IRCC Issues Public Statement on Improvements to Express Entry
Canada’s immigration system may be set for further changes
The Express Entry immigration system will undergo important changes that will come into effect later this week on November 19, but that might not be the end of adjustments to be made to the system.
Earlier yesterday, November 14, the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issued a press release in which it outlined the changes to be made in the short term.
As CICNews reported last week, these changes include: the awarding of points for certain job offers made to workers in Canada who do not have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), additional points for candidates with a Canadian education, and an extension of the validity of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence. (To learn about these changes in more detail, see our previous article on the subject of imminent changes to the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System.)
Interestingly, IRCC’s press release also states that the reforms ‘are part of a number of improvements the Government is making on a continual basis to bring changes for a more fair and responsive immigration system that will address emerging needs and ensure long-term economic growth for the middle class.’
As a consequence, it may well be the case that the changes to be implemented on November 19 are the first in a series of possible changes that may be made over time. For example, the Liberal government has previously said that it would consider the awarding of points to candidates who have prior connections to Canada, such as having a sibling in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident.
At this time, IRCC has not brought in modifications with respect to awarding points having a sibling in Canada. However, that does not necessarily mean that such a change may not take place in the future. Today’s press release certainly leaves scope for such a change, or other changes, to be made in the future.
As the government’s statement demonstrates, Canada’s immigration system is constantly changing. In addition, it is not only the federal government that is in a position to make important changes — the provincial governments also do so through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
Enhanced PNP categories that are aligned with the Express Entry system open and/or change on an ongoing basis, offering Express Entry candidates an opportunity to submit an application to a PNP and potentially be awarded 600 CRS points. Candidates should note that an enhanced nomination certificate is now the most important factor under the CRS, as a job offer is now worth either 200 or 50 points, depending on the position (to learn more about this change, click here).
The fact that stakeholders are now presented with a federal system (Express Entry) that is undergoing changes, as well as a range of PNP options that have also proven to change over time, highlights the importance for candidates to be proactive and engaged with the system at both the federal and provincial levels.
Speaking of the improvements to Express Entry that have been outlined, Canada’s Immigration Minister said that “We have committed to doing more to attract highly skilled immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residents because this is important to build our economy and strengthen our society. I am confident that the changes to Express Entry will be one of the many positive outcomes of the changes we will be bringing to our immigration system.”
What candidates can do to prepare
“With only a few days left until the changes that have been outlined are brought into force, it is important for candidates in the pool — as well as other individuals thinking of immigrating to Canada through Express Entry — to understand how this may benefit them and their profile,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Candidates should also note that IRCC, as the department itself states, is in a position to make changes to the system on a continual basis. Therefore, candidates who stay up to date and maintain a fully updated Express Entry profile, as well as stay abreast of all PNP options, put themselves in the best possible position to immigrate to Canada successfully. On this basis, I would encourage anybody who is thinking of entering the Express Entry pool to do so as soon as possible.”