Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection was amended in November 2016, allowing more candidates an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency. With Express Entry based on human capital factors alone, additional points needed for PR in Canada are not needed to receive a provincial nomination or job offer.
Before amendments came into effect on November 19, 2016, three in five invited candidates met the minimum points required for Canadian PR based on human capital, under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). However, from November 2016 to February 2017, the number of invited candidates meeting minimum points required for PR in Canada increased to 90%.
Senior staff at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) revealed these statistics at a conference last spring. The presentation revealed that more potential candidates outside of Canada, specifically individuals eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) received invitations to apply for express entry than prior to immigration amendments in November.
The conference also revealed that more candidates with Natural and Applied Sciences (including STEM professions) were invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada, up 35% from 28%. At the same time, the number of invitations for candidates in lower skill level occupations decreased from 11% to 3%.
IRCC has stated that the goal behind the November amendments was to place a greater emphasis on human capital, applicable skills, and overall experience. Stakeholders argued that 600 additional CRS points for qualifying job offers distorted the balance with human capital. In order to find a balance between the current labour market and immigration outlooks, IRCC reduced the points rewarded for a job offer significantly. The points needed for PR in Canada is now reduced to 200 points allocated for a job offer if the occupation is listed in Major Group 00 of the National Occupation Classification. Otherwise, 50 points are awarded for a job offer of any other job classification.
As a means to encourage more international graduates to pursue an invitation to apply for permanent residency, IRCC allocated up to 30 CRS points to any potential candidate who studied in Canada. IRCC has stated that these reforms resulted in 46% of ITAs sent to international students from the period of November to February, up from 31% before amendments. These changes have resulted in more refined methods for former international students to claim permanent residence.
The IRCC conference also provided critical information on the ratio of ITAs that result in an approved application during the first two years of Express Entry. Around 47,000 applications for permanent residency were received, with 85% of invitations to apply for express entry resulting in an application. The approval rate during the final decision stage is 97%, resulting in the majority of ITA invitees being approved for permanent residency.
2017 will be a breakout year with dramatic changes implemented regarding immigration and permanent residency. A major trend is the overall number of ITAs increasing significantly since late 2016. The IRCC has stated this has resulted in reducing the minimum CRS point cut-off threshold, reaching a low of 413 on May 31. As more skilled workers are encouraged to apply for PR in Canada according to IRCC objectives, the diversity of candidates who will be approved to integrate into Canada will greatly expand.
Are you seeking permanent residence through express entry? Contact the Immigration Law Office of Ronen Kurzfeld to ensure your application is at its highest quality.