What is the change? Significant changes to the scoring system under the points-based Express Entry program will take effect Nov. 19.

What does the change mean? The new scoring system will benefit candidates who hold an employer-specific work permit without a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval if they have at least one year of experience with that employer, as well as graduates of Canadian post-secondary educational institutions.

  • Implementation time frame: Nov. 19.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residency through Express Entry.
  • Who is affected: Canadian employers and foreign workers seeking permanent residency through Canadian skilled migration programs.
  • Impact on processing times: Express Entry candidates who are granted an invitation to apply will have 90 days (instead of 60 days under current rules) to submit their applications for permanent residency.
  • Business impact: The changes to the points system significantly reduce the benefit of applying for an LMIA, as the points awarded for an LMIA-based job offer will drop from 600 points to 50 points in most cases, with the points for senior management positions (National Occupation Classification (NOC) level “00”) dropping to 200.
  • Next steps: Employers should reconsider whether to pursue an LMIA in pending cases.

Background: The changes were announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on Thursday and will take effect Nov. 19.

Among the key changes:

  • The system will no longer award 600 points to individuals for having an LMIA-approved job offer. Provincial Nominee Program nominations will still be awarded 600 points.
  • 50 points will be awarded to individuals who have an offer of employment for jobs in NOCs 0, A or B, including LMIA-based work permits, intracompany transfers, provincial nominee program categories and NAFTA professionals. The candidate must have worked for the employer for at least one year and have an offer of continued full-time permanent employment.
  • 200 points will be awarded to those NOC 0 positions designated as “00” for senior managerial positions that meet the criteria set out in the in the bullet above.
  • Graduates who complete a minimum three-year post-secondary course in Canada will earn an additional 30 points to their score.
  • Graduates who complete a one- or two-year post-secondary diploma in Canada will earn an additional 15 points to their score.

BAL Analysis: The changes to the ranking system in Express Entry are a positive development for employers and are expected to broaden the pool of candidates and lower the minimum score required to obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

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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