What is the change? Canada has conducted its eighth Express Entry draw of 2016, issuing 954 invitations to apply.

What does the change mean? The lowest qualifying score was 470, the same minimum score as in the last draw. This indicates that the minimum score to qualify for an invitation to apply for permanent residency has risen from earlier in the year, but remains low.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residency through Express Entry.
  • Who is affected: Canadian companies 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 was less than 600, indicating that some candidates were issued invitations to apply without having an LMIA-supported job offer or provincial nomination.

Background: In 2015, Canada issued 31,063 invitations to apply through Express Entry, and officials have projected a greater number for 2016. So far this year, Canada has issued 10,419 invitations to apply:

Date Invitations Minimum Score
Jan. 6 1,463 461
Jan. 13 1,518 453
Jan. 27 1,468 457
Feb. 10 1,505 459
Feb. 24 1,484 453
March 9 1,013 473
March 23 1,014 470
April 6 954 470

BAL Analysis: Despite the increases in the minimum qualifying score in the last three drawings, the minimum score remains in the low range and below 600. The number of invitations issued per draw has dropped off since February and the latest draw had the lowest number of invitations, which could indicate a shift in resources toward family reunification, as detailed in recent government immigration projections.

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

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