What is the change? Citizenship and Immigration Canada issued a mid-year report on Express Entry this week, evaluating the success of Canada’s new permanent-residence program.

What does the change mean? Canada invited 12,017 people to apply for residence in the program’s first six months, but only 7,528 completed applications had been received as of July 6. Fully 70 percent of those invited to apply for residence had applications supported by an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence through one of the four skilled labor programs.
  • Business impact: While most of those invited to apply for residence had job offers or provincial nominations, the trend in recent months toward offering residence to applicants without job offers is a good sign for business.
  • Next steps: While the number of applications that were completed through July 6 seemed relatively low, CIC has been issuing more invitations to apply in recent Express Entry draws and says the size of the applicant pool continues to grow and “is expected to remain large” in future months.

Background: CIC said the report was designed to provide “a snapshot of the Express Entry system for the initial six months of implementation” and covers data collected through July 6.

As of that date, a total of 112,701 foreign nationals had submitted Express Entry profiles. Some 12,017 were invited to apply for permanent residence and 7,528 had completed and submitted applications. The number of invitations to apply is low, considering the government projected up to 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015, with economic immigrants making up nearly 65 percent of that total. CIC noted, however, that because Express Entry was only implemented this year, many of its 2015 permanent-residence admissions are expected to come from those who applied prior to the implementation of the program.

In initial draws, CIC issued invitations to apply only to those with LMIA-based job offers or provincial nominations. However, that trend has begun to change in more recent draws – including those that have been held after July 6.

BAL Analysis: While an increasing number of applicants who do not have job offers are being accepted for permanent residence through the Express Entry program, BAL recommends that, when possible, employers obtain an LMIA or provincial nomination for workers they intend to sponsor. Such workers still enjoy a significant advantage in Express Entry, as demonstrated by the report released this week.

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