On March 31, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced planned changes to the Express Entry system, set to come into effect on June 6, 2017.
The newly announced changes, which will be supplemented by Ministerial Instructions, will affect those candidates with strong French language skills, and those candidates with siblings in Canada.
On or after June 6, 2017, candidates with strong French language skills will receive additional bonus points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS):
– Candidates with NLC 7 in all four French language abilities and an English test result of CLB 4 or lower will receive an additional 15 points
– Candidates with NLC 7 in all four French language abilities and an English test result of CLB 5 or higher will receive an additional 30 points
The points previously awarded to candidates for language ability will remain unchanged.
Additionally, candidates with siblings who reside in Canada as citizens or permanent residents will receive an additional 15 points. Siblings are considered to be a person who shares a mother or father with the principal applicant or their spouse or common-law partner.
Finally, the mandatory Job Bank registration requirement, previously required for all candidates without a provincial nomination or valid job offer in Canada, will no longer be required as of June 6, 2017. However, the Job Bank will remain a valuable tool for job-seekers and employers seeking to recruit strong employment candidates.
These changes follow the recent Budget’s commitment to ensuring the system is responsive to the needs of the Canadian labour market. Through programs targeting French speaking newcomers such as the Francophone Mobility program, Canada has long recognized that French-speaking newcomers contribute to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Francophone minority communities across Canada. The new changes will boost CRS scores of French speaking candidates, increasing the likelihood they will receive an Invitation to Apply.
Further, awarding additional points to candidates with siblings in Canada will make it more likely that those candidates ultimately granted Canadian permanent residence will be successful and remain in Canada. Having a sibling in Canada has been shown to improve health and social outcomes for newcomers, by accelerating their integration into Canadian life.
For more information on the Express Entry system and obtaining permanent residence in Canada, please contact PwC Law LLP.