Expression of Interest: Canada’s Proposal to Recruit Immigrant Talent – Implications for Employers

In the near future, Canada plans to adopt a new model of immigrant selection known as the ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) system. EOI will provide employers with a greater role in selecting new immigrants. 

In this webinar employers will find out more from policy experts Francis Fong, Josh Hjartarson and Christina Norris along with Maytree President Ratna Omidvar on how the EOI may work and the impact it will have on employers sourcing immigrant talent. Will this new selection system benefit employers?


  •  Francis Fong, Economist, TD Economics
  • Josh Hjartarson, Vice-President, Policy & Government Relations, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
  • Christina Norris, Director, Policy Integration and Innovation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada


  • Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree

What Employers Need to Know

  • It is difficult to conclude that there is a broad-based labour market shortage across the country. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that certain employers, in certain sectors are experiencing specific shortages. Further, we do know that baby boomers will be retiring in significant numbers and may make the shortages more acute. Immigration can play an important and long-term role in alleviating these labour market shortages.
  • The federal government has indicated that it will introduce a new application management system that aims to reduce application processing times, improve market labour market outcomes for immigrants, and address labour market shortages. This system is currently being referred to as the Expression of Interest (EOI) model.
  • EOI is not an immigration stream or an immigration program. It does not replace immigration programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker program. The EOI is an application management system. Quebec will not participate in the EOI system as it has a special agreement with the Government of Canada on immigration.
  • Potential immigrants will submit an “Expression of Interest” with information about how they meet the selection criteria for immigration. If they meet the criteria, they will be placed in a “selection pool” of candidates.
  • According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, access to the pool of candidates for employers will be indirect. This could mean that that the government facilitates or promotes ways to match employers with people who have expressed interest in immigrating to Canada.
  • After a specified period of time, candidates who are not chosen from this pool will be expunged from the pool. The EOI model is not currently in effect and is scheduled to be rolled-out in early 2015.
  • Accessing EOI is an opportunity for employers to fill skills shortages when local talent is not available. Employers should tap into a ready and qualified pool of skilled immigrants in Canada with the support of your local immigrant serving agency, immigrant employment council or local chamber of commerce.

Table of Contents

Additional Resources

Webinar slides: Download a PDF of the webinar slides.

Maytree Backgrounder: Expression of Interest: What Employers Need to Know about Canada’s Proposed New Immigrant Application System
The federal government will be introducing a new application management system that will aim to reduce application processing times and prevent backlogs. This system is currently being referred to as the Expression of Interest (EOI) model.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: The role of employers in an Expression of Interest System
This paper provides the context for work currently underway to build an Expression of Interest (EOI) approach to managing applications for immigration toCanada. It also identifies key issues and questions for business leaders on EOI development and implementation.

Think Fast: Ontario Employer Perspectives on Immigration Reform and the Expression of Interest System
This report, by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, makes 13 recommendations to the federal government as it finalizes the design of the Expression of Interestsystem. The recommendations are a product of extensive consultation with employers throughout the province.

TD: Jobs in Canada: Where, What and For Whom?

An analysis by TD of vacancy, wage and unemployment rates in the country finds no proof of an imminent skills crisis. local resource section
Find local connections to immigrant talent and related programs, including immigrant employment councils within Canada.

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