What is the change? Canada conducted its sixth draw in the points-based Express Entry program March 27, and the minimum points required for candidates to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency has dropped further from the minimum requisite points in previous draws.

What does the change mean? The results of this draw confirm that some candidates were issued invitations to apply without having a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-based job offer or provincial nomination.

  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected:Permanent residency 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 residency through one of the four skilled labor programs.
  • Business impact:The results of the last two draws are a positive sign for employers.

Background: In the latest draw, Canada issued 1,637 candidates an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency. The minimum points required to receive an invitation was 453, a nearly 30-point drop from the previous draw. More importantly, the number indicates that at least some invitations were issued to candidates who did not already have a job offer or provincial nomination.

Candidates are ranked on a scale of 1200 points based on skills, language, education and other factors. An LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination counts for 600 points.

BAL Analysis: The clear downward trend in minimum points required to receive an invitation to apply signals that employers are not required to go through the LMIA process to sponsor a skilled worker for permanent residency. However, workers with LMIA job offers still have a huge advantage under the points-based system.

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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