CANADA (May 30, 2017) – Canada targets provincial nominees, skilled trade applicants in Express Entry draws

The changes benefit candidates with a valid job offer that are not supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Canada conducted two Express Entry draws last week, issuing a total of 543 invitations to apply for permanent residency to applicants in the Federal Skilled Trades and Provincial Nominee programs.

What does the change mean? The draws, which were conducted on the same day, marked the rare occasion where Canada used Express Entry to target specific classes of applicants. The number of invitations issued was much lower than a typical draw, but in the case of the draw for applicants in the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the minimum qualifying score of 199 was dramatically lower. The minimum qualifying score in the draw for applicants in the Provincial Nominee Program, in which applicants are automatically awarded at least 600 points, was 775.

Background: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada made changes to the Comprehensive Ranking System in November. The changes benefit candidates with a valid job offer that are not supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, provided that the employee has worked for the employer for a year and the job is in NOC 0, A or B occupations. The new scoring system also benefits candidates who have completed post-secondary education in Canada. Additional changes to the scoring system are set to go into effect in June, and they should help attract Francophone immigrants and those with siblings in Canada.

There have been 14 draws so far this year:

Date

Invitations

Score

Jan. 3

2,902

468

Jan. 11

3,334

459

Jan. 25

3,508

453

Feb. 8

3,664

447

Feb. 22

3,611

441

March 1

3,884

434

March 24

3,749

441

April 5

3,753

431

April 12

3,923

423

April 19

3,665

415

May 4

3,796

423

May 17

3,687

415

May 25*

143

775

May 25**

400

199

*PNP nominees only

**Federal Skilled Trades Program applicants only.

BAL Analysis: Last week’s draws were a rarity in that they targeted specific classes of applicants within the Express Entry program. IRCC has done this once before for PNP nominees, but the draw for applicants in the Federal Skilled Trades Program was a first. The minimum qualifying score of 199 in the Federal Skilled Trades Program draw was less than half the minimum qualifying score in standard Express Entry draws, indicating that IRCC opened up Express Entry to a number of candidates who would not have otherwise qualified to apply for permanent residence.

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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