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Human Capital, Skills and Experience to Become More Prominent Under New Immigration System

Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided important new information about the future of Canada’s Express Entry selection system. By drawing on the past, IRCC has learned more about its own Express Entry system and made predictions for the future following recent improvements that have been made.

Human Capital Skills And Experience To Become More Prominent Under New Immigration System

Qualifying job offers earn applicants extra points

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A job offer was not, and is not, required in order for a candidate to enter the Express Entry pool or receive an ITA.

Until November 19, 2016, candidates with a qualifying job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) were awarded 600 CRS points. Since the improvements to the Express Entry system came into force on November 19, however, a number of changes to the qualifying job offer factor have been implemented. Notably, a qualifying job offer is now worth 200 points if the offer is in an occupation contained in a Major Group 00 of the National Occupational Classification, or 50 points for a job offer in any other skilled position.

Greater weight given to Human Capital and Arranged Employment

Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System will put greater weight on human capital, skills and experience. As such, the CRS has changed to better reflect the empirical value of arranged employment, with the expected result that:

• a greater share of invitations will flow to candidates with high levels of human capital, which will improve immigrant economic outcomes and better enable employers to fill high-skilled job openings;
• it will likely change the occupational distribution of invited candidates, with fewer candidates invited with offers of arranged employment in low wage occupations; and
• while a job offer will no longer guarantee an ITA, it does significantly increase the chances of being invited to apply.

International Students and Graduates in Canada

One of the most significant changes made to the CRS on November 19 was with respect to international students and graduates in Canada. IRCC’s stated objectives are to increase the number of former international students receiving an ITA and provide additional incentive for foreign nationals to study in Canada.

Previously, there were no additional points available to these students, and former international students made up less than 30 percent of all invited candidates. However, points may now be awarded to the principle applicant for Canadian education as follows:

• 15 points, to candidates who have an eligible credential from a one-year or two-year post-secondary program;
• 30 points, to candidates who have an eligible credential from. This includes a post-secondary program of three years or more;
• a university-level program at the master’s level or at the level of an entry-to-practice professional degree for an occupation listed in the National Occupational Classification matrix at Skill Level A for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required; or
• a university-level program at the doctoral level.

Leading up the recent changes, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, said that “International students have been shortchanged by the Express Entry system. They are the cream of the crop, in terms of potential future Canadians.” As a result of the changes, IRCC expects that former international students will make up closer to 40 percent of all invited candidates in future draws from the pool.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Applicants who obtain an enhanced nomination certificate through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) category will continue to be awarded 600 points. This makes PNPs by far the single most valuable factor under the new system.

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Additionally, the government of Canada plans to welcome around 51,000 new immigrants through the PNPs next year, a seven percent increase on the target for 2016. With Express Entry PNP categories opening and changing over time, it is arguably more important than ever before for candidates to stay up to date on these immigration programs.

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