Changes to the Express Entry Program That You May Have Missed

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Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.28.33 PM.pngThe world of immigration law moves quickly, especially here in Canada. The Liberal government has made it part of their mandate to make it easier to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry program, this includes recent changes to the Express Entry system.

After November 19, 2016, Canada changed the educational requirements, occupational requirements and application process to qualify for the Express Entry pool.

“We have committed to doing more to attract highly skilled immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residents, because this is important to build our economy and strengthen our society,” said John McCallum, Minister of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC).

“I am confident that the changes to Express Entry will be one of the many positive outcomes of the changes we will be bringing to our immigration system.”

Let’s take a closer look at some of these changes.

Education Requirements

Prior to the changes, an applicant’s education would only be worth points if it had been assessed to a Canadian equivalent. And former international students with some education from Canada saw no additional benefit.

Now, however, the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will award:

  • Points will be awarded for study in Canada above high school, and
  • 15 points for a one- or two-year diploma or certificate
  • 30 points for a degree, diploma or certificate of three years or longer, or for a Master’s professional or doctoral degree of at least one academic year

Employment Requirements

Prior to November of last year, the CRS gave you 600 points for permanent jobs that were supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Now, however, you can earn:

  • 50 points if you have a valid job offer in an NOC 0, A or B occupation
  • 200 points if you have a valid job offer in an NOC 00 occupation

This change is aimed at making it easier for applicants who don’t have a job offer (but do have skills) to compete against applicants who have a firm offer. Also, the job offer now only needs to be a minimum of one year from the time you become a permanent resident.

At the same time, people in Canada on an LMIA exempt work permit will be able to carry that LMIA exemption under Express Entry, including those:

  • Here under the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Here under a federal-provincial agreement
  • Here under Mobilité Francophone, or
  • Are an intra-company transferee

Application Deadlines

Prior to November 19th, 2016, you had 60 days from the day you received your invitation to submit a complete application (including police certificates and medical exams) for permanent residence. Now, however, you have 90 days.

More Changes to Come in June 2017

More changes are expected in June, so stay tuned for an update!

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.

Congratulations on taking your first step toward visiting Canada. The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate through the Express Entry Program process.

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