What is the change? Canada conducted its second Express Entry draw of 2016 on Wednesday, issuing 1,518 invitations to apply.

What does the change mean? The lowest qualifying score was 453, close to the lowest score of all draws to date. The minimum score has steadily declined in the past seven draws, from a high of 489 in October.

  • 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.
  • Business impact: The minimum qualifying score was less than 600 and indicates that some candidates were issued invitations to apply without having an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

Background: In 2015, Canada issued 31,063 invitations to apply through Express Entry. Officials have projected a greater number of invitations to apply in 2016.

So far in 2016, Canada has issued 2,981 invitations to apply:

Date Invitations to Apply Minimum Score
Jan. 6 1,463 461
Jan. 13 1,518 453

BAL Analysis: BAL expects the qualifying scores to continue dropping as the number of invitations per month is expected to grow to 5,000 in 2016, compared with only 2,500 to 3,000 per month in 2015.

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.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact