New statistics released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveal that Express Entry candidates without a Canadian job offer have been benefitted considerably in the way the applicants are ranked.

According to IRCC, 90 per cent of Express Entry candidates who received an ITA for permanent residence in the first half of 2017 did not have a Canadian job offer. The data confirms that this move has significantly shifted the number of ITAs for Canadian permanent residence in favor of candidates with higher CRS scores. The points allocated if an applicant has a Canadian job offer was reduced from 600 to between 50 and 200 points, depending on the position.

The data released by IRCC compares the 11.5 months prior to the changes and a roughly six-month period after they were introduced, from November 19, 2016, to May 31, 2017. IRCC’s comparison confirms the following:

  • The proportion of invited candidates without a Canadian job offer rose from 62 per cent to 90 per cent.
  • The proportion of invited candidates who studied in Canada has increased from 30 per cent to 40 per cent.
  • The proportion of Federal Skilled Worker candidates invited to apply increased from 25 per cent to 48 per cent.
  • The number of profiles deemed eligible for the Express Entry pool increased as a result of the changes.
  • The changes resulted in shifts in the occupations and countries of citizenship of candidates being invited to apply.
  • The changes helped narrow the gender gap among invited candidates.

More skilled worker ITAs

While Canadian job offers have become less relevant, some factors that can significantly improve a candidate’s CRS score have become more prominent since November 2016, namely Provincial Nominee Programs that still result in an additional 600 CRS points. IRCC study showed 3,722 ITAs issued to Express Entry candidates with PNP nominations in the first half of 2017.

Invitations by country of citizenship

Applicants from India were issued the most ITAs, both before and after the job offer change, with their share jumping by 12 percentage points after the change. The increase was from 31 per cent of ITAs to 43 per cent in favor of Indian Citizens. Chinese citizens were second, with 10 per cent post-change. Nigerian citizens placed third, with their share rising by two percentage points to five per cent of all ITAs in the six months after the job offer change in November 2016.

Countries whose citizens saw their numbers drop after the changes included the United Kingdom (five per cent to three per cent) and the United States (four per cent to two per cent).

Extension in the application time limit

IRCC says its move to give invited candidates 90 days to submit their application to permanent residence in November 2016 allows candidates more time to collect the necessary documentation and submit a complete application. Over the 11 months prior to the change, 10 per cent of applicants missed the deadline, which at the time was 60 days after their ITA was received. IRCC says the addition of 30 days has cut the number of late submissions to two per cent.

Number of ITAs issued to candidates with and without job offers,
and with and without Canadian study experience

Pre-November 2016 changes Post-November 2016 changes
With job offer  10,795 (38%)  5,151 (10%)
Without job offer 17,614 (62%) 48,098 (90%)
With Canadian study experience 8,592 (30%) 21,433 (40%)
No Canadian study experience 19,817 (70%) 31,816 (60%)

*Pre-November 2016 changes cover the period from January 1, 2016, to November 18, 2016. Post-November 2016 changes cover the period from November 19, 2016, to May 31, 2017.