I already had my work permit.

If you want fast, professional, and accurate legal service, I highly recommend Evelyn Ackah.

– Susan Barton, Founder Bright Solutions for Dyslexia

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