On March 31, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced changes to the Express Entry ranking system, designed to facilitate the integration of skilled workers in Canada. These changes will come into effect on June 6, 2017.
The changes, which include removing the mandatory Job Bank registration requirement, and awarding additional points to those Express Entry candidates with adult siblings residing in Canada who are Canadian or permanent residents, and those candidates with strong French language skills, were detailed in PwC Law’s immigration blog post, published on March 31, 2017.
In addition to awarding additional points to qualifying candidates, IRCC has recently announced changes to the method in which candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked against those with the same Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Previously, all candidates in the Express Entry pool who met the cut-off score were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). This made it difficult for IRCC to manage the number of ITAs issued in each round of invitations, as each score level represents a significant number of candidates. With its new ranking system, when two candidates hold the same CRS points score, and that score is the minimum required score for that round of invitations, IRCC will rank the profiles based on the time and date when the profiles were originally submitted, with those profiles submitted earlier being first in line to receive an ITA.
IRCC has advised that candidates who update their profile will maintain their original position in the queue, however, those who withdraw their profile and submit a new one will be considered last-in and, therefore, rank lower than those candidates with the same points score who have submitted their profiles earlier.
As of June 6, 2017, those candidates with siblings who are Canadian or who have permanent resident status, or those candidates with strong French language skills will be awarded additional CRS points. However, candidates wishing to receive additional points for their French language skills must have reported a qualifying score as a result of a language test administered by a recognized institution. As such, French-speaking candidates who have not previously taken a French language test, or whose results have expired, should ensure they take such a test as soon as possible so they may accurately report their French language skills and qualify for additional points.
Candidates should note that an update to their Express Entry profile, such as an update to report their French language score, will not result in their application being shifted to the end of the queue. However, when making changes to the profile, as a result of IRCC’s new ranking system, candidates should be vigilant that they do not inadvertently withdraw their profiles. In the event that a profile is withdrawn and then re-submitted, the new application will be ranked lower than all previously existing candidate-profiles with the same CRS points score.
For more information regarding Express Entry or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of our team at
PwC Law LLP.