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Important Canadian Express Entry Immigration Law Changes

Last week, the government of Canada confirmed they will be implementing significant changes to the Express Entry system scheduled to take effect on November 19, 2016.  The tabled regulations include a number of positive changes, such as extending the deadline to submit an applicant’s permanent residence application from 60 days to 90 days; granting points to applicants who have completed post-secondary education in Canada; and granting points for arranged employment to applicants with non-LMIA based work permits.

Applicants who have completed post-secondary education in Canada can now expect to receive an additional 15 to 30 points, depending on the length of their program.  In many cases, these additional points are sufficient to increase an applicant’s likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from 50% to over 80%.

We are also pleased with the government’s decision to award arranged employment points to applicants working under non-LMIA based work permits.  There is list of eligible work permits, which includes intra-company transferees, significant benefit workers, religious workers, as well those working under a free trade agreement.  Under the new system, these workers will be eligible for 50 to 200 points, depending on the skill level of the job being offered.

While most of the upcoming changes are being fully embraced, there are a few disappointments, including the government’s failure to award points to applicants with family members residing in Canada.

The most notable disappointment has been the government’s decision to reduce the number of points awarded to LMIA-based work permits and job offers.  In the past, applicants with an LMIA-based job offer or work permit were awarded 600 points for arranged employment.  These points would virtually guarantee the applicant’s selection from the pool of candidates, and their receipt of an ITA for permanent residence. However, as of November 19, 2016, applicants with an LMIA-based job offer/work permit will only receive 50 points if working under NOC skill level 0, A or B occupation.  These minimal points will no longer guarantee selection from the pool.  In order to receive additional points, an applicant must be working in one of only six eligible senior management positions, designated as NOC 00.  These occupations include CEOs, Vice Presidents, and Presidents.  Applicants working in one of the eligible NOC 00 positions will be awarded a total of 200 points for their job offer.  While these additional points are significant, they are still a far cry from the 600 points previously awarded.  Nonetheless, we anticipate that the overall reduction in LMIA-based arranged employment points will result in a progressive reduction of the CRS scores resulting in lower scores required for the issuance of invitations to apply.

In addition to the above noted changes, the government has indicated that they will consider making additional changes, including assigning points to candidates with siblings in Canada, awarding points for French-speaking candidates, additional changes to the Labour Market Impact Assessment application process and express entry system processing ameliorations.

As a result, we encourage all corporate employers to contact our office as soon as possible to re-assess their employees’ likelihood of success based on the upcoming changes for both LMIA-based and non-LMIA based employment.

As indicated above, the above-noted changes will take effect on November 19, 2016.  Therefore, we recommend that all applicants, including those who have not yet submitted a Profile, and those currently in the Express Entry pool, contact our office to schedule a consultation in order to re-assess your likelihood of success based on the upcoming changes.


Firm News:

  • Jacqueline Bart spoke about the surge of interest in immigration to Canada live on CP24 TV news on November 10, 2016 midday and evening.
  • Jacqueline Bart presented on Canadian Immigration and Refugee Policy and Law at the Immigration Commission Panel of the UIA Annual Congress in Budapest on November 1, 2016.