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IRCC Releases Instructions for Candidates Who May Claim Additional CRS Points

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crs-changeOn November 19, 2016, Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC) implemented several important changes to the Express Entry system and its Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). These changes, which were presented in detail in a previous article, include the introduction of points for Canadian post-secondary educational credentials, changes to the allocation of points for qualifying job offers, and the extension of the application submission period after an Invitation to Apply (ITA) is received.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to their CRS points score. Consequently, after the reform that took effect as of November 19, some candidates in the Express Entry pool may be able to update their scores.

What to Do Next

If candidates think they are affected by the changes, IRCC instructs that they should:

  1. Log into their online account and update their Express Entry profile by answering the new questions IRCC has added to the system.
  2. After a profile is updated, the candidate’s CRS score may be updated.

IRCC also states that ‘invitation rounds will begin again in the coming weeks. This will give those affected by the changes time to update their Express Entry profile. All CRS scores will be updated before the next invitation round.’

The instructions state that if candidates do not think they are affected by the changes to the Express Entry system, they do not need to do anything.

The Importance of Updating Your Profile

If a candidate does not update his or her profile promptly, he or she may be at risk of missing out on an ITA in a future draw. Almost half of all individuals invited to apply so far in 2016 had a qualifying job offer. Now that job offers are awarded fewer points, candidates in the pool without a job offer may find themselves in a stronger position to receive an ITA.

Moreover, a provincial nomination is now the single most valuable factor in the Express Entry system. A nomination certificate from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is still awarded 600 points, as was the case before the recent changes to the system were made. Maintaining an updated profile and staying up to date with PNP openings is more important than ever to a candidate’s chances of obtaining an ITA.

It is important to note that individuals who have already received an ITA, including those who received an ITA in the most recent draw on November 16, 2016, are not affected by the changes that came into force on November 19, 2016. These individuals will see their applications processed according to the conditions in place at the time they received their ITA.

A Time for Action

“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that candidates take the time to update their Express Entry profile to accurately reflect their experience and credentials,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Under the new system, many candidates may be able to claim points that were not available to them under the old system. Those individuals who are ready and active in updating their profile are in the best position to take advantage of new opportunities to move ahead with their immigration project.

“These changes reflect the ongoing commitment by IRCC to improve the Express Entry system and continue to invite talented individuals and families who will benefit Canada’s economy and society. It is important that candidates in the pool respond to these changes to maximize their chances of being among those invited to apply.”

A New CRS Calculator is Available

Candidates in the Express Entry pool, as well as individuals thinking of creating an Express Entry profile, can use the new and improved CRS Calculator to find out what their score would be under the new points system.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada permanently, fill out a free online assessment form.

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