Canada temporarily making distance learning eligible for Express Entry points

Shelby Thevenot
Published: July 28, 2022

Public health restrictions over the past two years have forced students out of the classroom and onto the internet. Now, Canada is relaxing rules for Express Entry candidates who studied online during the pandemic.

Normally, online education does not count for Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points if more than 50% of the program was completed through distance learning. But thanks to a new Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) update, Express Entry candidates will now be eligible for Canadian educational credential points for programs completed online between March 2020 and August 2022.

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The IRCC webpage says the new measure applies to those who earned a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate online during the eligibility period. These candidates may now be eligible for CRS points even if the program was entirely:

  • completed online,
  • from outside Canada, or
  • through part-time studies.

IRCC also says applicable candidates need to update their Express Entry profile. Candidates in the pool may have already received a letter from IRCC notifying them of the change.

The letter says candidates who have claimed an education credential should update their profile by answering three questions in the education history section. The questions ask how much in-person study, study in Canada and full time studying the candidate completed in order to get the credential. It says that if these fields remain incomplete, the candidate could see their CRS score drop.

The letter reads as follows:

This is to notify you that there have been changes to how Express Entry evaluates Canadian education credentials that may impact your Express Entry profile.

If you have claimed to have a Canadian educational credential, you should update your profile by answering three new questions in the Education History section about the amount of in-person study/training, study/training in Canada and full-time study/training you completed to obtain the credential. If these fields remain incomplete, your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points score may drop and you could miss an opportunity to be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Please update your Express Entry profile by August 2, 2022 to ensure you have the best possible chance to be invited to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry round of invitations.

IRCC asks candidates to update their Express Entry profile by August 2 to ensure candidates have the best possible chance to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in the next Express Entry draw. IRCC holds Express Entry draws about every two weeks, although there have been instances where this schedule has changed. The next Express Entry draw is expected on August 3.

IRCC has been holding all-program draws since July 6,  when a total of 1,500 Express Entry candidates were invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

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