What is the change? Canada has conducted its 11th Express Entry draw of 2016, issuing 799 invitations to apply.

What does the change mean? The number of invitations dropped significantly from previous draws and the lowest qualifying score was 534, a sizeable rise from the previous draw and the highest minimum score this year.

  • Implementation time frame:
  • 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, indicating 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, and officials have projected a greater number for 2016. So far this year, Canada has issued 12,236 invitations to apply.

Express Entry Draws in 2016:

Date Invitations Minimum Score
Jan. 6 1,463 461
Jan. 13 1,518 453
Jan. 27 1,468 457
Feb. 10 1,505 459
Feb. 24 1,484 453
March 9 1,013 473
March 23 1,014 470
April 6 954 470
April 20 1,018 468
May 5 799 534

BAL Analysis: While the minimum qualifying score has risen, it remains below 600. The number of invitations has also decreased since February, an indication that the government may be shifting resources toward family reunification applications and clearing backlogs on old permanent residence applications submitted under the previous non-Express Entry routes.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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