Recent Changes to Express Entry Points

Recently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada came out with significant changes to the way Express Entry allocates points to would-be applicants. Here are 5 things you need to know.

1. The change in the allocation of points takes effect on November 19, 2016. The most recent Express Entry draw took place on November 16, 2016. If you have an Express Entry profiled and were not given an Invitation to Apply under the most recent draw, the new point allocation rules will apply to you going forward.

2. Older applicants, people with limited skilled work experience, lower English (or French) language proficiency scores, or lower educational levels, who in the past would have relied on the 600 points available through an LMIA, will likely be the most negatively affected by this policy change. In terms of occupational classes, retail supervisors and managers and certain restaurant workers are more likely to be negatively affected by these changes, as within the last couple of years many of these workers have relied on the 600 points available to holders of LMIA-based work permits.

3. Workers who have completed post-secondary studies in Canada are the most likely to benefit from these changes, as their point scores are the most likely to increase as a result of these changes.

4. Other work permit holders (e.g., intra-company transferees, NAFTA work permit holders, etc.) are also likely to benefit from these changes. In particular, high-level business managers or executives who may have obtained work permits under an intra-company transferee process rather than through an LMIA process, and who would be more likely to be in their forties, fifties, and sixties, may benefit from receiving greater point allocations. Some of these high-level managers and executives may even be eligible to receive an extra 200 points.

5. Given the significant changes to the point allocation rules in Express Entry, the previous rule of thumb that a point score under 450 would make a would-be applicant extremely unlikely to qualify is no longer necessarily valid. I suspect minimum point scores for Express Entry draws will be coming down significantly in the next few months. Stay tuned!