Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The changes will affect those individuals who have submitted their candidacy for immigrating to Canada in the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. The changes will take effect on November 19, 2016.
What are the changes?
1. Job Offers
Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) were worth 600 points under the CRS. Now, a qualifying job offer is worth either 200 points or 50 points. 200 points are awarded to qualifying job offers for a Senior Managerial Level Position (National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code starting with 00) OR 50 points are awarded to qualifying job offers in any other occupation with a skill level of 0, A or B.
Another significant change is that the following individuals will now be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:
Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-Company Transfers.
In both cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one (1) year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit in order to get the 200 or 50 points.
2. Canadian Study
The points that are to be awarded for Canadian educational credentials are as follows:
0 points if the candidate has only a secondary school educational credential;
15 points if the candidate has an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program; and
30 points if the candidate has either:
a. an eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three years or more,
b. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required,
c. an eligible credential from a university-level program at the doctoral level.
Points are only assigned for Canadian study experience if, for the purpose of obtaining the credential, the candidate
a. studied in Canada at a Canadian educational institution;
b. was enrolled in full-time study or training for at least eight (8) months; and
c. was physically present in Canada for at least eight (8) months.
Before these changes, Immigration candidates who had completed a study program in Canada were not awarded additional CRS points. Through these changes, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its desire to find simpler ways for foreign students in Canada to obtain Permanent Residence.
3. Invitations to Apply
Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Permanent Residence will now have ninety (90) days (as opposed to the old sixty (60) days) to submit a complete Application to IRCC.
4. Impact of These Changes
When these changes take effect on November 19, many candidates in the Express Entry pool may notice no change to their individual CRS score; however, the upside to the changes is that these same individuals will now be more competitive when compared to candidates with qualifying job offers, who will see their scores drop up to 550 points. This is advantageous because the Express Entry system ranks candidates against each other and those with the highest CRS scores are invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.