IRCC Changes Express Entry: Qualifying Job Offer

Last week, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released details about substantial changes that will be made to the Express Entry system effective November 19, 2016. You can see a complete breakdown of the changes that will be made here.

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Among the announced changes were changes to the points awarded by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for a job offer.


The Express Entry CRS awards 600 points for arranged employment. Arranged employment is defined as a job offer that is permanent and is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Canadian employer.

AS OF NOVEMBER 19, 2016:


The Express Entry CRS awards a total of 50 points to candidates with a valid job offer in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A, or B occupation, or a total of 200 points to candidates with a valid job offer in a NOC 00 occupation. Occupations included in Major Group 00 are Senior Management Occupations whose associated four-digit NOC code begins with 00.


Candidates in the Express Entry pool who have not claimed a job offer will begin to see an increase in their CRS ranking. Over 40% of candidates who have been issued an ITA so far have claimed a job offer. So the average CRS score will decrease under the new system, making candidates without a job offer more competitive.


You should see your CRS ranking relative to other candidates in the pool go up.

Your CRS score is now more competitive.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who have claimed the additional 600 CRS points from a job offer will, as of November 19th, 2016, begin to see their CRS score drop. It may take several days for every candidate’s profile to accurately reflect their score under the new system.


Your CRS score is going to decrease.


So are many other candidates’.

The competitiveness of your CRS score shouldn’t change too much, since so many other candidates’ scores will also go down.


The mandatory duration of an eligible job offer has been changed. Instead of ‘permanent’, job offers must be at minimum one year in duration from the date the candidate received permanent residence.


Some Canadian employers avoided offering jobs to foreign nationals through Express Entry because the jobs had to be ‘permanent’. In this case, ‘permanent’ just meant that the employer wasn’t using the foreign national to fill a short-term position. Changing the requirement to a minimum of one year makes Canadian employers feel like they have more flexibility. That should make them more willing to offer jobs to foreign nationals. There should be a big difference in contract-based industries in particular. Foreign nationals with experience in these industries, where employees are typically hired for a set amount of time, now have a better chance of receiving a job offer and receiving an ITA.


The definition of an eligible job offer has also been expanded. Candidates currently working in Canada on a LMIA-exempt work permit are now eligible to claim points for a job offer even if they have not obtained a LMIA.


This includes candidates working on NAFTA work permits, who are here under a federal-provincial agreement or Mobilité Francophone, or who are intra-company transferees. Eligible candidates must meet some additional criteria such as having at least one year of work experience from the same employer who is providing their job offer, or working in a specific NOC occupation.

What's a Job Offer Worth

The drastic change from 600 points to, in most cases, 50 points, may lead some candidates to believe that a job offer isn’t worth much to your immigration profile anymore. And the truth is that getting a job offer from a Canadian employer no longer virtually guarantees that you will be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. But it still does considerably increase your chances.

Most of the active candidates in the Express Entry pool have CRS scores between 300 and 450 points. An additional 50 points can push you out of that middle range, or to the top of it. There are also still Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) aligned with Express Entry that only candidates with a job offer are eligible for. And being nominated by a PNP grants candidates an additional 600 points.

That’s not to mention the peace of mind that comes from already having a job lined up for when you arrive in Canada.

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The Canadim Team!

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