Changes to Express Entry (Effective November 19, 2016)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), previously known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is making changes to the Express Entry system.

The important changes are:

  1. The definition of Qualifying Job Offer (QJO) expanded to include LMIA-exemptions for points to be awarded on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
  • QJO is an Offer of permanent employment from an eligible Canadian business in NOC 0, A or B occupation and approved by Government of Canada (i.e. a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment – LMIA).
  • The changes expand the QJO to include limited exemptions from having to obtain a LMIA.
  • LMIA exemption applies to certain Work permit holders (e.g. NAFTA professionals, Intra-company Transferees, etc.)
  • The Qualifying job offer must be made by the employer named on the Work permit.
  • Our current interpretation is that Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP) holders are not included in this group.
  1. The points for QJO revised downwards
  • The CRS points for a QJO have been reduced from the current 600 to:

For NOC 0 occupation – 200 points

For NOC A/B occupation – 50 points

NOC 0 occupations cover the top decision makers in various sectors i.e. Directors and senior management in corporate world and legislators, etc. in government.

NOC A/B broadly covers managers, supervisors, professionals, etc

  1. Additional points for Canadian Education

Additional Points are being allocated for Education completed in Canadian as follows:

  • For a 1- or 2-year credential – 15 points
  • For a 3-year credential/ Master’s degree/ Professional degree/ PhD – 30 points

The credential must be obtained

  • From a Canadian educational institution
  • While studying in Canada (physically present in Canada) – Excludes online program and studies at affiliated institutions outside Canada
  • While enrolled in full-time study
  • At post secondary level

  1. Period to file the Application for Permanent Residence increased to 90 days after the receipt of Invitation to Apply (ITA) – up from current 60 days

Effect of the above changes

The changes will mainly impact 2 groups of Applicants

  • Previous International Students

Provided the Canadian educational credential meets the eligibility requirements, this group will see their points rise by 15 or 30 points

  • Certain Work Permit holders working in Canada – NAFTA or ICT

If the employer is willing to make an Offer of permanent employment, and provided the offer meets the QJO criteria, this group of Applicants may gain an extra 50 or 200 points, depending upon their occupation code

  • Applicants with LMIA-based QJO from Canada, who have not yet applied for Permanent Residence

Applicants who have LMIA-based QJO from Canada and have created their Express Entry Profiles, but not yet received an ITA and/or filed their Application for Permanent Residence will likely be awarded the lower points, effective November 19, 2016.