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Important Updates on the Express Entry Selection System for Canadian Immigration

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The month of November has so far seen some significant developments with respect to the Express Entry selection system for Canadian immigration, which is approaching one year since its initial launch.

In addition to a new draw having been made in which the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) point requirement decreased, there were important announcements and developments from the government of Canada.

CIC spokesperson says CRS points requirement likely to go down over time

At the 23rd Annual Immigration Law Summit held earlier this month in Toronto, Ontario, a spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) made some notable comments about the past, present, and future of draws made from the Express Entry pool. The main takeaway, however, is that the CRS point requirement for Express Entry draws is likely to go down.

Foremost among the forecasts made by CIC is that the total intake of economic immigrants to Canada through Express Entry is set to increase once the backlog of applications from 2014 has been cleared. This was first disclosed in a mid-year CIC report that was released in August, and was reiterated this month at the Immigration Law Summit.

In addition, the spokesperson said that the first few Express Entry draws had a relatively high CRS point requirement because of pent-up demand from candidates who already had job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). These candidates benefited from a 600-point bonus under the CRS and received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in one of the earlier draws. This information is backed by the mid-year CIC report, which disclosed that most early recipients of an ITA were already working in Canada on LMIA-supported work permits.

Once the bulk of those candidates had received ITAs, the minimum CRS point requirement in order to receive an ITA dipped sharply to 453 by the end of March, and 450 by the 17th and 18th draws, which were held on September 18and October 2, respectively. With the exception of one draw in May, each draw since February has seen a portion of candidates without a job offer or provincial nomination certificate receive ITAs.

More recently, however, the CRS points requirement has increased. The CIC spokesperson stated that this is largely due to the fact that many provinces did not open their Express Entry Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams, through which successful candidates may obtain an additional 600 CRS points, until months after the system was launched. As a result, there has been a rush of PNP certificates being issued to proactive candidates in the Express Entry pool. This has had the effect of increasing the number of candidates who have received an additional 600 CRS points.

With both an LMIA rush and a PNP rush out of the way — together with the 2014 backlog being cleared and CIC having previously stated that “Express Entry will become the main source of applications to meet annual immigration levels targets” — CIC has said that it expects the CRS requirement for Express Entry draws to drop over time.

1,506 candidates invited to apply in 20th Express Entry draw

The twentieth Express Entry draw was performed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on November 13, 2015. A total of 1,506 ITAs were issued to candidates with 484 or more CRS points.

After a hiatus of three weeks since the previous (19th) draw, in which candidates with 489 or more CRS points were selected, and in light of the comments made by CIC highlighted above, a decrease in the CRS point requirement was welcomed by a number of candidates in the Express Entry pool.

Moreover, this was the first draw that took place since Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, appointed John McCallum as Canada’s new Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees. While much of the focus of his department has been on refugee settlement, the fact that an Express Entry draw has taken place indicates that economic immigration also remains a priority. 

New Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees asked by PM to make changes to Express Entry

In a change from the practice of previous Prime Ministers, Justin Trudeau has issued public mandate letters to each new government minister. In his letter to Mr McCallum, Trudeau stated that the following measure should be a “top priority” for the department of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees: “Give additional points under the Express Entry system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.”

It remains to be seen when any changes to the system may occur, and how exactly those changes will work with respect to the CRS as it functions today. It would appear, however, that some points may be awarded in the future to candidates with a sibling (or siblings) already residing in Canada.

Taking advantage of opportunity

“With a new government that seems intent on introducing some family element to the system, as well as a new draw and some significant comments from CIC at the Immigration Law Summit, there is much to consider over recent weeks when it comes to Express Entry,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“What is clear, however, is that the time to be proactive is now. We don’t know the extent to which the scores may decrease or how the system may change in the future, or when. What has been evident over recent weeks and months is that a number of individuals interested in immigrating to Canada who may have been unsure whether or not they should create an Express Entry profile have done so and benefited. Candidates in the pool are visible, so to speak, to the Canadian provinces that are looking to welcome newcomers through the Provincial Nominee Programs. People are also realizing that a candidate in the pool has far more leverage when discussing a possible job opportunity with a Canadian employer than a candidate who is not in the pool.”

To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, including the federal economic programs that are processed under Express Entry, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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80 thoughts on “Important Updates on the Express Entry Selection System for Canadian Immigration

  1. Avatar
    monika gaur

    myself monika. i am staff nurse in india. i am in govt job. i have 5-6 yr exp. we apply canada pr in the year of 2007. can anybody have info regarding backlog cases. is there any hope

  2. Avatar

    sir i have filed my eoi for business immigration and i have applied for 3 times for visa for exploratory visit to Manitoba but they refused my visa and i have files my EOI till date my points are 70no so please guide me should my files be considered for immigration to canada and can i be slected as per the previous records

  3. Avatar

    It is really a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Avatar
    Raheel jutt

    Sor i am wating for my answer more than 8 months ago to apply … nothing is in progress .. what i can do

  5. Avatar
    Ritu gupta

    Please help me for my CRS POINTS. em 31 years old. Mpt(ortho). 6years experience. Clb 9877. My spouse having same age. Score n qualification

  6. Avatar

    I have applied for MPNP in the month of Jan-2016, my biggest worry is i have a CRS of 442 points, Can i get a PR.

  7. Avatar

    Hello all,
    I am from India and planning to create an express entry profile on my own without any help of consultancy. Can anyone of you please tell the procedure of doing ECA (Educational credential assessment)
    Thanks in advance,

  8. Avatar

    Hi I am working As a supervisor in a hotel and I have 4 years of experience in back home and almost one and a half year here in same field. My work permit is going to expire on July last . My question is how long before expiring my work permit should I apply for express entry ? Before didn’t have any plan to stay here but now I want to stay here . I hope it’s not late . Please give me good suggestion.

  9. Avatar
    Dinesh kumar

    Hello Sir,
    I have completed B.A.(batchler of art) private in a recognised university also completed 15 months hardware networking course from a private institute .and also 6 years experience in information technology field. Please help me how to apply for a job or PR in canada. I’m so disturb because maximum consultancy has more charged. So please help me and provide me a dedicated path for settle in canada. I’m also married. Please Sir help me.

  10. Avatar
    Chagan Mistry

    Mr. Chagan Mistry,

    Greetings of the day!!

    I am from India , already in Express entry pool, Me & My Husband has 9 + years of rich experience . Ready to relocate in Canada.

    Kindly consider my profile for your requirement.

    Warm Regards
    Arpita Prajapati

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