Client Alert - Changes to Express Entry


Effective November 19, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ("IRCC") will be implementing several significant changes to Express Entry which will affect applicants hoping to be invited to apply for permanent residence. 

Qualifying Job Offer

One of the most notable changes is the elimination of the additional 600 points awarded to an Express Entry profile for an applicant with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA").  As of November 19th, qualifying job offers – even those with a positive LMIA – will be allotted either 200 points if the position is at a senior managerial level (Major Group 00) or 50 points for all other eligible qualifying job offers, including those with a positive LMIA.

NAFTA work permit holders and work permits based on significant benefits to Canada (e.g., intra-company transferees) will now be awarded points for a qualifying job offer without the need for an LMIA; however, such work permit holders must have worked in Canada for at least one year and their employer must be the same as that listed on the work permits in order to be eligible for the additional points.

The following work permit holders are now eligible for either 200 points (for senior managerial level positions) or 50 points for qualifying job offers, including those without the need for an LMIA:

  • NAFTA;
  • Intra-company transferees;
  • LMIA-based work permits;
  • Provincial/territorial work permits; and
  • Significant benefits to Canada.

A positive LMIA is required for the following work permit holders to receive either 200 or 50 points for a qualifying job offer.  Without an LMIA, they will receive NO points for a qualifying job offer:

  • Post-Graduate Work Permit;
  • International Experience Class ("IEC") work permit holders;
  • Work permits issued to spouses/common-law partners of foreign workers and international students; and
  • All other open work permits.

Education Credentials Earned in Canada

Previously, no additional points were awarded for international students/graduates who had completed study programs in Canada.  As of November 19th, the following points for educational programs undertaken in Canada will be awarded under Express Entry:

  • 0 points for a secondary school educational credential;
  • 15 points for successfully completing a 1 – 2 year post-secondary educational program at an eligible educational institution; and/or
  • 30 points for either:
    • Graduation from an eligible post-secondary program of 3 or more years;
    • Master's degree for occupations listed in NOC skill level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required; OR
    • University-level doctorate degree.

In order to be eligible for the above-noted points, students must have studied full-time in Canada at an eligible Canadian institution for at least 8 months and have been physically present in Canada for at least 8 months.

Expired Results

Language test results are valid for a period of 2 years, while educational credential assessments are valid for a period of 5 years.  If an Express Entry applicant's language test results are 2+ years old, or if the educational credential assessment is 5+ years old, the applicant will be deemed to no longer meet the requirements relating to those results – and his/her Express Entry points will be adjusted accordingly.

It is important that the language test results and educational credential assessment be valid at the time of submission of an Express Entry profile – and that they continue to remain valid while the profile remains in the Express Entry pool of candidates.

The spouse/common-law partner of an Express Entry applicant must now also provide valid language test results as part of the application process.

Provincial Nominations

Unlike a positive LMIA, which will no longer provide an additional 600 points to an Express Entry profile, a positive provincial nomination will still give a nominee an additional 600 points on his/her Express Entry profile.  Up to 51,000 applications will be accepted through the provincial nominee programs across the country in 2017.

Invitation to Apply

The amount of time allowed to submit a permanent residence application under Express Entry after receipt of an Invitation to Apply will be extended to 90 days (from the current 60 days) after November 19, 2016.

For more information, please contact Melanie Samuels -