What is the change? Canada has conducted its 18th Express Entry draw of 2016, issuing 750 invitations to apply. The lowest qualifying score was 538 – higher than it has been than at any point during the year.

What does the change mean? The number of invitations to apply has changed little in the past eight draws, but is down considerably compared with earlier this year. The minimum score of 538 was up significantly compared with minimum scores in recent draws.

  • 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 increased significantly, but remained under 600, indicating that some candidates continue to be issued invitations to apply without having an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

Background: Last year, Canada issued 31,063 invitations to apply through Express Entry. Officials had projected a greater number for 2016, but have issued just 18,292 so far this year. If recent trends continue, Canada will fall short of last year’s total.

Express Entry Draws in 2016:

Date Invitations Score
Jan. 6 1,463 461
Jan. 13 1,518 453
Jan. 27 1,468 457
Feb. 10 1,505 459
Feb. 25 1,484 453
March 9 1,013 473
March 23 1,014 470
April 6 954 470
April 20 1,018 468
Date Invitations Score
May 6 799 534
May 18 763 484
June 1 762 483
June 15 752 488
June 29 773 482
July 13 747 482
July 27 755 488
Aug. 10 754 490
Aug. 24 750 538








BAL Analysis: Although the minimum score to obtain an invitation to apply is up in the latest draw, it still remains below 600 even as fewer candidates have been selected in recent Express Entry draws.

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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Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP