What is the change? Canada has conducted its 15th Express Entry draw of the year, issuing 3,877 invitations to apply for permanent residency. The lowest qualifying score was 413.

What does the change mean? The draw followed two smaller draws last week in which a total of 543 invitations to apply were issued to applicants in the Federal Skilled Trades and Provincial Nominee programs. The number of invitations issued in Wednesday’s draw was on par with standard draws conducted so far in 2017, and up significantly compared with draws in 2015 and 2016. The minimum qualifying score of 413 was the lowest qualifying score to date, not counting last week’s draw exclusively for applicants in the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The low minimum score indicates that a wide pool of candidates continues to be accepted.

Background: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada made changes to the Comprehensive Ranking System in November. The changes benefit candidates with a valid job offer that is not supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, provided that the employee has worked for the employer for a year and the job is in NOC 0, A or B occupations. The new scoring system also benefits candidates who have completed post-secondary education in Canada. Additional changes to the scoring system are set to go into effect in June, and they should help attract Francophone immigrants and those with siblings in Canada.

There have been 15 draws so far this year:

Date Invitations Minimum Score
Jan. 3 2,902 468
Jan. 11 3,334 459
Jan. 25 3,508 453
Feb. 8 3,664 447
Feb. 22 3,611 441
March 1 3,884 434
March 24 3,749 441
April 5 3,753 431
April 12 3,923 423
April 19 3,665 415
May 4 3,796 423
May 17 3,687 415
May 25* 143 775
May 25** 400 199
May 31 3,877 413

*PNP nominees only

**Federal Skilled Trades Program applicants only.

BAL Analysis: Wednesday’s draw continued the trend of high numbers of invitations and low minimum qualifying scores since the new scoring system was introduced. Canada has issued 47,896 Express Entry invitations so far this year, compared with 33,782 in all of 2016 and 31,063 in 2015.

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

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