Changes to Express Entry, which took effect on November 19, 2016, are aimed at bringing a more fair and responsive immigration system. Improvements include awarding points for job offers to eligible candidates already in Canada on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits, and to international students who completed their studies in Canada.
In addition, more time will be allocated to candidates to submit an application for permanent residence once an invitation to apply is received.
These improvements to Express Entry support the Global Skills Strategy, contribute to Canada’s economic growth, drive innovation leading to new businesses, and assist employers in meeting labour market needs.
Highly skilled immigrants, such as those who come through the Express Entry system, help strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and are able to quickly contribute to Canada’s economy and society.
They help create jobs, spur innovation and provide opportunities that benefit Canada’s middle class.
“We have committed to doing more to attract highly skilled immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residents, because this is important to build our economy and strengthen our society,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “I am confident that the changes to Express Entry will be one of the many positive outcomes of the changes we will be bringing to our immigration system.”
The points awarded by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for a job offer will change in three ways. Points will be awarded for job offers of eligible candidates here on LMIA-exempt work permits.
Many people in Canada temporarily on an employer specific LMIA-exempt work permit, but who want to stay in Canada permanently, will no longer need to get an LMIA to be awarded job offer points by the CRS. This includes candidates who are here under the North America Free Trade Agreement, a federal-provincial agreement, Mobilité Francophone, or who are intracompany transferees.
The candidates must meet certain criteria, such as at least one year of work experience from the same employer who is providing their job offer.
Job offers will only need to be a minimum of one year in duration once they receive permanent residence.
By changing the job offer requirement from permanent to one year means that more highly skilled candidates working in contract-based industries will have a higher likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Points awarded for job offers will be reduced.
A total of 50 points will be awarded to candidates with a valid job offer in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B occupation, while a total of 200 points will be awarded to candidates with a valid job offer in a NOC 00 occupation.
The number of points awarded for a job offer often made it hard for highly skilled candidates without job offers to get an invitation to apply. This change means Canada will now welcome more highly skilled candidates whose skills and experience will help support and grow our economy.
The change in points for job offers will now also better recognize the skills and experience required for the job, together with the value that it brings to the economy.
Points will be awarded by the CRS for education obtained in Canada. Points will be awarded for study in Canada above high school. The CRS will award 15 points for a one- or two-year diploma or certificate. It will award 30 points for a degree, diploma or certificate of three years or longer, or for a Master’s, professional or doctoral degree of at least one academic year.
With these changes, more former international students will be able to transition to permanent residence using the Express Entry system. Former international students are a key source of candidates in Express Entry because of their age, education, skills and experience. In addition to the time already spent in Canada, integrating into Canadian society permanently will be easier because they will have established social networks and familiarized themselves with life in Canada.
Applications will be treated in the following way: Candidates will have 90 days to complete an application for permanent residence if they get an invitation to apply.
This will give candidates more time to gather all the required documentation and submit a complete application.