What is the change? In the latest Express Entry draw on Sept. 18, the minimum qualifying score dipped to its lowest level to date at 450 points.

What does the change mean? The decrease in minimum qualifying scores means that some applicants who do not have an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment are able to obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Employers sponsoring foreign employees for permanent residency through one of four programs – the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program.
  • Business impact: The recent results indicate greater flexibility for companies hiring foreign employees through the Express Entry system without an LMIA-approved job offer.
  • Next steps: Companies are encouraged to work with BAL representatives to determine whether to go through the LMIA process.

Background: 1,545 candidates were issued invitations to apply in the latest draw, the 17th since the Express Entry program took effect in January. Applicants are ranked on a 1,200-point scale based on education, skills and language ability. Candidates earn 600 points if they have an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination. The early draws required minimum scores in the high 800s. Since June, all draws have recorded minimum scores below 600, indicating that some applicants were selected without an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

BAL Analysis: The latest results give employers some positive news and more flexibility to potentially avoid the LMIA process, despite the continued advantage the system gives to those with an LMIA-approved job offer.

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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