Express Entry update


Today, we’re discussing the new changes in the express entry scoring system.

My name is Alex Khadempour – Let’s talk Canadian Immigration!

On November 19th, the changes in the express entry system were implemented. Things moved quickly between the announcement and the implementation of the points, which is a change compared to what we have seen in the past from immigration Canada when it came to bringing in updates. As expected, there are some questions and issues, which should be resolved in due time.

There are a few Express Entry updates, but the main ones that I’ll touch on are on the points received for job offers and international students who have graduated in Canada.

There have been many discussions about giving students who have graduated in Canada some incentive in their immigration application process. It was either going to be a new stream for graduating students, or extra points in the express entry pool, and of course, the latter was chosen.

Here is how Canadian graduates can receive points:

For those with one or two year post secondary education with a certificate/diploma – they will receive 15 points extra

For those who have graduated with a three year or longer education OR a master’s, or PhD of at least one academic year: 30 points will be added to their Express Entry points

And there were also changes made in how a person can receive points under a job offer:

Before the changes, someone with an LMIA, and a permanent job offer would receive 600 points, which guaranteed selection from the Express Entry pool. However, those points have now been reduced. At the same time, points for job offers also include applicants with “qualifying offer of arranged employment”, providing the person has at least one year of work experience with the same employer who has provided the job offer. In other words, the name of the employer must be on your work permit and you must have worked for that employer for at least a year, in order to be eligible to get the extra points. Since post graduate work permits and most IEC work permits, like working holiday visa, are open work permits, they do not qualify for extra points.

Here is how those with work permits can receive points:

Those under skill levels 0, A or B, would receive 50 points and those under skill level 00, such as executives, would receive 200 points.

These changes and updates will make a difference in many applicants’ immigration plans, especially those who relied on the magical 600 points they would have received under LMIA. Due to that change, we will see a gravitation towards provincial programs and Provincial Nominations, which still give applicants 600 points under Express Entry.

We will all be looking at the minimum threshold in points in Express Entry, which have not gone below 470 for some time now. The next few rounds of invitations should give us a good indication of how much of an effect these changes will have and what the minimum invited points will be.

My recommendation to anyone with an Express Entry profile is to go into it or get their representative to do so, and update the information. Be sure to save the profile. Your points should update, eventually.

There are still some issues with how points are being tallied in the online application. If you notice issues with your total score, then click on ‘Report a Technical Issue’ under the Express Entry profile. It’s not unusual to come across problems when something is first implemented. These will be fixed as time goes by.

Please stay tuned for our next podcast for more information on Canadian Immigration where we continue to cover a variety of topics and questions. As always, you can visit to get even more information.

I’m Alex. Until next time!

Top 6 questions asked about Express Entry



We frequently receive emails, comments to our web site and phone calls about the Express Entry system. Of course, we don’t have time to answer every question, so we have put together the top 6 questions asked about Express Entry:

1 – Is Express Entry replacing Federal Skilled Worker (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC)?

No. Express Entry is a new system of choosing Permanent Residents. One must first be qualified for one of the economic programs such as Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class in order to be able to get into the Express Entry pool.

2 – What is the minimum score for language under Express Entry?

If you want to qualify for Express Entry, then you must first qualify for one of the economic programs such as Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class or Federal Skilled Trades. Your language score must meet the threshold of any of those programs you are trying to qualify for. For more on language score, go here.

3 – Can I qualify under Express Entry without a valid job offer (LMIA) or PNP nomination?

Yes. An LMIA or a PNP nomination will give you enough points to basically guarantee that you will be picked from the Express Entry pool. However, there aren’t nearly enough people with LMIA or PNP nominations, so those without them do have a chance.

On November 6, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced that Canada will welcome between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015. Most of them (63%) will come under economic categories. That’s more than 163,000 people. Of those, 47,000 to 51,000 of them will be Federal Skilled Workers who are majority applicants from outside of Canada with no Canadian work experience.

4 – What’s the minimum number of points do I need to qualify?

That’s a question that cannot be answered as there is no minimum threshold. However, it is estimated that those above 400 points will have a decent chance of being selected.

