Citizenship and Immigration Minister John McCallum has announced changes to the Express Entry application for permanent residency. These change, which go into effect on November 19th 2016, will generally affect two swaths of people: skilled workers who are applying with a job offer and international students who obtained their degrees at a Canadian institution.
Express Entry applicants are evaluated through points under the Comprehensive Ranking System, which were rewarded for: English and/ or French proficiency, educational level and, in the case of skilled workers applying, either work experience or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Under the new system the requirements stay the same, but they are now stressed to varying degrees- as the allocation of points has changed.
Under the previous system the only way an applicant could gain CRS points for a job offer in Canada was if they had an LMIA.
- Previously candidates in the Express Entry pool were given an additional 600 CRS points for obtaining an LMIA but now they will only receive 200 points if their job is in Major Group 00 Senior Management Occupations of the National Occupational Classification System (NOC), or 50 points if the job is in any other skilled occupation.
Now certain applicant, who have a job offer in Canada, are eligible for CRS points without an LMIA
- If their job offer if they are holders of a valid work permit and have been employed in Canada under an international agreement such as NAFTA for at least one year full-time;
- They have a closed work permit and have been working in Canada for at least one year full-time.
The maximum number of points an applicant in the Express Entry pool can receive for their education is 150, but now if they graduate from an eligible program of study in Canada they may obtain up to 30 points in addition to the points allocated for the level of their education. This gives international students who have studied in Canada a big step up in obtaining permanent residency. Points may be awarded to the applicant for Canadian education as follows
- 15 points to candidates who have an eligible credential from a one or two-year post secondary program
- 30 points to candidates who have an eligible credential from
- A post secondary program of three or more years;
- A university level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A or which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required; or
- A university-level program at the doctoral level
Beyond the allocation of points the new system has extended the submission period; previously once candidates received their invitation to apply they had 60 days to submit a complete application with all required supporting documents but not they are given 90 days.
This is welcome change to the Express Entry pool as what is generally a very stringent application is now more accessible to more people. These changes to the allocation of points for job offers levels the playing field for both people without LMIA’s and people without job offers. These additional points to international students who studied in Canada now makes it easier for them to stay upon graduation.