What is the change? Canada conducted its 20th Express Entry draw Friday, inviting 1,506 people to apply for permanent residence.

What does the change mean? The minimum score among invitees was 484 points, not much of a change from the Oct. 23 draw where the minimum score was 489. The latest draw is a further indication that minimum scores are trending upward after hitting a low of 450 points in the Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 draws.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residency through Express Entry.
  • Who is affected: Canadian employers 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.
  • Business impact: Though minimum scores have increased in the most recent draws, the fact that some applicants were invited with a score of less than 600 indicates that some candidates were issued invitations to apply without an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

Background: In recent draws, Canada has consistently issued roughly 1,500 invitations to apply. Minimum scores reached a low of 450 before increasing in the past two draws.

Date Invitations Minimum Score
Sept. 8 1,517 459
Sept. 18 1,545 450
Oct. 2 1,530 450
Oct. 23 1,502 489
Nov. 13 1,506 484

Draws are typically conducted every two to three weeks, with some variance. To date, Canada has issued 26,550 invitations to apply for permanent residence in the Express Entry program’s first year.

BAL Analysis: While minimum scores have risen in the most recent draws, it is likely that the number of invitations to apply will increase and minimum scores will drop in upcoming draws as the inventory of old cases is finalized. Whether minimum scores drop or not, however, there will still be a significant advantage to candidates who have an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination, either of which ensures a score of at least 600 on Express Entry’s 1,200-point scale.

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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