On December 1, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published Ministerial Instructions relating to its proposed Express Entry System. Express Entry will come into effect on January 1, 2015, at 12:00 noon EST, and will apply to: (1) the Federal Skilled Worker class, (2) the Canadian Experience Class, (3) the Federal Skilled Trades Class, and (4) the Express Entry Stream of a Provincial Nominee Program.
Effective May 1, 2014, a maximum of 25,500 new Federal Skilled Worker applications without an offer of arranged employment (including 500 applications in the PhD student/graduate stream), 5,000 new Federal Skilled Trades applications, and 8,000 new Canadian Experience Class applications will be considered for processing between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.
When Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") announced that it was cancelling the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker ("FSW") cases that were filed prior to 2008, several Provincial Nominee Programs ("PNPs") began offering some of those applicants the opportunity to apply for a provincial nomination under CIC's FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot (the "FSW Pilot"). As of November 5, 2012, eligible foreign nationals who have been nominated by a participating PNP under the FSW Pilot may now apply for one of 1,500 available province-specific open work permits; this will enable them to enter the labour market while their permanent residence cases are pending. Work permits issued under the FSW Pilot may be valid for a maximum of two years and cannot be extended.