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May 4, 2017

IRCC 2016 Express Entry Year-End Report – Increased variety of invitees to apply for Permanent Residency

On April 14, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has published its Express Entry year-end report for 2016.  The report shows that more candidates residing outside Canada were issued an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for permanent residence in 2016 than in 2015.

Express Entry is Canada’s Permanent Residence application management system for select economic programs. This video from IRCC explains what the Express Entry is.


*Once you receive ITA, you have 90 days to submit your permanent residence application. (changed from 60 days)

More candidates have been invited so far in 2017 than in all of 2016. Over this time, the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) cut-off threshold, which is the lowest passing mark for the Express Entry, has decreased accordingly to its most recent cut-off point of 423 on May 4, 2017.  It recorded the lowest, 415 on April 19, 2017.

Passing mark for Express Entry since the beginning of 2017

468 – January 4, 2017
459 – January 11, 2017
453 – January 25, 2017
447 – February 8, 2017
441 – February 22, 2017
434 – March 1, 2017
441 – March 24, 2017
431 – April 5, 2017
421 – April 12, 2017
415 – April 19, 2017
423 –  May 4, 2017

As economic immigration programs are designed for highly skilled immigrants, all job offers are in professional or skilled trade occupations as defined by the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”). Prior to November 19, 2016, all job offers in the Express Entry system were awarded 600 additional points.

As of November 19, 2016, candidates with valid job offers supported by Labor Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) are awarded 50 points for job offers in a NOC 0, A or B occupation.  200 points are awarded for job offers classified as NOC 00 (Senior Managers). Lowering the job offer points will allow more candidates whose skills and experience support the Canadian economy and not necessary working in Canada to be invited to apply for permanent residence.  Job offer supported by the province is still awarded additional 600 points.

More Candidates Outside Canada are Invited to Apply

Canada was the main country of residence among invited candidates because of the high number of temporary foreign workers who wished to settle in Canada permanently. In 2015, 78 percent of invited candidates were residents of Canada.  This decreased to 69 % in 2016.

After Canada which makes up 69% of the invitees, India, United States, China, UAE, Nigeria, UK, Philippines, Pakistan and South Africa are the top 10 countries of residence and make up 90 % of all the invited candidates.

IRCC stated that the countries of residence among invited candidates is likely to continue to diversify throughout 2017 as the CRS cut-off threshold decreases even further.

More highly skilled candidates to receive ITA

Changes were introduced in November 2016 to the CRS to allow for more highly skilled candidates to receive an ITA.  Compared to 31,000 in 2015, almost 34,000 ITA for permanent residence was issued to Express Entry candidates in 2016. Since the launch of Express Entry, a total of 43,202 individuals (applicants and their families) have been admitted to Canada as permanent residents.

Many applicants are highly skilled immigrants who have studied in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The top 10 occupations of these permanent residents included software and computer engineering fields. In 2016, candidates working as IT professionals were the largest group of invited candidates. Cooks, food service supervisors and retail sales supervisors were also listed in the top 10.

Fewer candidates with a job offer receives ITA

Fewer candidates with a qualifying job offer have received an ITA. Consequently, a higher percentage without a job offer have been invited to apply after the rule changes in November 2016.

Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”) is a strong support to receive ITA

A candidate’s CRS score is divided into two portions. The candidate’s “core” CRS score can reach a maximum of 600 points and it is based on the candidate’s age, education, official language skills, work experience and a combination of these human capital points. An additional 600 points is rewarded to the candidate if they meet policy or other objectives such as having a provincial nomination, a job offer.  The candidates receive additional points from post-secondary education in Canada.  A candidate’s maximum CRS score is 1,200 points. Candidates with a provincial nomination are awarded 600 additional CRS points and placed at the front of the line for selection in the next draw from the pool. It should be noted, however, that although a provincial nomination is clearly helpful, it is not required in order for a candidate to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

Most invited candidates over 2015 and 2016 received their ITA without obtaining a provincial nomination.

Former International Students

As of November 19, 2016, CRS points are now awarded for education obtained in Canada above high school.

The CRS awards 15 points for a one- or two-year diploma or certificate and 30 points for a degree, diploma or certificate of three years or longer or for a Master’s, professional or doctoral degree of at least one academic year.

Adapting to Canadian society permanently will be easier for former students because they will have established social networks and they will have familiarized themselves with life in Canada.

Strong French language skills and those who have siblings in Canada will have more points from June 6, 2017

Starting on June 6, 2017 points will be awarded to candidates who have strong French language skills and to candidates with siblings in Canada. IRCC also making registration with Job Bank voluntary.

How to increase your points?

To improve your rank in the pool, candidates are encouraged to update their profile to obtain additional points for a job offer and education obtained in Canada. Candidates can also try to further increase their CRS score by providing an Educational Credential Assessment for their education received overseas, retake a language test, provide language test results for their second language proficiency and provide information on their spouse or partner’s education and language proficiency.

How to calculate your CRS points

To calculate your CRS points, please use this tool. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp

Given that the passing mark may go even lower, we suggest that you register for your Express Entry profile once your points are around 400 or above. You could also wait for the passing mark to get lower and be invited to apply for PR.  Your profile will be kept in the pool for one year.

Since passing point is getting lower, more wider range of candidates is getting the opportunity to submit an application for permanent residence. It is very likely that this pattern has continued into 2017, and will continue into the future. As a result, Individuals and families thinking of immigrating to Canada are highly encouraged to create an Express Entry profile.

If you have a good chance to pass the draw (points with 400 or above), please contact us with the following documents.

  • Copy of your passport (bio page)
  • Resume
  • Result of IELTS English exam (General Training) and TEF (if you speak French)
  • Educational Credential Assessment by World Education Services

You will be assisted in obtaining your visas or permit by an Experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.

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