Immigration: draws are larger than ever


Canada Immigration Newsletter

November 16, 2016

November 16 draw may be the final draw before improvements to Express Entry come into effect on November 19

The number of candidates being invited to apply for immigration to Canada through Express Entry has shot up yet again, with 2,427 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) having been issued to candidates with 470 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points in a draw that took place on November 16, 2016.

This draw, the 47th in total since Express Entry was first launched, is likely to be the last draw to be made before significant changes are made to the way in which candidates are awarded points under the CRS. These changes, outlined below, will come into effect on Saturday, November 19.

Readers should note that the November 16 draw selected candidates under the existing points system, and not the points system that will be used as of November 19.

Draws are larger than ever

Over the past couple of months, the number of ITAs issued in Express Entry draws has increased substantially. As recently as the August 24 draw, only 750 candidates were issued an ITA and the CRS cut-off point was 538. Since that time, the number of ITAs issued has gone up six times in a row, and the CRS cut-off point has dropped to its current level of 470. The most recent Express Entry draws represent the largest upturn in the number of ITAs issued since the system was first introduced in January, 2015.

A chart of the ITAs issued in fall 2016

Big changes coming on November 19

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) describes the changes to be brought in this week as improvements to the Express Entry system.

The way in which points are awarded for a qualifying job offer will be changed. Importantly, job offers will no longer be worth 600 CRS points. Instead, a job offer may be 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 all other job offers in a skilled occupation).

In addition, some non-LMIA-based job offers will also be awarded points for the first time. The new regulations will also allow the following individuals to be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:

In both above cases, the candidate must have been working in Canada for at least one year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit. A full list may be reviewed in the table below.

Is your current work permit acceptable to get points for a job offer through Express Entry?

The table below shows which foreign workers in Canada may be able to obtain points for a job offer.

Post-Graduation Work Permits
Intra-Company Transfer
International Experience Canada (IEC)
Labour Market Impact Assessment-based Work Permits
Work Permits issued to Spouses/Common-Law Partners of foreign workers and international students in Canada
Canada-Provincial/Territorial issued Work Permits
All other Open Work Permits
Other Work Permits issued under the significant benefit to Canada initiative

Other changes include the awarding of points — for the first time — for international graduates who studied in Canada. These candidates will be able to obtain up to 30 points for their Canadian education, in addition to the points they would already receive for the level of education. That is to say, the points for Canadian education are in in addition to, not instead of, the points awarded for level of education generally.

A third change due to be implemented on November 19 is that an ITA will be valid for 90 days. Until now, candidates who receive an ITA have had only 60 days to submit a complete application. (Note: candidates who received an ITA in the November 16 draw will have 60 days to submit an application, as the changes are due to be implemented as of November 19.)

About the Canada Immigration Newsletter

The Canada Immigration Newsletter, established in 1996, is a publication edited by Canadian Immigration Attorney David Cohen. It is a free online publication provided by, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Campbell Cohen Immigration Network. Newsletter articles cover the latest information on immigration to Canada and reflect Attorney Cohen’s 35 years of experience in immigration law. All articles are unique to this publication.

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