Express Entry results show decrease in points needed for permanent residency

6 Mar 15



What is the change? Canada has completed four draws in its new Express Entry program, which selects foreign applicants for permanent residency on a points-based system.

What does the change mean? A comparison of the draws shows that the minimum number of points required to earn an invitation to apply for permanent residency has dropped for each successive draw; however, all applicants who were issued an invitation to apply for permanent residency had a job offer supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment.

  • Implementation timeframe: The four draws were conducted between the end of January and the end of February; draws are ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent resident visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign workers in four skilled categories – Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades Programs, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
  • Business impact: Companies are closely watching the draws to help gauge the likelihood of success before embarking on the complex and uncertain LMIA process.

Background: Canada launched Express Entry on Jan. 1, creating a pool of candidates who are ranked on a scale of up to 1,200 possible points based on various factors including education, skills, language and other characteristics. Candidates with an LMIA-based job offer or Express Entry provincial nomination are awarded 600 points. The top-ranked candidates are issued invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residency. The results of the first four draws are charted below:

Date of Draw ITAs issued Minimum Points
Jan. 31 779 886
Feb. 7 779 818
Feb. 20 849 808
Feb. 27 1,187 735

BAL Analysis: While the decrease in the minimum points required of applicants who were selected is a promising development, it is also clear from the results that all candidates selected thus far have possessed an LMIA-based job offer. Last month, several senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials predicted that by the end of the year most candidates invited to apply would not have LMIAs. BAL will continue to track the Express Entry draws and report the results.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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