Canada: Improvements To Express Entry Permanent Residency Requirements

Last Updated: April 25 2017
Article by Rita R. Tripathy and Brittany Scott

Introduction

Effective November 19, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) significantly overhauled the points allocation under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (the 2016 Amendments) and subsequently made further improvements in March 2017 (the 2017 Amendments). The Express Entry system was implemented in 2015 as a system to fast-track applicants for permanent residence for certain economic immigration programs (Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class). The fast-tracking was based on such factors as age, language ability, education and work experience.

2016 Amendments

The key changes in the 2016 Amendments are as follows:

  • Clarification and recognition of arranged employment outside of the Labour Market and Impact Assessment (LMIA);
  • Facilitation of Express Entry for International students with Canadian credentials; and
  • Changes in the deadline for responding to an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Changes to Qualifying Offers of Arranged Employment

Under the prior Express Entry System, a foreign national with a "qualifying offer of arranged employment" automatically received 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points which was more than enough to guarantee immediate receipt of an ITA. However, only a permanent, full-time offer of employment that was based on a LMIA issued by Employment and Social Development Canada would qualify as a "qualifying offer of arranged employment." The 2016 Amendments reduced the number of points a candidate will be given for a qualifying job offer supported by a LMIA from 600 to 50 points with the exception of executive senior managers (NOC 00) who will now receive 200 points. This change is intended to level the playing field.

The 2017 Amendments provide that Express Entry candidates with strong French language skills, with or without English language skills, will be awarded additional points by the CRS as of June 6, 2017.

Those in executive-level positions (i.e. those working in NOC 00 level positions) will no longer need an LMIA to be recognized as an Offer of Employment. They will instead be awarded 200 points with an employer specific work permit and at least one year of work experience with the employer. The change in points for job offers now arguably more appropriately recognizes the skills and experience of candidates, together with the value the senior positions bring to the economy.

The drop in CRS points will severely disadvantage foreign nationals holding LMIA-based work permits in non-executive positions, who would have received 600 CRS points under the previous Express Entry System. Most will now receive only 50 CRS points. As a result, all workers will need to make every effort to maximize their CRS points eligibility under the education, language and work experience categories in order to ensure the highest score possible.

The 2016 Amendments provide that workers in Canada on skilled work permits with named employers (i.e. NAFTA professional, intra-company transferees, federal-provincial agreement, or Mobilité Francophone professional) can obtain 50 points for a qualifying job offer. This will allow individuals to obtain points for a qualifying job offer without the need to obtain an LMIA. However, the permanent offer of employment must be made by the employer listed on the work permit, the foreign national must be working for that employer and the foreign worker must have accumulated at least one continuous year of full-time work experience (or the equivalent in part-time work) with that employer. In providing the supporting documentation for the Express Entry application, the employer's offer of employment must be at least one year from the date the employee becomes a permanent resident.

Changes to Points for Canadian Educational Credits

In response to concerns that the previous Express Entry system disadvantaged international students graduating from Canadian post-secondary educational institutions, the 2016 Amendments attempt to address this problem by awarding additional CRS points for Canadian educational credentials. Candidates will be given additional points for completing a study program in Canada.

Under the 2016 Amendments, foreign nationals with Canadian educational credentials will now receive additional CRS points as follows:

  • 15 points for an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program in Canada; and
  • 30 points, for:An eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three years or more;
  • An eligible credential from a university-level program at the master's level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree (i.e. a law degree, engineering degree, etc.) for an occupation listed in the NOC at Skill Level A, for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required; or
  • An eligible credential from a university-level program at a doctoral level.

We expect that international students may still require an LMIA to provide needed points for Arranged Employment to ensure an invitation will be issued.

Change in Deadline for Responding to an ITA

The 2016 Amendments increase the period of time that applicants will have to respond to an ITA. Under the previous Express Entry System, applicants had only 60 days to complete an online Application for Permanent Residence. The 2016 Amendments provide that applicants now have 90 days after receiving an ITA to submit an online Application for Permanent Residence. This is an important change because concurrent with the Invitation to Apply is a request of the applicant for a list of required documents. The previous time requirement of 60 days for the gathering of documents of substantiation for most items in the application form was often challenging.

2017 Amendments

The key changes in the 2017 Amendments are as follows"

  • change in points for language skills;
  • change in points for existing siblings in Canada; and
  • change in job bank registration requirement.

As part of the 2017 Amendments, the Express Entry system will now award 15 points to candidates with siblings in Canada.

Change in Points for Language Skills

Before June 16, 2017 candidates can get up to 136 points for their first official language and up to 24 points for their second official language. The 2017 Amendments provide that Express Entry candidates with strong French language skills, with or without English language skills, will be awarded additional points by the CRS as of June 6, 2017. A total of 15 additional points will be awarded for test results of the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NLC) at level 7 in all four language skills in French (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and an English test result of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) at level 4 or lower. A total of 30 additional points will be awarded for test results of the NLC at level 7 in all four skills in French and English test results of CLB at level 5 or higher. The stated rationale for the change is that French-speaking newcomers contribute to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada.

Change in Points for Candidates with Siblings in Canada

As part of the 2017 Amendments, the Express Entry system will now award 15 points to candidates with siblings in Canada. This is a change from the existing Express Entry system that does not award any points to candidates with siblings in Canada. To get these points, candidates will need to show that the sibling is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and is 18 years of age or older. The sibling in Canada must share a mother or father with the principal Express Entry applicant or their spouse or common-law partner. This relationship can be through blood, marriage, common-law partnership or adoption. These points will be awarded starting on June 6, 2017. The stated rationale for the changes is that having a sibling in Canada has been shown to improve health and social outcomes by accelerating a newcomer's integration into his or her new life in Canada.

Job Bank Registration is Now Voluntary

Currently, after completing an Express Entry profile, a candidate must create a Job Bank account if he/she does not have a valid job offer or a provincial or territorial nomination before the candidate is placed in the pool and becomes eligible for an invitation round. The 2017 Amendments remove this requirement. Starting on June 6, 2017, Job Bank registration for Express Entry candidates is voluntary for all candidates. Candidates who meet the minimum entry criteria for Express Entry will be automatically placed into the pool and immediately eligible for invitation rounds. If candidates do not currently have a job in Canada and would like to start their job search, they will still be able to register for Job Bank. Upon the implementation of the 2017 Amendments, employers remain able to use all of their existing recruiting methods, including Job Bank, to find Express Entry candidates.

What Do the 2016 and 2017 Amendments Mean for Applicants?

We expect that there will be a continued drop in the CRS points required for a candidate to receive an ITA, and in turn, an increased number of invitations. We are starting to see this now. The last few draws reflect the following statistics (see figure 1).

As with the system prior to the 2016 and 2017 Amendments, all applicants must take an English test when applying through the Express Entry program. It is advisable for applicants to prepare for the English and French tests well in advance to maximum points. The education and English test results of a spouse of an applicant also help to maximize the applicant's points.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions