What is the change? Canada conducted its first Express Entry draw of the year, issuing 2,902 invitations to apply for permanent residency. The lowest qualifying score was 468.

What does the change mean? More candidates were invited to apply than in any other draw since the program was introduced in January 2015. The minimum qualifying score of 468 is a drop from the previous three draws under the new Express Entry scoring system and indicates that a wider pool of candidates are being accepted.

Implementation time frame: Ongoing.

Visas/permits affected: Permanent residency through Express Entry.

Who is affected: Canadian companies sponsoring foreign nationals through one of four skilled migration programs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.

Background:  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made significant changes to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) in mid-November 2016. The changes benefit candidates with a valid job offer in NOC 0, A or B occupations who have worked for at least one year in Canada for the employer making the job offer without the need for a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment, as well as candidates who have completed post-secondary education in Canada.

BAL Analysis: This draw continues the recent trend of significantly higher numbers of invitations to apply and low minimum qualifying score since the new CRS system was introduced.

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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