June 17, 2015

Express Entry – High Five

Posted by Chi-Young Lee - Bellissimo Law Group PC

With the new Express Entry (“EE”) system now half way into its first year, there have been more questions and uncertainties than congratulatory high fives being awarded to the new system.  We have compiled a list of the top 5 questions we receive from clients regarding EE.

Do I have a “job offer” in Canada?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. Under the Intended Work in Canada section of the EE submission questionnaire, candidates are asked “Does [Candidate] have a job offer in Canada?” A candidate should only answer “Yes” to this question if:

a)  their Canadian employer has offered them a high skilled, full-time, non-seasonal permanent job offer which is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); or

b)  a candidate is working in Canada for the Canadian employer listed on their work permit which was issued on the basis of a LMIA or its former counterpart, Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”).

Candidates who are currently working in Canada but have not been offered a job that is supported by a LMIA or LMO would have to answer “No” to whether they have a job offer in Canada.  Only candidates who have a qualified job offer in Canada will receive an additional 600 points under the EE system.

Can a Candidate update an EE profile after it has been submitted?

Yes.  Eligible EE profiles remain in the pool of qualified candidates for a one year period.  During this year, EE profiles are not locked and changes are permitted.  If a candidate has any changes or updates, for example their English scores or education have increased; the candidate is able to update their EE profile to reflect these changes.  In fact, if you receive an Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) on an EE profile that has not been properly updated, you may need to decline the ITA depending on the circumstance.

Is it necessary to obtain an Education Credential Assessment (“ECA”) on my foreign educational credentials?

Although obtaining an ECA for foreign education is not required, it is highly recommended for candidates who do not have a job offer in Canada (see No. 1 above).  Candidates who hold qualified job offers in Canada will receive an additional 600 points in their EE profile and will likely not require the extra points an ECA would provide.  However, candidates who do not have a job offer in Canada, could benefit from the additional 30-150 points an ECA would provide.

It is important to note that ECAs are only required for foreign education credentials.  If you hold a Canadian education credential, an ECA is not required to obtain education points under the EE system.

How many EE draws is Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) scheduled to make and what were the total points in each of the previous draws?

CIC has indicated that they intend to make anywhere from 15-25 draws in the 2015 year. To date, CIC has made 10 draws.  For information regarding each of the previous draws, including the minimum point threshold – please click here.

Where can documents (i.e. Police clearance certificates), received outside of the 60 day deadline to submit permanent residence documents, be sent?

Once you have submitted your permanent residence application via CIC’s online system, there is no opportunity to submit further documents online.  Documents, in particular police certificates that are obtained after the 60 day deadline, may however be sent to the following courier address:


Centralized Intake Office

49 Dorchester Street

Sydney, NS  B1P 5Z2

It is important to note that all required permanent residence documents must be submitted online within the 60 day deadline period.  If you are unable to obtain the required documents within the 60 day deadline and choose to send them to CIC at the address above, there is no guarantee that CIC will accept these documents and could deem your application to be incomplete.

For more information on Express Entry, please click here.