This alert will be relevant to organizations with a presence in Canada, or who anticipate placing talent in a Canadian workplace.
The Express Entry program is Canada’s comprehensive Permanent Residency Program launched back in January 2015.
Effective November 19, 2016, Canada has meaningfully overhauled eligibility requirements for the Express Entry Permanent Residency Program. The new requirements will increase access to the Permanent Residency program for several highly-skilled workers, and those with Canadian educational credentials.
Express Entry makes it considerably faster to become a permanent resident of Canada, although more challenging due to complex eligibility requirements, including a points-based system that ranks all eligible applicants according to factors such as skills, work experience, language ability and education.
With the introduction of November 19, 2016, Ministerial Instructions, the process remains relatively consistent, however, the calculation of points will change significantly.
A major criticism of the Express Entry program when it launched in 2015 was that it disproportionately favored certain applicants who were able to obtain Labour Market Impact Assessments or Provincial Nominee Program-based job offers.
The system does not provide additional points to applicants who studied in Canada, or who have a permanent job offer in a high-skilled position that is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment, including, but not limited to, NAFTA Professionals and Intra-Company Transferees already working in Canada.
The changes follow the Canadian government’s announcement that it will increase the number of permanent resident visas it will issue in the 2017 calendar year.
The increase will positively impact skilled workers, immigrant families, and international students obtaining a Canadian educational credential.
Under the economic skilled worker categories, Canada seeks to increase the number of Permanent Residents under the economic category from 160,600 to 172,500.