There were several significant changes to the Express Entry System implemented November 19, 2016 by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The changes to Express Entry included awarding points for job offers to eligible candidates already in Canada on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits. This includes candidates who are here under the North America Free Trade Agreement, a federal-provincial agreement, Mobilité Francophone, or who are intra-company transferees, if they meet certain criteria, such as at least one year of work experience from the same employer who is providing their job offer.
In addition, points are now given for study in Canada to international students. International students, who have established social networks and have familiarized themselves with life in Canada, are generally considered a key source of candidates for establishment in Canada because of their age, education, skills and experience.
Points awarded for job offers are now reduced. A valid job offer in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B occupation receives 50 points, while a total of 200 points are awarded to candidates with a valid job offer in a NOC 00 occupation. A job offer only needs to be a minimum of one year in duration once permanent residence is approved.
More time is also given to Express Entry candidates to apply for permanent residence once an invitation to apply is received.
So where are we now after several months under the new system? Many candidates are curious as to how these changes have affected the “bottom line”, in this case the score of the lowest-ranked candidate in the Express Entry pool who was drawn. Any candidate who is able to rank above this score has a chance to be drawn and offered an invitation to apply for permanent residence. In the month before the changes were implemented last November 19, the lowest ranked candidate score in the Express Entry pool ranged from 470-475. The last month has seen candidate scores range from 447-459, the most recent draw on February 8 being 447.
As such, there currently appears to be a downward trend in numbers. However, being barely three months out, the Express Entry pool, although becoming more consistent from the swings seen immediately after the changes (the first draw had a lowest ranked candidate score of 786), it is still likely too early to tell if “450 is the new 470” or if the pool will still see more significant adjustments as a result of the new changes.