What is the change? Canada conducted its 22nd Express Entry draw today, accepting a lowest qualifying score of 461 and issuing 1,451 invitations to apply.

What does the change mean? The lowest minimum score remains below 600, indicating that some candidates were invited to apply for permanent residence without an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

  • 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 minimum qualifying score should remain low for the rest of the year as immigration authorities clear their inventory of cases.

Background: Introduced in January, the Express Entry system ranks candidates on a 1,200-point scale based on various factors including education, skills and language ability. Candidates earn 600 points if they have an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination. The early draws required a minimum score in the high 800s. Since June, all draws have recorded minimum scores below 600. To date, 29,560 invitations to apply have been issued.

BAL Analysis: While Canada has issued very few invitations to apply in 2015 compared to projections, the number of invitations should increase in 2016 as most foreign job candidates will be required to use the Express Entry system as the main route to permanent residency.

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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