For first time, workers without LMIA-based job offer invited under Express Entry

23 Mar 15

CANADA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Canada has completed the fifth draw of its new Express Entry program, inviting 1,620 people to apply for permanent residence. Foreign nationals with scores of 481 or better on the program’s 1200-point comprehensive ranking system were invited to submit applications.

What does the change mean? For the first time since Express Entry was launched Jan. 1, foreign nationals without an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination were issued invitations to apply (ITAs) for permanent residence.

  • Implementation timeframe: The most recent draw was held March 20. Draws are ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent resident visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign workers in the following four skilled categories: Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
  • Business impact: Companies are closely watching the draws to help gauge the likelihood of success before embarking on the complex and uncertain Labour Market Impact Assessment process.
  • Next Steps: Foreign workers selected to apply for permanent residence have up to 60 days to complete the application. Those who want to be considered for permanent residence under Express Entry can create an Express Entry online profile.

Background: Canada launched Express Entry on Jan. 1. Express Entry candidates are ranked on a 1200-point scale based on factors including education, skills, and language abilities. Candidates with an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination are awarded 600 points. The minimum score in the March 20 Express Entry draw was 481, meaning at least some foreign nationals without an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination were selected. The most recent draw saw both the highest number of invitees and the lowest minimum score:

Date of Draw ITAs issued Minimum Points
Jan. 31 779 886
Feb. 7 779 818
Feb. 20 849 808
Feb. 27 1,187 735
March 20 1,620 481

BAL Analysis: Several Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials predicted that by the end of the year most candidates invited to apply for permanent residence under Express Entry would not have LMIAs. Minimum scores have consistently dropped and, for the first time since Jan. 1, some foreign nationals who received invitations to apply on March 20 did not have an LMIA-based job offer or provincial nomination. BAL will continue to track the Express Entry draws to determine if the trend continues.

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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