Further ‘Express Entry’ Improvements Beneficial to Applicants

‘Express Entry’ (EE) refers to the procedure by which Canadian economic class permanent residence (PR) applications are processed. (The economic class is based essentially on professional/occupational background, as opposed to, e.g., family class or business class.) In November 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) changed various EE rules to allow points for Canadian education, and certain work experience without an LMIA.

Now they’ve done it again. IRCC has announced that, effective June 6, 2017, applicants will get enhanced points for French language abilities, as well as for having siblings in Canada.

Enhanced French language considerations

In terms of the French, 15 points will now be available to applicants who score above 7 in all four competencies (reading, writing, listening, speaking) on the ‘Niveau Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens’ (NLC) French standard, but an English test result of 4 or lower on the Canadian Language Benchmark’ (CLB) English standard. Where the applicant scores 5 or higher on the English CLB, the NLC score of 7 will lead to 30 additional points.

Consideration of Siblings in Canada

In terms of siblings, where an applicant, or his or her spouse/common-law partner, has a sibling 18 or older who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, 15 additional points will be awarded. The issue of ‘living in Canada’ is not insignificant. Based on prior experience, pre-EE, this will certainly require sufficient evidence of that person’s physical presence in Canada at the time of application and/or finalization.

Further Changes

In addition to all the foregoing, registration by candidates on the Canadian Job Bank will become voluntary after June 6.  For those currently without a job in Canada, they may still register for the Job Bank if they so choose.


These changes represent another step by IRCC in its recognition of factors that will make someone a good candidate for Canadian immigration. Of course, as with past adjustments, the true value of the changes will only be known after we see the kinds of point thresholds that IRCC will start using after June 6, but presumably, those with the relevant factors above will benefit from the change.

We will of course monitor the situation, and advise of any relevant impact after June 6.

The information in this article is for general purposes only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.