Big changes related to Express Entry points announced

Big changes related to Express Entry points announced

EXPRESS ENTRY ALERT – How you earn Express Entry points (CRS) are changing!

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Honorable John McCallum have discussed the necessity of changes to immigration policy and Express Entry since the Liberals won the Canadian election. They have vocalized the importance of providing graduates from Canadian post-secondary institutions better opportunities to receive Permanent Residence.  As of November 19th, 2016 the following changes to how points are earned under Express Entry are in effect:


  1. graduatesPoints may now be earned for educational credentials earned from certain Canadian post-secondary institutions.
    •  15 points may be earned in Express Entry if the foreign national has an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year program
    • 30 points may be earned in Express Entry if the foreign national has an eligible credential from a post-secondary program of three-years or longer, a Master’s degree or a PhD.

Previously, no additional points were earned for studies completed in Canada. This is a big win for international students.

2.  Qualifying job offers see a noticeable decrease in points

Express Entry job offer

Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) were awarded 600 points. With these changes announced today, this is no longer the case.  A qualifying job offer can earn a maximum of 200 points however the majority of job offers earn only 50 points.

Only jobs classified under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) Major Group 00 will earn 200 points. All other qualifying job offers earn 50 points.


  1.  Not all qualifying job offers require an LMIA in order to earn points

Current holders of LMIA’s will continue to earn points under Express Entry however new opportunities to earn points have been created. The following foreign nationals will now earn points without acquiring an LMIA:

Those holding work permits issued under S204(a) – International Agreements.  This applies to those who have work permits through NAFTA, the Colombian FTA, Chilean FTA, etc.

Those holding work permits under S205 and whose employer is named on their work permit. For example, those working under the Young Professionals category or work that is of a religious or charitable nature would qualify under this category.

For these work permit holders, one-year of full time or a part-time equivalent with their employer is required.


In conclusion, it must be said that these changes stir mixed-emotions for those seeking permanent residence through Express Entry channels. The changes to points from arranged employment mean that an LMIA or job offer is no longer a guarantee to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The addition of points for international graduates from Canadian institutions demonstrates the Canadian government’s commitments to these individuals.

There are no announced changes to points earned from a Provincial Nomination. Nominations from a province earn 600 points under Express Entry.

Interested in Express Entry? Contact our team today!



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