Canada’s Express Entry Immigration Program: Two Years in Review and What Lies Ahead for 2017
Posted on - Jan 18, 2017
By Catherine Sas
When Canada’s new immigration program, Express Entry, was introduced on January 1, 2015, it completely transformed Canada’s economic immigration stream. Gone were the days where an applicant controlled their own destiny! Now prospective immigrants need to register a profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) portal, and wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Draws from the pool of registrants are generally made twice a month and are based upon an applicant’s Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). IRCC promised that processing times for applicants who received ITAs would be sped up and processed in six months or less. Let’s take a look at how Express Entry has fared for the past two years and what may be in store for 2017.
The ITA draws are announced by way of Ministerial Instructions each month. The CRS points scores that attracted ITAs are set out below:
|2015||# of ITAs||CRS Points||2016||# of ITAs||CRS Points|
|Jan 31||779||886||Jan 6||1463||461|
|Feb 7||779||818||Jan 13||1518||453|
|Feb 20||849||808||Jan 27||1468||457|
|Feb 27||1187||735||Feb 10||1505||459|
|Mar 20||1620||481||Feb 24||1484||453|
|Mar 27||1637||453||Mar 9||1013||473|
|April 10||925||469||Mar 23||1014||470|
|April 17||715||453||April 6||954||470|
|May 22||1361||755||April 20||1018||468|
|June 12||1501||482||May 6||799||534|
|June 26||1575||469||May 18||763||484|
|July 10||1516||463||June 1||762||483|
|July 17||1581||451||June 15||752||488|
|Aug 7||1402||471||June 29||773||482|
|Aug 21||1523||456||July 13||747||482|
|Sept 8||1517||459||July 27||755||488|
|Sept 18||1545||450||Aug 10||754||490|
|Oct 2||1530||450||Aug 24||750||538|
|Oct 23||1502||489||Sept 7||1000||491|
|Nov 13||1506||484||Sept 21||1288||483|
|Nov 27||1559||472||Oct 12||1518||484|
|Dec 4||1451||461||Oct 19||1804||475|
|Dec 18||1503||460||Nov 2||2080||472|
The start of 2015 saw ITA draws issued to registrants with very high CRS scores but over the course of the year, the CRS scores fell significantly from a high of 886 in January to a low of 450 in Fall of 2015. 2015 saw a total of 23 draws with five draws at over 700 CRS points and the majority between 450-489 CRS points. The scores for 2016 overall were consistently lower than 2015. 2016 had a total of 27 ITA draws with only one at over 700 CRS points, 2 over 500, and the majority between 453 and 497. However, no CRS score lower than 450 has received an ITA as of yet.
Up until November 19, 2016 applicants were able to obtain 600 CRS points if they had a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based work permit. These 600 CRS points were in addition to the points that an applicant would earn for their education, language proficiency and foreign and Canadian work experience which could lead to scores of over 1000 CRS points which virtually guaranteed an ITA to an applicant with an LMIA. However, in November, Canada’s then Immigration Minister, John McCallum reduced the CRS points for an LMIA based work permit from 600 to 50. He also changed the definition of an offer of employment to include people in Canada on certain kinds of work permits such as for Intra-Company Transferees or persons on work permits pursuant to a bilateral trade agreement such as NAFTA. This levelled the playing field for persons already working in Canada and further strengthened the significance of Canadian work experience within Canada’s economic immigration program.
Unfortunately, the Minister’s November announcements did not provide significant points increases for Post Graduate Work permit holders. Minister McCallum has been on record as saying that international students are the most desirable of prospective immigrants but so far Express Entry has not been tweaked to bring an ITA to most international students. Given the changes made for additional CRS points and the drastic reduction of points issued to LMIA work permit holders, ITAs are likely to be issued in the coming months below the 450-point threshold. 2017 may be the Express Entry Year of the International student!
Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. Catherine has been practicing law for over 25 years, and has been voted Vancouver’s Best Immigration Lawyer by the Georgia Straight newspaper for 5 consecutive years.
To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Catherine Sas or call her at 1-604-689-5444.
Related Topics: Canada Express Entry Immigration, family, Immigration, Work Visas, worker, Working in Canada