5 – Besides getting a PNP nomination or an LMIA, are there ways for me to improve my total points?

Yes. Some of the ways you could increase your points would be to:

– Increase your language test score
– Even if you don’t need it for the program you are qualifying for, have your credentials assessed
– Make sure your application is properly submitted into the system
– Consult with a professional

6 – Are there occupations that are not qualified under Express Entry?

Any occupation considered to be skilled under the National Occupational Classification will be considered.

Submitting the Express Entry application is the backbone of your full Permanent Residency process. Be sure that you know what you’re getting into as any mistakes made at this point could potentially ruin the application down the road.

Express Entry Update: First non-LMIA/LMO, non-PNP Nomination Invitations have been Released


Close to three months after the new Express Entry system started, and after four invitations, the first set of instructions have been released, where some of the invitees did not have LMIA/LMO’s or PNP nominations.

On March 20th, 2015, Express Entry system, round #5 was released. The number of invitees totalled 1620. The minimum score of those invited is 481.

This is great news for the majority of applicants in the Express Entry pool as many have started to feel discouraged by the high number of points in the previous four invitations.

What do the Experts think?

As licensed immigration consultant Alex Khadempour points out, there is no need to panic: “This is just the start. Immigration Canada did not want to open the floodgates by inviting a high number of people at the beginning. This is why only those with PNP nominations or LMOs/LIMAs were invited at first to make sure the system works. You will now see the minimum score start to go down.”

Immigration Canada accepts over 160,000 applicants a year under the economic programs such as Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades and some PNP programs. Only a small fraction of these applicants have LMOs/LMIAs or PNP nominations.

Tips for Applicants

Alex Khadempour adds: “Calculated patience is always necessary when it comes to dealing with immigration, especially when a new program or system is launched. You should keep your eyes on the minimum scores and see how close you are. At the same time, if there is an opportunity for you to receive a provincial nomination or an LMIA, which guarantee that you will be selected and invited, you should take advantage of that opportunity.It’s also very important to approach this process with caution and precision. One tiny mistake in one of the steps can ruin your chances in the future.”

Be sure to go over all the guidelines, regulations and seek professional help, if necessary, to make sure you don’t make any errors in how you submit your information and approach the multi-step application process.

779 candidates have been selected under the Express Entry system


The 779 candidates who were selected, have two months to submit a complete application for permanent residence after receiving a letter, requesting that they submit a full application. This is the first draw from the Express Entry pool where candidates who are qualified under one the economic immigration programs, which consist of Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades and a portion of nominated applicant through the provincial programs.

This draw indicates that the new Express Entry system is working and that submitting a profile can truly lead to permanent residence.

Canada has purposely kept the first draw small as this is the first time where Immigraiton Canada can fix any potential glitches or problems and to test and make sure that the process moves forward without issues.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to a Ranking System (CRS) based on a number of factors and only top ranked candidates are invited to apply.  For this first draw, the candidates selected had relatively high scores. The candidates all had either a provincial nomination or an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment – Qualifying job offer), which guarantees that you will have enough points to be selected under Express Entry.

CIC has indicated its intention to conduct up to 25 draws this year and plans on meeting its immigration targets 285,000 under the 2015 immigration plan. Of that, it is expected that over 180,000 will be selected under the Express Entry system. Future draws are expected to occur more frequently and the government is expected to issue a much greater number of invitations to apply to a wider array of candidates in the Express Entry pool.

CIC expects that a significant proportion of invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence will be issued to people without job offers from Canadian employers as there simply are not enough people with validated job offers or provincial nominations to fill the need for skilled immigrants.

Alex Khadempour, senior immigration consultant at CICS Immigration Consulting Inc. advises: “If you’re planning to apply under Express Entry, do it as soon as you can show that you are qualified for one of the economic programs. This includes having your IELTS test score, and if trying to qualify under Federal Skilled Worker, your Education Credential Assessment. However, it’s important that you don’t rush into the first step of the process, as this is where you need to make sure that you are able to present the best possible and strongest application with your work experience as the focal point. Mistakes at the beginning of the process can severely damage your following plans.”