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The Government of Canada has made changes to the Express Entry immigration program to create more equality between various types of work permit holders who apply for permanent residence.

LMIA-based permit holders

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) previously awarded 600 points to skilled workers who were issued work permits obtained through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The new system will award either 200 or 50 points to work permit holders who have an “eligible” job offer. For those whose permits are issued on the basis of an LMIA, senior managers will be awarded 200 points, and others whose jobs fall into National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A, or B will be awarded 50 points.

LMIA exemption-based permit holders

Previously, the Express Entry system did not award points to work permit holders whose permits were granted through LMIA-exempt International Mobility programs such as NAFTA or as an intra-company transfer (ICT).

Now, candidates who have work permits that were based on an LMIA exemption may also be eligible to receive points if their permit was issued pursuant to an international treaty such as NAFTA or as an ICT.

Candidates in this category must have a job offer from the employer specified on their work permit and have worked continuously for that employer for 12 months prior to applying through Express Entry. Again, senior executives or managers will receive 200 points and others who have an occupation in NOC O, A, or B will receive 50 points.

This is good news for foreign workers who have been issued permits on the basis of an LMIA exemption, as they will no longer be at a disadvantage relative to those who were the beneficiary of an LMIA.

Other changes

  • A job offer only needs to be for at least one year from the time the permanent residence status begins. Previously, a job offer had to be permanent
  • An extension has been made to the length of time a person has to submit a complete application after they receive an Invitation to Apply. This period was 60 days and has now been extended to 90 days
  • Also, foreign students who earn a degree in Canada will be eligible to receive either 15 or 30 points, depending on the number of years required to complete their program of studies

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Peregrine Immigration Management.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Fabiana Reyes, Regional Immigration Managers, Americas: freyes@crownww.com.

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