What is the change? Canada conducted its 24th Express Entry draw – and first of 2016 – Wednesday, inviting 1,463 people to apply for permanent residence.

What does the change mean? The minimum score among invitees was 461 points, an insignificant change from the Dec. 18 draw where the minimum score was 460. Minimum scores have ranged from 460 to 484 in the last five 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: 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.
  • Next steps: Those interested in remaining in the Express Entry pool for more than 12 months from the date their profile was created must create a new profile.

Background: In recent draws, Canada has consistently issued roughly 1,500 invitations to apply. Minimum scores have ranged between 460 and 484 in the past five draws.

Date Invitations Minimum Score
Nov. 13, 2015 1,506 484
Nov. 27, 2015 1,559 472
Dec. 4, 2015 1,451 461
Dec. 18, 2015 1,503 460
Jan. 6, 2016 1,463 461

Canada issued 31,063 invitations to apply for permanent residence in the Express Entry program’s first year.

BAL Analysis: While some applicants without job offers have been invited to apply for permanent residence in each Express Entry draw since June, there is still a significant advantage in the program 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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