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Changes to the Express Entry System

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) implemented changes to the Express Entry system on November 19, 2016. These changes were part of the government’s targeted improvements to support Canada’s Global Skills Strategy. New Ministerial instructions were released that amended the Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) point allocation scheme. Although some of these allocations may be considered a welcome change by some applicants and increase their likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for permanent residence, the changes can have adverse effects on other applicants.

Following criticism from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the Express Entry system was changed in several ways. In particular, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) process was viewed as unusable for many employers and made it difficult to attract high-skilled workers. One of the problems identified was the fact that the system did not recognize newcomers who were already employed in Canada but without an LMIA.

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