March 23, 2015 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has issued its fifth round of Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence, after completing a drawing of candidates from the new Express Entry immigration application management system. A total of 1620 invitations were issued to applicants with scores of 481 points or higher. This is the first round of invitations that included candidates not currently holding a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) certificate.
Express Entry is Canada’s new immigration application management system. Applicants are awarded up to 600 points based on a number of factors meant to assess their ability to succeed in Canada, including age, language skills, education and work experience. An additional 600 points are awarded for holding a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Since inception, the program has elicited criticism that the comprehensive scoring system unfairly disadvantages international students and other LMIA-exempt foreign nationals. Canada aims to land 185,000 Permanent Residents in 2015. Thus far, the program has issued fewer than 6,000 invitations.
The LMIA/PNP Requirement
This is the first draw in which candidates without an LMIA or PNP certificate have received an invitation to apply. It is not yet known what effect increased program participation, including provincial participation, will have on the qualifying score threshold.
In order to qualify in the most recent draw without an LMIA or PNP certificate, a candidate would require a graduate degree from a post-secondary institution, significant Canadian and foreign work experience and excellent language skills in either English or French.
Despite a lower qualifying score for this round of invitations, employers wishing to support a foreign national in obtaining Permanent Residence should know that the only way to guarantee an invitation is to secure a positive LMIA or PNP certificate.
Green and Spiegel will continue to monitor the Express Entry draws and provide updates on qualifying scores and trends as required.
If you would like further information about Express Entry, or for assistance in preparing a profile, please contact Green and Spiegel LLP.