How Do These Changes Affect Immigration to Canada?
On 19 November 2016, changes to Canada’s Express Entry immigration system were implemented. It now awards points for jobs that are LMIA-exempt and awards points to candidates who have completed post-secondary education in Canada.
Previously, 600 points were awarded in the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System for a job that was permanent and supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”). The changes brought to Express Entry on 19 November 2016 have eliminated this component.
With the change, 200 points are awarded for National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) 00 jobs with a valid job offer, and 50 points are awarded for any other NOC 0, A, and B jobs with a valid job offer. Persons on LMIA-exempt work permits are eligible to be awarded these points, including those whose work permits were issued pursuant to the North America Free Trade Agreement, a federal-provincial agreement, Mobilité Francophone, or issued as an intra-company transferee. Persons who were granted an LMIA are also eligible for these points, provided they fall in the appropriate NOC.
To qualify to receive these points, candidates must have been working in Canada for the employer named on the work permit for at least one year. Thus, the requirement that the job be of a permanent nature has been removed. Persons who have open work permits are not eligible.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada has stated that, because the amount of points awarded for job offers has decreased, this change will allow more highly skilled candidates without a job offer to get an invitation to apply to Express Entry. These candidates have the skills and experience to support and grow our economy.
Previously, points were only awarded for education overall, and no benefit was given to international students who had studied in Canada.
The changes implemented on 19 November 2016 now awards points to persons who have completed a post-secondary degree or diploma in Canada. 15 points are awarded for a one- or two-year diploma or certificate. Furthermore, 30 points are awarded 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.
These new changes are meant to encourage international students to stay in the country after they complete their studies and to help Canada retain skilled workers.
Previously, once candidates received an invitation to apply, they had 60 days to gather all required documentation and submit their complete application for permanent residence. Now, candidates will have 90 days to do this, which provides considerably more time to prepare this lengthy application.